Nature and Spirit

Flower Ball, Minimalist

Flower Ball, Minimalist - Public Domain Images

Authored by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2001 All Rights Reserved.

This work may be freely reproduced, stored and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose. Conditions and Exceptions apply.


Then With The Dead

Then with the dead

we shall see

what all this being-here meant,

not the dark god

trembling in shade,

not the transubstantiation,

the sift of dust,

of ashes that once were hearts,

of sand that once was bone,

nor the absence

or presence,

but something else,

process of mind,

that which we really were,


with insubstantial things,

in the sea of time,

and not now among angels,

or men, but out there

with the earth

and its creatures.

Constructing a crystal of light


deep in the heart of the process,

a way,

so that each mouth, kiss,

memory, becomes

mind and its flickering.

You say this is loss. I say

it is what we are,

and will be,

and no longer flesh

on fire for stillness or stars:

so in the fragments of light,

looking back,

you will see with

the eyes of the dead,

what we are,

how we are,

the elusive signs

of our being.


In the intertwined mind

two shadows

closed together,

lock together their other-time

place of arousals

with fire and joy images


in a similar site.

Joining of clocks and light.

Hands of mind



at the core of the sworn sea,

finding a moment.

Not till I clasp you in darkness

lie down

in the bed of grey clouds

on the hills,

not till I sign

the covenant of gold,

and the dark of your hair,

will the god sink to a halt,

his rod on the ground,

to regard the man

in seminal dawn.

In the dark joined

to the height of a tree,

body is mind,

the prayers are known,

the response,

the alphabet’s letters are known,

each one has its place,

the stars change constellations

in time

to a sharper line,

we see each eye in the dark,

see how it works,

what it sees,

the amazing pain, the strange

unworldly slots, voices,

the chain, the beaten gold,

the flesh, the core.

Mirror of Light

In the tree’s

light-burst and burden

of flower

is the silent

growing of what

comes to be

from itself beyond

this bounded knowing.

And the world opens

a glove

to show us a hand

that is empty

world in the core

of ourselves

the shiver of light.

Who knows from what

meaning we come,

birds of no passage,

found here, rootless

with no nest

and no tree,

only this space,

and pure time.

In the tree’s flare

of white, in the ditch

where the thorn tree explodes,

in the bare field,

the lines of mute earth,

I wake: we wake:

you wake: and they –

all the white hedges.

And where they stay

flickering, dying,

we move on

into a further process

another becoming,

lost in it.

You are an eye, a mouth,

a word, O, a word,

and I am

a mirror

where pain

and joy


World Does Not Wait

World will not wait

for us, silent,

it shines,

over the ancient face, over

stone, chest,

column, root,

hedge, or the source

of the water.

World gleams for,



empty of time. We,

we are the process,

of time,

unwritten text,

un-pressed wax,

the bud, the unopened one.

World, light,

in the deep dark

flickering and stirring,

so that mind touches


and flesh touches flesh

and we


for a moment

the columns of fire.

Brightness rests

in the object,

the word,

in the careless possessed

that, un-possessed,

lives beyond us.

We should be joy,

our fate is not

to be encased in this Earth.

Live. Live beyond.

World will not wait

for us, but always, waits,

always, there,

its silence, power

still soft, vibrating,

to daze the heart,

make us find

the love, that shakes us,

for inanimate things,

and so

prepares us

for the animate.

All Mountain, No Eye

Universe, free of cause,

owns this existence,

sweet nature’s complex,

manifold, twist

of idea,

bright wisp of inner light,

solid, to hand.

Loving the line of mountains,

cloud, valley, air,

distance as open,

this human shape

rendered small.

What sight, trembling, the weight,

powerlessness, outreach!

You without reason,

you yet exist,

sweetness, a human

sweetness, an incandescence.


Your words

brought to mind,

Khajuraho, Ajanta,

where no-one

is object.


black, white

on the purer glass,

I entered the mind

you once had, and saw,

the light falling

over your nakedness,

not unclothed,

your openness,

not revealed,

girl in the dancing.

Sexuality fired in you there

like the burns of a high jet,

but I say you search

through the given,

and undressed gazes,

for the other text

for this poem, your life,

this moment that is no

thrust of bafflements.

It comes away clean, clear.

