4; Walking II


You’re a relief to see.
I’ve been seeing people I don’t trust…
who get my heart rate up in all the wrong ways.

You make me feel safe.

You make me feel like I’m not alone,
like I have a purpose here, like what I’m doing
actually matters.


It’s been me and you for many years,
these last two we’ve been rather close.
‘Can’t seem to get away from you anymore,
you follow me into crowded moments.

And I’ll have some conversation on our outings,
and you’ll be smiling along for a while,
listening to what we’ll talk about later in full.
And I shut the door of our home, and so begin your questions,
the voices, still warm,
the images, all in order.


I can feel your heartbeat down the hall.
I am that by which its pace is hastened.
I sense its pulse on my skin when you near.
I am aware of your presence.
I feel the air you move behind me.
My ears pivot as you pass beside me.
And you always walk away.


Hurrying off the moment we make eye-contact,
I reach out my hand to lay on your back, but
you are off on your way to the next step in your plans:
To sit among strangers, and commune with the dead,
with hopes that this will be the day
you make some meaningful contact with the living.

Recalling how much
we’ve done together?
How much we’ve accomplished
and how much we have failed?
How much we have lost in our efforts to gain,
that which we have made and raised…
and the meaning we’ve brought out from our existence?

Our patiently awaiting some arrival,
our sauntering with consciousness,
our pacing at the banks.
Whole spans of time unkept
save but in a glance of recognition…
otherwise, mostly inattentive,
as we tarried there a while,
cross-legged in meditations.

4.5; For Night

It seems you’ve become too much for me,
or maybe not enough.
Cold, for how far off the earth
has gone from sun.
Clouds have come in over on us from the sea,
spanning more than my sanity can bear.
Awake with you drawing closer all the while toward me,
no one else but you, nothing more than this.
Just too much time with you in night,
orienting myself in the dark
by the sound of your voice and the touch of things all.

And now my harder beating heart,
trying to keep me warmer from your cold,
just wants to be in bed
with someone else.
For here we’ve lain,
loveless, together,
for however many years,
lost to the conditions of the winter.
With but four good hours of me sleeping on my side
while you sprawl out all around me through the room.

But then, is warmth not why I’m with you?
and light not why I stay?

For I remember reaching out for you in summer during day,
to lay with you again on the blankets set outside.
Enraptured enough to be seeing stars,
those fissures in my vision, the shooting dots.
And using all my wishes up on you
without a second thought.
For hours more to just be there
With the coolness of your breath
all along my neck.
Sensing you and saying to myself
that magic does indeed exist.

While the sunlight spies on us from the other side of earth,
jealous with its telescope.
See its right eye dragging through the sky,
looking long on us in longing.
And when it comes back from afar you will be gone,
and I’ll be off to meet it for our business.
It plots…I see it trying to chase you at both dawn and dusk,
but never catching up.
You are too much for either of us it seems…
but somehow I’ve 1-upped the sun,
for here you are, on my heart
and in my arms.


I stood there in the alcohol aisle,
staring at the shelves, saying:
god I miss you…
remembering the time we had together,
the places where we were,
and what it was like when we were parted.

And I saw myself in the glass and plastic bottles,
like a fish which couldn’t accept there was a limit…
one illusioned
that it was swimming through an ocean.

Difficult it is to not regress,
when it seems like I have already relapsed.
Illusioned still to suppose that I’ve made way from you
with every day beyond our parting…
in times as these,
petrified in the alcohol aisle…
saying: god I miss you,
but unsure about the referent.


I heard you’re on your own again,
you’re proud I bet,
leaning always on your independent side.
But I’ve seen you weep so much these nights,
the full moon across your head…in our bed,
I’ve felt your still breathes shudder.
And your cries into the night,
and the cracks within your cries,
and your calling out through an empty house
for somebody to come.
The words you want to say,
your gazing off at nothing in the distance,
your sighs made off in secret.
Staring toward the floor, solemn, with signs of grief,
hidden in your countenance,
attempting to…?


And there’s that tear-drop stained pillow
you flip over in the morning…
before putting on some coffee
and getting back to work.

With a head-crab you let latch onto your brain by day,
leaching its strength from the outsources of your life.
And forgetting about what’s living there
in the closets of your mind.


O my love I miss you so,
how many things I’ve placed between us,
close as we once were.
Since this program started
I’ve forgot to slow things down…
only briefly is there calm,
busily I run from one work to the next,
thinking to myself that I’ll come around to you later
when there’s time…
that I haven’t made
for you.


Know that I still look to you in longing,
here under the ominous roof
of this other kind of work.
Rickety and cricking,
with the winds now calling me to come
and find you there.
The windows,
drenched and shaking,
like my psyche.
Thinking to myself that I was better off with you, alone,
both inside and outdoors,
for we would make the most with least as these.
But I cannot get to sleep so simply anymore,
for such things on my mind as these
which keep me from your presence.


Who am I to you anymore?
for still you come to me on your own terms.
Seeking my affections
only when and as they suit you.
Is it that you have no other place to go, or stay,
while the others are asleep?
Are we not the partners we once were?
teammates in the world?
Together, in our virtues,
and supportive through our vices.
Or are you now only in this for yourself?

Have your actions, plans, engagements,
before informed by my own,
become swept up in the currents of the world?
Have your various joys and sadnesses,
once bounding with mine,
strayed into a flat line while with me?
And I was once your muse, your inspiration,
from out of which was made your best ideas,
and damn-it all
since these of mine I find are still by you and yours.


Coming to me on your whims,
sneaking off as you do in early morning.
I’d watch you from the living-room window,
sitting in the yard with your back toward the house.
Your chest facing that fire
I’d imagine to be turning in your eyes.
The blinds are open wide,
but you haven’t turned to look inside
and I’m not sure you would see me…
Standing by you, silhouetted, sitting with you in that silence,
wondering if you’d recognize the referents
when I say: I care to understand you.


I’ve been away,
Estranged from you,
who I have realized I have missed,
and of the atmosphere containing the airs.
And it is as if some hidden abyss was all at once revealed
just as I was standing at its precipice
by an image of your sacred face,
flashed before my eyes.

Waking me to an awareness, and
vertigo at the threshold of the pit
to which I cannot see the end.
And so, step back, and sit,
and bow my head into your hands.


O that I had wooed you by my lyric! versed
from out of my berserking…
somehow my spirit reached you,
and impressed.

Broods and fury, mania and melancholy,
lamentation and jubilation, and the lull, and lust,
and longing, love, and loss upon you.
Absorbed, sublime as you are,
these cries out of my heart and thoughts
echoed into your vastness.
And the animal in your wild stirred,
lifted its head, listened close,
went in search.
Bounding over earth to fetch me
from the fields flanking the forests,
near the river and the orchards, to the source.


There is so much more to you than that,
I can see it in the way you speak with people…
and treat people, and relate to people.
But this thing you’ve been doing
is standing in the way of your relationships.
These haunts
you’re fighting off
will not be laid to rest this way.
And it’s only become more difficult, I’m sure,
doing this alone.


You’re lost, have faith,
the way ahead will find you as you go.
Walk, with every inch of day, walk
into the night.
There will be a sign
that will draw you forth.
If there isn’t one, make one for yourself,
which could be your guide in lieu of any other.

And are you so alone in this?
is that the difficulty of your task?
Do you listen for what calls you?
and follow the direction of its voice?
You will be well met
when you at last make it through
the thickets with the thorns…
there with they and this you’ve wholly loved,

then only may you rest.