habit, hope, illuminations

A river to forget and another to remember

Here again every evening, like a ritual
I hear this ruckus of seagulls,
so far inland and no signs of rain.
I search for the meaning of this anomaly –
I’ve heard this primal dance predicts
some kind of mishap – a storm, perhaps
the ground suddenly moving underneath.
Equally violent and buoyant are
the games we play with our watches.
Trying to find in mythos an escape
and a healing, even though we know
Lethe only flows in the caves of Hades.
Yet we return again and again flying
to the planes of forgetfulness
looking for subsistence in leavings.


Hippocampus Hippocampus

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I stand on the banks of river Thames,
before crossing the bridge, I pause,
looking over at the water, the wind howling
A plaque diagrams the creatures of this water.
A seahorse is the shape of memory.

This heart moderates,
it has been mild for some time.
Strong currents can do that some time.

I remember now why I have carried it
on my back for a lifetime
studied its origins for months
walked for years backwards
and finally arrived.

Here at this corner
where the ink that was once foreign
has begun to blend in my skin.


Smoke & mirrors


I look around and see this summer day,
lovers in London fields,
smoke, laughter & mirrors.
Spreadeagled days of content hearts.
But everything is always, just out of reach.
Ships pass in the night,
a sparrow flies into a glass window.
Over and over, unable to understand
the very idea, of something
that seems clear, but isn’t.
A large cage, locked still.
Too often I have felt bound by flesh.
Thought time too linear, limbs too short,
map-makers all too selfish.
This desire to be everyone,
everything & everywhere at once.
Have you felt it too?


Blind date

You wouldn’t know it from sitting across her
but her ravenous appetite is gone

something has happened,
on the banks of this frozen over canal,

she has come undone.
In the distance she hears herself,

her voice doesn’t quiver,
her perfectly manicured nails mock her.

Nothing is as it seems.

All she remembers are two ducks
stuck in a river of ice,

frozen while encircling one another.
Forced rituals of courtship,

unknown mouths splitting her head in two
and spilling the remains in the sea.

change, illuminations

For a young lady fond of sweet things -don’t stop

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How is it on some nights,
eyes open as if to a new world
and things appear almost by magic.
A portal had opened momentarily
to the old poet sitting by himself,
reciting a poem to this lady fond of sweet things,
telling her to never stop, that she lived in a world
that belonged to a child, crammed with treasures of exotic plenty.
Impossible not to feel chosen then,
walking next to a kindred spirit,
smiling to song and light,
for a moment remembering the cinema in it all.
These motions, one step after another,
of asking, seeking, and finding
wisdom, like hot air—
not empty but enabling a lifting.
Meandering home (so intimate, the act of matching steps),
a wise fox passed by.
So much easier to dismiss it as chance
had it not looked her straight in the eyes
as if to say- wait, have patience and don’t stop.


Negotiating with self

On Columbus’s first voyage,
he found a free people,
golden, scarred and content.
Enslaving them to find the path
to gold, was his way forward.

Those who think they know the way,
have always denied others their freedom.
When did this denial of freedom turn inward?
Each step became a negotiation with self,
forward, backward, still, each step—a battle cry.

No one ever tells you
about the endless violence
of every day life.

It takes many missteps and lost wars
only to find, that the way out,
was to enter the woods and lose your way.


illuminations, Uncategorized

An opening of hearts


Today turning a corner,
on a street I have visited before
I found an old record store,
its only signpost- music that floats
and a toddler dancing just outside.

The matrimony of smells & sounds,
carried me to a summer,
in my grandmother’s house,
where the music never stopped,
tea was always brewing,
and there was never any shortage
of pens or playmates.

Today I am like the visitor,
entering the house where I,
not yet ten and tired of summer,
sat in a cupboard reading a book,
just as the store owner’s boy does.

The mind, like old cities,
hides its portals everywhere
and patiently waits for an opening.