I help you say it: shape it.

What We Do

What we do to the creatures,

don’t mouth it silently

as though our species

could claim expediency’s

moment of non-forgiveness.

All the lives of the creatures,

thrown down carelessly,

hidden silently,

scattered secretly,

these objects, commodities,

these not

the images we

cultivate: beauty, an

unsullied innocence.

What we do to the creatures

unforgiving, is, un-forgiven:

it haunts the true mind

the tender, the clear one.

Little Love Song

I know knowledge

will not save us,

our story, or applications,

incoherent forms, our texts,

or arcane arguments,

our hive, our bee-song,

fragile cultivation, sparse,

of the long-damaged garden.

But in the roar and hum,

where light fragments,

in the slow distress

of unrealisable dreams,

I ask a finer setting

for you, clear one.

What we, what you and I, make

is finer,

a name, a substance

we know

cannot save us,

but is pure,

and is ours.


The core of wisdom

in the heart of the bush -

do you know it, slender,

in winter, or spring,

before leaves

break out of the wood?

You must split the branch open

put silence to your mouth

taste it, smell the deep fragrance,

feel the damp sap

on your lips,

the cool flame

of its presence

over your fingers.

Its value is being,

it does not subscribe

to this substance of ours,

cities, laws, powers,

what corrupts, and objectifies.

It is itself, and its species,

and has no name,

you need to know,

recognise it by its fragrance,

always, there.

The Gate

We go beyond,

the openness,

the gate,

this absence that others don’t see.

We go accepting void

naked risk,

precise engagement,

without cover, or defence.

It should be shining there

when we walk by,

the clear portal

through which we pass and re-pass,

miraculously, through which

our hands meet,

transit, return,

this doorway

this place we go, to be,

in which we do not

seek a strategy, or make a move,

outwit, out-think, out-flank,

but touch, infinitely,

touch, endlessly.


You became

the shade-tree,

starred dark,

pierced mouth of fruit,

fragile light-bearer.

I know how

eternity ticks through you,


you pour all-colour’s silence


the electric nerve serene,

its quiver of blue

turned to me, face,

pure shape,

what we are

poured over you,

white seed

of the far place.

Fruit for me.

Rest, weight

in the lost palm,

my leaf


your night

with gold, red

buds of birth,

each with no name,

the myriad,

in smoke, dawn, mist.

Make the shade-tree,

pillar, stream,


of beams, hot lines

etched in skin

dip stalks in rose,

vermilion, blood of light,

then give


your green.

Through the form, blue fruit,

I know that

we are not,

nor you,



solace, eye-scar,

with silence

seal it.

Be body.

Be there.


Eye lost,

eye lost in you,

trunk, peeled


Down the maze,

the leaf-floor,

shimmers of light.

While you

with mind’s pain


smoke, water, dream-sleep

and I

in your pain, quiver

and am still.

To be unfit

for life,


for eternity

is to gaze,

make, wait,

to tell,

is to dare to tell,

to say, look,

to stand,


Not to consider

the self,

not to escape,

to move,

towards ecstasy,

inch by inch,

to bare mouths,

of lips,

to vanish

in wood.


with grey, violet,


I conjure: he conjured

towards inner light

or inner dark.


Gold light,

ankle-veil of emblems,

fingers that crook

to the blue-white

mound of eyed breast,

gathering the sleeve of

bed-cloth, slow, mind-deep,

vanishing from here

into the entering,

lift foetal legs

and flow-caught

mouth, lips, closed eye-crescents


the gold thigh, the parted,

stream of hair, thought,

dreams, un-thought.

Endless gold

eternity in you,

from you, runs,

you open,

are opened

by time, molten,

coining fate’s

jewelled river,

without pause,

until, hours deep,

it buds, the breast,

it’s swan grace

and the mouth’s

vertical slit

parts, the side-wise face

glows with fire, the hair,

thighs, part,

naked being

sings, at the gate.

You sleep, dream

for ever, until never

cannot be woken,

seeded, conceived,

shudder, quiver,

coiled shell,

silent tree,

signal of flesh,

untouchable, redeemed,

by eye-dark dream-road,

union, fruit-flower,

caress of

gold light,

emblem, icon.

Not To

Not to bleed life out

into the saleable text of the heart,

making them fine

all the events that

burden and shame,

not to trade

in the store of the heart,

to address not to use,

to say you,

to have care,

for the mortal core.

Not to sell the heart,

not to lay

yourself on the slab,

on the bed of facts

that neutrality claims

as exoneration.

To choose every word,

live every word,

for mind’s integrity

frail spirit’s

compromised being.

By Now

Everything natural

has flowered.

Be easy with giving,

with spirit,

reject what makes

use, subjugation, object,


edges of violence,

accept what is shared

entered together,

surrender’s a mode,

and so, cradling,

with trust, respect and love.

Nothing should shock the eye

or mind, that is body’s grace,

without mind’s abuse, the subject,

seen or unseen:

no one a voyeur,

who looks with love

and the tenderest eye,

an un-shocked acceptor.

Yes, the erotic is charged

by subversion,

by entry to space that’s forbidden:

the paradise, private,

and so against every rule:

to sense, to risk being seen,

to break the barrier,


the visible

and the most animate.

Everything natural’s come to be

in the sensual grasp, and arousal,

those things that fuel love,

all that stirs body,

excites the clear mind,

ventures in mystery,

risks its relationship,

jealousy, strength, and surrender,

moments of pure revelation,

what reveals, what comes,

what points like a signal.

Be easy with it: protect it,

tender, from all exploitation,

from itself turning to object,

from every trade, from all commerce,

from power, from transactions of power,

from barter, go, make it pure,

a giving of body, mind, spirit,

from the deep self to the deep self,

where nothing else can be seen:

everything natural,

everything natural has flowered.


Red-burning flower,

and yellow.


hands I reach

out to you

grow to you,

all-naked light.

The dark, and flame

that connects us,


drips, pains, severs.

We learn. How? We learn:

we recover the heart.

White, seminal seed


white fall of light


sap we transmute

from what merges.

Space overhangs,

forms climb it


a face in a face,

an eye in an eye,

turned now.

It moves through us,

is time,

I enter: I leave,

you move away


you bud, you flow.

Red-burning flower

and yellow.

It has no name.

It descends to you,

it is lowered, pours

towards you,

becomes heavy,

is fire,

enters the Void

with you.

We exchange

its silence,

its weight.

On Judgement Day

Word, the corrupter,

wait to judge me.

What I have laid out,

let it be taken,

by the sly snake

under the stone.

Word, the liar,

prince of liars,

who flatter me, and

reward me with lies.


don’t judge me.

What is said is not truth.

Truth is shame.

What I did and did not

do, achieve, you judge,

judge me, not

Word, the corrupter.

Mind Pass

Night’s tower.


a light-shaped


formed of

recumbent petal, ah,

shaved from the arc,

wanders by.

A grey fire

shadowing the stone,

its unwritten word,

is clear.

A fragment falls

from its mouth

like a coin,

minted from time,

and rings

on the floor.

Its dark ochre

of eyelid

closes and opens.

Cut eyeball gleams.



over a wall,

beyond it,

leaves glow.

Bones tremble.

Between us

a filament


switches on,

bitten by wind,

blown, fused.

At a distance

you pass, repass,

solitary mind

with something


deep, buried,

of mine.


Dross gone down

and burnt,

the heart so clear

it sees

in the space of the flower,


vibrations of light,

sees the dark

negative self

curl in the fire’s flames,

the unsought Self.

Easy destroying

the surplus, the excess

matter of life,

the waste of our waste,

the Things. Hard

to change beings.

When the flames lick

the paper, walk

over the word, the iron

consumes, melts

to white brittle embers,

flakes of exhausted snow,

that do not lick my heart.

But in the dark they come again, burning:

the bitter lining, it burns, of

the night-bound soul.


Words are not stones

nor mind a thing:

what’s set before you

is not world

but thought’s space

an un-solid light,

stone, leaf, stem.

Light is not star

nor the planets

on plates of dark

the eye touches:

poems are not

truth, which to become


must be purified, known.

Not-naming of things

in infinite detail

is heart’s release

from this earth,

and this place

not in space.


To stand there


on the up-slope

of milky rock

and bent fir.

To be there alone

in a caul of thought



break, from the quick

life, to ancient space:

and there be consumed.

