August Perseid II

The summer was easier before you came
Long, languid
The same static stars
Sometimes fog shrouded
but subject to the old interpretations
true firmament
even pacing of precessing sun
and moon tides
sea funk followed by woofing caves
Then ballistic motion
Blazing unknown distance
unknown timing
held captivated on my back
Eyes sparkling
moon hidden by soft touch
revealing a sudden spill of light
I want this
I hate this, these torn hemispheres
heart filled with complicated
passion yet something so basic
and simple
precluding every other need but breath
water and warmth.
Dreams of thunderstorms and visions
of rain driving into sitka
on a wind blistered shore
As I lie on my back in crisp grass
crickets eking out summer
counting grains of chlorophyll
back into the core
the safe, strong bare maple trunk
that can survive SE gales
while nakedly failing
to interact with anything but
the wind
the stars
birds and the moon.
Clacking branches slowly amputated

I want this?

The Sooke Hills

In a 15 passenger van stuffed with
Books, crumbling vinyl Christian lit
Athapaskan man describes the warm hue
Rainbow flowing diffracting out of the
Snow summits spilling autumnal mustard
Willow cotton blueberry crimson lake
Ruffled in sky last blades of grass exhaust
All of summer’s breathed in energy poured
Out from ravine to valley slope to foot of spruce
I plug carrot and tomato into my mouth
In deep wood panel wall canyon at the
Toe of emerald hill blacktop strung
Flow line leaking oil of bruised human Loss
Gain Veitch Ragged Empress moss forgiven
Hidden and ever loving. These hills will be here
To breathe you in and let your deepest amber
Umber burnt ochre sky star lit and ready.

For Elizabeth

A study of the alveolar sacs

image

The bus traced the toes of the Sooke hills
Wind eddying furiously through cedar branches
Making them wave and toss and throw spray back
To the sky and heavy drops to the ground
Me in this bubble of warmth, pink and humid
And my mind turned up into those hills
The cool green canyons and crevices
The flooded and abandoned roads
The emptiness of humanity there at that moment
In this building storm.
I thought of all the fragile, warm breaths
Being taken then under root-cave and rock alcove
Hidden tunnel away from trail
A massive chorus of sighing warmth
Unheard, but some how counteracting the cold wind.
Do you hunker down? Are you waiting it
Out as I am? Ducking the rain between
Spheres of comfort? Or are you out there
Eviscerating, stopping hearts, drawing nectar,
Stealing blood, staking your claim,
Licking your wounds and waiting for the fawn
Beneath cleft who snapped its last twig
In the dim rain of that forest cacophony
As I want.

My Friend the Zucchini

It’s that time of year
when you begin to ask questions
of your zucchini
Gently and with some curiosity
prodding around the edges
of its existence in your life
and in your garden where
it has established itself
like a good acquaintance
who has come from Italy
bearing panettone but
talks a little too much
about the financial crisis
who you knew was coming after
all.
You snap its arm off
and lug three more in
wondering who to phone
for assistance.

facile verse

I’m sitting pat
on a red ledge
chewing noodles
watching the
sun slide
down no drama
baking heat
mud cracks between my toes
as it dries
facile verse
alternating canoe strokes
fssss shcrack
of opening beer
for a week
the facile verse
in complex geometry
of canyon constructed
of silt and sand
settling drying
between triceritopian toes
one, two, three now?
mesmerized by the maze
languid in the labyrinth
until the power boat return
the power car marathon
the heaving open of email vaults
and dying relatives and discordant
relationships
I stand in the lawn spraying cracked Green River silt off of coolers and buckets noting
how easily it washes from the folded faux textures in the plastic, the cerebral courses of the coiled painters and tent lines as though it were never there.

Before, Languid

Before mountainscape
the sun settles down,
bites its lower lip
gnawing anxious apology.
Despite bare chest runs,
Icy crystals pelt flesh
before ducking back into forest.
Before Orion departs
the air is still, crystal.
One last fire
before smoked glass
before summer rushes back in
all business
on the heels of chlorophyll
on the scent of cottonwood
on foot
and incinerating