Nuance

There is no mystery
In an onion—tear away
All the tissue-thin
Layers one by one. You’ll find
Nothing irreducible.

Posted in John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, New poems, Poetry, Social Commentary, Tanka, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Consider That I Am Mistaken

I’m sure there is someone I almost remember
Who may have once told me they’d never forget
The blue of my eyes in mid-winter sunlight
When the geese were long gone and the gulls alone
Might be heard over the harbour, a broken
Bagpipe band skirling in northwesterly winds.

I will not consider that I am mistaken;
That only the moon ever looked back at me
While I whispered under the evergreen trees
About how a dust from mid-summer lindens
Lingered, fragrant, on our January thighs.
I will not consider how often I’ve stood
Watching how the river enters the harbour
Under the bridge; current quick, quiet, and free.

Posted in Art is lies, Consciousness, Gulls, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Lindens, Memory, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Sonnet, The Sea, The Sky, The Wind, Wild Geese | Leave a comment

Snow In A Field At Night

I passed a painter all alone
Walking in the night, her eyes filled
With rods measuring remembered
Skies and their uncertain hues

Against wide wavefronts of blue
Twisting particles and pieces torn
From dying stars and galaxies
Into figures like me and you.

I saw the painter shake her head
And step into a field where grass
Rose tall and wild with greying heads
The wind wavered slowly through.

I left the painter there alone
Sketching memories in snow.

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Astrophysics, Chemistry, Consciousness, Cosmology, Cryptomnesia, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Marie Fox, Memory, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, The Brain, The Sky | Leave a comment

Winter Solstice

I lay in bed not thinking until
I thought of your breath rising slow
Between me and the hill silhouetted
Against the lemony western sky

Towards the last thin peel of moon
Curling away into the night.
Below us, skin of ice growing heavy,
The December river creaked and groaned.

Posted in Art is lies, John MacKenzie Poetry, Memory, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, The Moon, Winter | Leave a comment

Brightest At Night (a country song for Mike Leon)

I don’t know about you
But I’m a country star at heart
In the smoky spaces of my brain
The old standards are always
About to start

Each morning I shake off
Sequins—they fall like dust from my dreams—
And sweep them away with the past
That pursues me with the reek
Of burnt-out schemes

There’s no question left I can answer
So there’ll never be a need to ask it
I’ve burned all the bridges I’ve written
And I ain’t got no nest egg nor basket

I don’t know about you
But this son shines brightest at night
When the whiskey burns hot in my throat
And carbonized grudges turn to
Diamonds of spite

Each morning my hands shake
And I brush off the questions of why
And ask myself when, where, and how
I keep moving with no way
To say goodbye

Posted in Art, Art is lies, Art is theft, Cliches, Country music, Country song, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Michael Leon, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry | Leave a comment

The Movement of Hands

The moon is where now?
I have forgotten to look.
Time has tied itself
To the movement of your hands
On a keyboard in the night.

Posted in Art is lies, Autumn, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Micropoetry, New poems, Poetry, Tanka, The Moon, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Cold Wind

I know of others said to be better poets,
Who claim to speak clearly and truly of everything;
Whose eyes, they say, fall on mountains or rivers
And see always the shape of the lips that urge them

To freedom, whose ears hear whispers of affirmation
Day and night from sibilant forests streaming
Down towards the sea in the air we know the sun
And the ice caps spin between them as purposely
As ragged fingers twirl fraying threads of sweaters
While quarters fall occasionally into a bowl.

How can one hear anything but questions murmured
In the cadences of birdsong and waterfalls?
There is a cold wind across these deserts of cash
And carry; why do you not feel its sting on your lips?

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