What I have read I remember

like fired-over scrubland

a waste in which, deep

down, old seeds revive.

To make it

alone is


for contact

touch of the spirit

on one other spirit:

cold stones, creek,

fire, leaves, air

on the mountain.



the deep transfer

loyalty achieves,

is to sing close,

to write close,

over the body,

and under the heart.

So that the man,

who stands in the wood, by the tree

and the woman

who lies coiled in the sheet

are one, and one.

Identity’s not

what we think.

The flow of exchange

makes bird, and tree:

branch, and feather:

music of lichened twigs:

and soft wings splintering

the sap-wet air.


is a deep tremor,


blood and veins

of the soul.

OK I See

Wind on the mountain’s edge

throws up a white cloud

into the sky,

beyond where

pine squats on the slope,

and one hawk hangs,

in your illusory eye,

this galaxy

small as it is

turns, vast,

between time

and the universe.

Little thing

little thing, human,

consider the stars,

cloud’s eye,

the wind down

the rock slopes,

dying away,

in the valley below.

At the End of the Night

You came,

hand of silence,

face that weighed

against the shift of stars,

your body

swung on a light-beam,

your eye

was moon’s eye

seen through a cube,

water, its arch,

you smiled, you sang,

you danced in the

depth of the sound,

in its inner vibration,

in heart, mind,

and the tremor of spine.

It does not


what path you

came on,

what bodies you crossed,

who offered you salt

from the sea,

what hollows you passed

through, to reach here,

to be here

or why you entered

the leaf, or the


of truth and surrender.

World falls, earth falls

to spirit,

and you, and I,


there is nothing beyond

nothing before


its naked movement

in air

nothing more

than with no faith,

see what they saw,

the ones on their knees,

in front of time’s process,

that passage of mind.

Feel it: you gaze

at me from the silence:

I speak from the night.


And our sex reaches

down to the deepest place of our being

so that it is

the fine spirit

that burns, blazes with life,

and cannot be object:

and spirit’s

the same word

the same act


shaped, to become

the expression of spirit,


body, the mind’s

final engagement

sealed under the hand

through the eye.

Nature, beauty

ecstasy’s exquisite being,

are sexual fire

mounting flame

that shivers, and trembles,

there at the core of light,

takes all you have

to give all you are

into the realm of

the other.

Deny, and be less

than the dead

their fire shines on:

less than the earth

winged and furred

clawed and limbed.

Dance it, sing, know it,

translate the words

from object to spirit,

all of the acts from time

to the timeless

deny the game

spoil the trade, break

the levers, refuse,

do not allow

that spirit be lost.

Your sex


down to the furthest

space of your being

and is spirit

and cannot be


declare it, transmute.

Bone, Ash, Gold

Shadow, shade,

life behind life,

bone, ash of the gold

desert of evening,

the sage-brush waste,

this landscape of time,

blue stone,


dune, shore place

of cuttlefish-purse,

medusa, anemone,

crab carapace of fire,

green silence,


past we embed in us,

layers of ash, rings,

of aleph-smoke,

bring to our sleep,

to our turning

in an embrace,

redeem it, redeem it,

or we interwoven

are less than the dead,

the candle,

the pillar of wax, the flame,

the seminal verb

of the dark,

less than Babel


flickering image,

less than the


drone of nothing.

Climb the tower,

find it, behind

what is mask, behind

hollow backdrops

of nowhere fabric,

find the word

over, around

crystal bay,

flowing tide

of naming,

find gleams

of sunken life

flash, follow

the quick scare

in wave-glare.

Redeem, what was,

should not have been,

and lives,

unless in every hour

we bury, erase,

quench it, and then

resurrect here, and hold.

Going Through

Life spent falling,

re-writes its history

till cut stone is

placed and carved

with true line,

and chaotic rock

in the leaf-choked cleft,

becomes silent, forgets

its fruitful origin.

Beauty is something

nearer, more intimate,


sweet than we know,

and the fall, the plunge

of the mind, that fall

is not true until death,

and we are not free, here,

trying for freedom

failing, and falling.

Not what Lao-Tzu said

but his vanishing

through the, over the, pass

like a bullock

through a needle’s eye,

and a hint of grey

light behind

smooth grey cloud.


