Around Edges

Mid-December now.
A small pond freezes next door
in the vacant lot.
Crows break ice around edges,
bathe with blackbirds and finches.

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From: The Recliner To: The Psych Ward Re: With Love (a poem by request)

Another laidback evening here.
The wall opposite seems much the same
but, as always, who knows what might be
happening behind the bookshelves?

So many opinions crouching there,
slouching out from tattered covers
in attempts to infiltrate our days
with dusty smells of mould and must.

I judge them all by what they’re not:
the curve of collarbone below
the line of shadow moving between
tendons delineating a neck
craning to see, examine, find
how wings and limbs love evening light.

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Orchids and Bridges of Bern

Orchids. Blooming incessantly
in a window looking towards
the bight of river around Bern,
incidental, accidental,
bit of slack in the long blue rope
that is the Aare running down down
the slope of Switzerland; a fog
rising from it through the autumn,
smoking thick with winter, as if
the friction of gravity’s pull
urged water to flame. Every day,
in a window, old fingers pinch
at orchids to keep them forming
petals to be looked for from bridges.

image

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Note to the Ku Klux Klan

We know what it is you hide under
the reek of gun oil and cordite.
It stains the armpits of your shirts,
and yellows your silly costumes.

The scent of your fear seeps out
through the greening ink of tattoos
with a stench of hitlerite pamphlets
and the moldy aroma of bibles.

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November, Dim November

Autumn’s wind and rain strip away green,
bring an old copper sheen back to oaks.

But November, November, dim November,
you are mostly memory notched by night.

So this morning I wait and watch the gulls
turn long and slow, listless over the harbour.

The shallow angle of sunlight rings low notes
against the water’s belled curve to the horizon.

A flight of cormorants passes, dark and silent,
only the wind from wingtips stirs the surface.

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Quality of Life Unconscious Addition by Subtraction

I stopped at a corner store for bread and eggs this afternoon and, as usual, the radio there was tuned to the local classic rock station. As I was leaving, I realised that there are some things that could be removed from the world without me ever noticing they were gone, but that the simple subtraction of the minor annoyance I feel when such things impinge upon my awareness would still improve my life.

So, in no particular order, here’s a list of ten things I’d never miss.

  • Hearing a Neil Young song.
  • Hearing a Beatles song.
  • Seeing a Tarantino film.
  • Rex Murphy.
  • Reading a Maya Angelou poem.
  • Seeing a Terry Brooks novel on any bookshelf anywhere.
  • Seeing a Henry Miller novel on any bookshelf anywhere.
  • Another fucking translation of Rumi or Kahlil Gibran.
  • The odour of bananas.
  • Mormons.
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Let Great Wings Descend

Morning and evening clocks constrict the day.
If time must be measured measure it by when
The blue heron’s shadow darkens the bay.

Do not appoint an hour in which to play
At work or work at love, sleep or wake again—
Morning and evening clocks will thin your day.

Let the hissing sand of hourglasses stay
Silent, turn to stone. Let great wings descend.
Watch the heron’s shadow play on the bay.

The dark estates of night will always lay
Under the ticking pulsars’ sway. Why, then,
Let morning and evening clocks rule the day?

Tides are not channeled by time’s narrow strait.
Their slow dance with the moon fully depends
On how the heron’s shadow stains the bay.

So laugh aloud and saunter on your way
Until you can no longer apprehend
How morning and evening clocks strangle days.
Follow the heron’s shadow down the bay.

Posted in Astrophysics, Blue Heron, Cosmology, Epistemology, John MacKenzie, Language, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, The Moon, The Sea, The Sky, Tide, Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment