dream / light / shadow
mattress body blanket
the fragments strewn
by night across the landscape
of my bed pulling
thread by thread
For my dear friend
And now, sadness,
I instruct you
to be still.
Let these bones rest. Marrow
pale and depleted by memory
they are weary and cannot stand your shaking.
Let the exhausted heart
encased in this bombarded cage beneath my skin
jarred by your gnashing and clamouring
float in the buoyancy of you forgetting
for a moment
to squeeze it dry.
Do not bewilder
me with your wailing.
Now I tell you:
Let me be.
Snow falls heavy, thick,
but on the trees
pink buds, tiny, wait
This poem is one I wrote maybe a decade ago, but it still expresses something important to me about the beauty, peace, and comfort of this time of year.
After a bright afternoon’s quickening light
To be cradled by dusk,
Its slowly sit-down darkening
To contemplate the softening outline of the old cat
Curled warm on your grey-trousered lap
To watch the women and men with briefcases and backpacks
Walk from the bus toward darkened houses
To see a glow appear here or there and know
The tired homecomings have begun
To unravel the mysteries of your heart
That can only be glimpsed when the busy sun
Pulls up its thick shadows
And the arms of the evening encompass all
All night the wind filled with snow howls against our walls.
What happens to the animals,
or people still outside
I do not know.
Small ship on a vast ocean our house sails alone through the gale.
Carries us fretting to the borders of morning,
the furnace and the radio
Come in, with your body
and its whispered dreams
I will not breathe a word
come in, bring its needling anguish,
its yokes and shackles, the chains
and burdens that make it stumble
its tears that stream without permission
bring in your body
with its fine, secret dances in meadows
and under full moons
the songs it sings while diving
for pearls and the bursting
of its lungs as sun pours in heavenly shafts
deep as the bottom of your thought
bring its tattered edges and frayed cords
lie it down and we will mend
what we can and tuck in the rest
smoothing the weave of its priceless fabric
you shall not leave undone
bring in your body