Light, do you come

back to the house

of our true gaze,

the word-house,

and my speech

and your speech

in silence?

Travelled: through

what hurt the eye, froze,

and became wood,

light as the twig,

from which rose

a broken fragrance?

Light do you come

back to the room of the heart,

the animal spine,

and the places

sewn on the sky,

the most sacred places?

How silent you are.

How can you mind

what echoes in me?

Does it move you?

Light do you come

down from the flow

of the star, up through the wave,

back to the house

of the stair,

the word-house,

your speech,

and my silence.


Curl towards me.

Be fate.

Vein-throb, delicate

line of the eyelid.

In light

after night

naked you turn

to me.

Your breasts a

child’s eye, you

now a tongue

of sweet child

and woman.

It takes no time

to go deeper

than all things,

uncaused existents:

a smile can do it,

a touch, earth’s

crazed fires.

Love in the Mind

Love in the mind is


love that is care.

Love in the body is


that we can bear.

Sweet as the heart

that lives,

on gentle things,

the tenderness

that in the spirit sings.

Love in the mind is


truth that we dare,

and in the body


that we can bear.

Make. Do.

Making do with words, I kiss you with them,

in the silent, sweet, word-veil drawn

across time’s mouth, in silence.

Mouthing words, sending them through space,

I find you with them, and enfold you,

in words of light, in silence.

With what we have to do time makes us

each familiar, in silence of our words,

and silence beyond words.

With Truth

Words, the levers, be my sweet signal

to all negatives, all denial,

renew the root-depths, clear the channels,

with beauty, grace, lay out the form,

and from the single step, the twig,

each bud, each line, lift from the earth

some shape of what we are, some sign.

The Whole Thing

Mind from power made it, now undo it, back

through all, trembling, to leaf, one stone, one

mind alive, one thing that no one owns, no one’s

clothed breast, down to spirit’s subversive

stillness, down, down, denying power. Form.


Let me track over your body

the curve of the earth, clefts

down hills, mounds, bowls of valleys,

ah, dark sweet pool of clear light,

under tall trees, until I’m in touch

again with all earth’s beauty.

Mountain hangs in the air, sun,

tree’s ascending crown, I hang,

you hang, in air, over the abyss.

The void, no names, mates us, hole

of form, returns us formed to

sweat-dried coolness, curve, line.

They Go

Vanish into earth, the dead: their voices

return. Time is no place, the word

is the real in our dream. Fooled into seeing

matter as world, power as world, you fail,

I fail: we fail to understand

this. That the powerless dead go down

into the earth, and they return singing.


You enter, radiant

energy, light, spread wide to receive

time, space, blue heaven, cloud:

she’s flow, the wave’s flute, arc,

the crozier-curl, lute-neck, bodily instrument,

her sinews, strings, scales of being, notes

plucked, wind, thorn, rock, bark, sand, pulse

of a valley, hills, the rippled summits,

radiant light.

Write the Poem

Make out of this nothing: from the nothing take

the name of a star, or a plant, or the action of heart,

let yourself dream, let matter slide

down the slope of the ages, onto the rock-pile.

Value, make values, not options, courage,

tenderness, are not relative, beauty is beauty,

its surface of change, truth is truth,

the non-word’s a non-word, a lie.

Love is not seen, known, made in hatred.

Make. Form. Write the poem.


Under temple’s cool eaves, stone lines the sand,

makes islands: cedars, cypress, water go down

through mossed alleys, but that’s nothing, aesthetics,

not spirit, that makes all aesthetics, beauty

from inner grace, being from inner light.

Fir, pine, fragrance, statues, cornices

arcades of smooth-pillared shadow,

until sitting, gazing, half of the mountain hangs there in light,

and beneath it the free heart sings.

Green twigs, bark, pale, cracked grey lichen:

all spires, domes, roofs, eaves imitated:

Blind Nature here first.

Mind Real

Seed hair on stem, the wave, the leaf.

Let people never be things, power’s

levers, dumb victims, let them never be owned.

Her reciprocal gaze, now, her grace,

bind with all values, loyalties, be sure

that the spirit holds, sings, the mind real,

the cities light as air.


Holding, we try to hold back, to snatch back

the passing of things, freezing their form.

