A study of the alveolar sacs


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.

Mesh and Rive

The violence of compromise pre-exists in me.
The ionic trace that leads electrical discharge;
Fissure in sun-baked wood guiding the maul
The crevassed ice shelf before it splits off
And drowns half of humanity.
Lightning exploits the compromise
As does the wood
And the ice
And the heart.
The cleft,
The cleaving
Grounds potential
And keeps other elements
From thunderously splitting apart;
Keeps the machinery grinding along
Gears gnashing into and out of mesh
Keeps your hand from gliding down splintery wood
Too quickly, too firmly; keeps the slivers from bone.

new era

When the new millennium came
The population quivered
In cold-gel anticipation

And I slept under the
solid winter sky
with nothing but wind and groaning
trees and ice and yesterday’s travel
to remind me where and when I was.

Until morning, when
I woke
in all-forgiving sharpness,
how would I have known?
Civilization doesn’t talk to you
when roads and phones and television
aren’t at hand.
It would not be able to say that
everything fell
to the ground,
and all the computers too,
and the only thing left is family.
Which is the best thing after all.

I tuned my ears and imagination
to that line
and was lost for a minute.
Then, overhead, a roar
like the sound of a hole
cut into the sky up to the vacuum of space.
A jet on its way
at 8:00 AM
on this new day.
That solved it.

But today there are no planes.
Everything is at hand,
but not in it,
and most of us are OK,
There is still family.
Yet, I find myself trying
to tune in
and am only getting
an emptiness too big
for anyone to be found in.

The Suicide Robots

When I created the world
with its shattered arcs
and moss-clad concrete corners
broken cobbles in the street
and urine in dark alcoves
with acute sightlines
I built robots that were so smart
that they marked every flaw
discerned clefted marble
and the feldspars weathering out
of granite walls.
They were not waterproof and went
into the river in droves
the electrolytes there a better fate than
the overwhelmingly broken world.

I sat up from my desk and scratched my head
tore that sheet out of the pad
in a fluid fold of telephone wires and
flying buttresses

In the new world the robots look at
the white of the chess board
at the grass growing up
through cracked pavements