The life of form though is formless energy,

breaking, taking, until there are no names,

no forms, but forms’ seethe, under world’s surface.

We try to return, to hold things in passing,

beauty, the glance of an eye, we wish ourselves

back into them, those gone, grappling with time,

memories truer than things, more real than objects,

holding us, binding us to the passing of things.


You tremble over my hand, in my heart, it is

the bright evening that sings.

In order to know you, I love you.

I love you in order to sing.

You look through my eyes, you undo

the lattice of darkness,

you are the light that moves

on the mist-clouded tower.

Moon melts down the sky.

You become image

mirrored by light, naked, so as to become

clothed, clothed so as to become.

In order to sing you, I love you.

I love you in order to sing.

No Self

No self watches the light on a cliff,

rooted rowan. Cloud, silence, leaves

they all evaporate. We must learn

to leave light intact, to stop

burning, breaking, twisting,

leave all this whole, and alive.

Burn, break, twist self,

pushed inside grey rock,

under the couch grass,

tossed in the wind.


The mind is a crystal, this world’s

a sliver of ice, its pain, its distress.

Remembering you, naked, is to be

filled with light,

green pine, clear under snow.

Remembering this, in all insanity,

the mad world’s labour, is

peace, this time’s midnight moon,

these naked hands, this face,

this thought like crystal.


From the ledge of this century, look back,

look deep, discard all your society.

To those who cannot distinguish the real, the clear –

it stops, here, turned light in the mind.

Nothing supposes we must live like this.

Not nature. Time. Not silent universe

bright under the eye.

This strangeness is: where we are strangers.

Go back then, to the human, seeing, eye.

Start from there.

Let Go

Let go. It sings. The empty sky:

has a roof, and four directions.

Through your head the white cloud passes.

This pine’s world is real, yours is not.

First learn not to think of what can be.

Don’t accept. Death, not Life, is acceptance:

learn absence, darkness, fire.

One world? Pine’s world is real, yours is not.

After Orpheus

Howled from the stone silence,

pierced, like Balder by the green twig,

through his maddened head and hands

brightness of her retreating image,

was word, Muse, voice, and stillness.

Leaves thrashed in Maenad trees,

branches lifted. Spears of light

in darkness. Orpheus howled.

But after the death, in the dumb Void’s

lament, stones, trees, and creatures gathered,

gazing. The shattered lyre, the broken mouth,

the severed tongue bled, with stars, and air.

What eye floats down the widening river?

What snake coils on the bitter slope?

What mind opens the gates of the dead?

What hands meet there, in Elysium?

You Ask

Earth, you ask the return of the rose,

the wet hour, the blossom of light.

You ask and desire the return of the rose.

Word, find a way back to the root of the tongue.

Be un-deceived.

When We Are Dead

When we are dead they open the gate of the dark.

Not this wind now, freshening the trees, closes our eye.

You are the colour of hand, the meaning of eye.

Above us they build a dome filled with sound.

Orpheus breaks the strings, and no-one may own us.

There is a key to enter. It is love.

When we are dead they take thorns, shadows, flames,

and a name. They conjure with names when we have died.

They speak in whispers of those who elude them.

We though laugh, cry, are moment of water, ice, root, air,

all belief. What resembles you is what I resemble, the world,

oh after we’re dead they’ll open the gate of the dark.

Nothing escapes them. Except, the slenderest of spirits

inhabits the eye, the ear, inhabits your hands, your face,

you who are made of the colours of light, and the voice of night.

No Confession

To be a poet is not to write. There is

a role for the tree. The light recognises a branch.

To be a poet is not to confess.

Cassandra speaks in the silence. This world

is never enough. To be a poet is not to say

there is only Andromache, or Briseis.

On the last tip of the thorn of the rose

of a single contemplation, of a unique reckoning,

burns the solitary hour of freedom.

Your Dress

You change your dress. Jealous light

re-invents you. This private time

no one but you can enter. Who can speak

with mouths of fire, the pure dialect

of conjugation? You have my eyelids,

I have your fingers. You walk,

over my lips, a leaf on a tree.

We throw away pointless earth, birds

without shadows. We wait. Perhaps

nothing will arrive, perhaps everything.

The darkness is full of light.

Breaks itself, sun, on a reef of rock,

sea glints. What is the purpose of wave?

This private time only you tongue,

swallow, say, only you, and we laugh and cry.

You change your dress. Lovely, jealous

light reinvents you. I bathe my hands here.

I listen to leaves. They evaporate into the sky

of vanishing wings. You leave me nothing

to say, you, leave me everything to say.

On Either Side

On either side of the wall, breathes

the fire of your eyes. On either

side of the light a hand moves. I

have made you from night and

give you back to the darkness.

I have loved you beyond love,

remembered the times, never

spoken of, you, and entered your

shadow, exhausted the meaning

of silence, and have not forgotten.

On either side of the wall an eye waits:

it considers the mirror. The fire of your

absence, its vision, its fears, its finality

pass us by. Feeling goes by. Unsleeping

you lie, absent, then absent you sleep.

Between your hands goes the fire, and then

stillness. In you the moon goes, you vanish,

a flower, a star. You mouth the word, always

it breaks, it falls, the floor stares at the mirror.

The rain suddenly reflects the sky.

On either side of the wall you come and go,

open it to windowless birds and a tree.

What is left of us? Spirit, the flame of a body,

body the spear, or the cup of spirit, between star

and stone, where rain falls, becomes, mirror,

mirror melts to evaporate, to rise, to rain.

I have dreamed you forever, crossed each

space of your presence, and being, never

talked of your hair, or eyes, watched

your gaze, mirrored, and have not forgotten.

The Passage of Time

Your shoulders defeat the silence of light,

within the one flesh intimacy gathers. A head,

a head, an eye, you look up at the eye. A bird

rotates in crystalline space, a flower. You become,

you enter the night. You are seen at a distance.

You rise from the stillness of laurel, a tree.

Your shoulders defeat the downpour of light,

they gleam in the silence. I learn how not to despair.

Your head, your face, defeat the silence of light.

Time becomes crystalline, a bearable fire. You

inhabit remote places, appear in spaces unseen.

In a space, in an unknown house, on a field. Your

memories fail to be mine. I create you in them. I

take your form into imageless night, build you a past.

Your head, your face, defeat the silence of light,

the passage of time becomes crystal, bearable fire.


In the room their hands touched, insubstantial smoke.

Light dropped from the curtains onto the bed, despairing.

On the floor, below the mirrors, night first had to end

for the memory of their memory to begin.

In their garden of distracted creatures

the light of sun and moon occupied the sky together.

Time went by in silence carrying the word.

Light ran trickling down a deep furrow.

She laughed, played, cried: all books, songs, views,

slept in the curve of her throat.

Slowly they covered the fruit of a myth, it bled.

With absent mouths they ate each other’s portion.

On careless tables she reached the shelf of sighing.

He followed a thought into the labyrinth: saw

hands filtering sand, buried the light there.

Naked fingers. A nothing-rose.

They considered the burning sky, the fall of waters.

They ate their substance

became insubstantial shadows.

As they were silent, joy went by.

Their eyes made the land of mountains and sea.

Its tears they watched like seasons.

In the room they invented love and set it moving.

What they spoke were hours, eyelids, waves, fires.


Slowly Persephone plucked the last flower,

in dream it was blue or white. Time ceased,

the dry earth quivered with fierce larval light.

She expected nothing: child.

Earth split in a distant time, not now.

The darkness came out of the ground.

She offered herself, was not taken.

Disease embraced her, was a darker sap,

a stranger flow in the veins, she drew away from friends,

her lap full of disintegrating flowers.

She gazed through the ground saw luminous fire,

and went clutching in her hand the key of return,

the broken petals of the unconscious rose.


The world’s white light is cool as ice or stone.

Though we encounter travelers, like ourselves,

our lack of purpose makes for purity.

We have intent and aim, a local need. World passes by,

its night, deep, smooth as flesh, a skin of rock, or flame.

Though we see other travelers, time amazes,

and reaching out, for nothing, we touch the world,

this pointed holly leaf, green edge of light,

this strangeness here, a fire for no good reason.

Little Song

What does the heart want, meaning and care:

the mind wants silence and time.

Your heart sings with the cliff and the dawn:

mine watches the light.

What does the body want, water of place,

dark depth of the pool.

Your body sings with the flame and the night.

Mine sings with the truth.

Index of First Lines