Thursday, June 14, 2012

We Are

Grief older than the sea
Rawer than the cliff-face
Rips at the tops of the grove

We are giants, we are holy
Trembling is not in our nature
But our roots are being shaken

There is death colouring the sky
Slashing through the pines
And the taste of it is bitterness

Smell the sulphur as the lightning
Strikes,  splits an elder to the ground
The thunder booms triumphant

And we know the game is on - but
We bend together, try for grouping
Try for strengthening - stand as one

It is cyclical we know and can tell
This through the rings that count
Our age - but we also know the time

And feel it to the marrow of our wood
When the sky grows copper bright
And then is limned with lightning too

We whisper urgently as we huddle
Ever closer listening as the storm
Begins to take apart our lower limbs

It sounds like hunting season as shots
Are ringing out - each time a branch
Breaks off and one of us comes closer

To dying while the storm goes raging on
The storm goes raging on bringing death
With every crash, every flash, every sound

And all we can do in our terror, in our fear
Is stand bravely, and hold to our truth
We are older than the wind, we are ancient

We have outlived such chaos before
We must trust we will outlive this
As some of us fly apart in the fierceness

Of the end of days, the rest carry on
It is our destiny, our fate and we embrace it
We are the ones, we will stand tall, we are.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Over Dinner

Somewhere between the cheesecake
And the devils on horseback
They revisit a topic best left alone
The evening begun with such promise —
fine wine, crisp linen, dimmer switch low
music soft and tasteful; kitchen smells scrumptious—
Rapidly deteriorates, spins with concentric determination
Down, down, down — to the dark place
All too familiar to them both

She feels if she stretches her arms out,
Her hands will feel  cold, damp
No, not damp —slimy —slimy, wet walls
And she knows the walls will be closing
in on them, on her

He, on the other hand, feels as if the ground
is disappearing beneath their feet
That the more they talk, the less real his world
is becoming
Until soon it and he, will become entirely weightless
He knows there will be no keeping him grounded
That his drifting away from her will have
the permanence of death

Still – try as they might to quell them,
Bitter words, crisp as alum, fall from their lips
Spill like old blood on the empty china plates
Plinking like coins, each one louder,
Uglier than the last

Her hands fly to her face
Touch the heat gathered there and
the salty tears leaking freely
Her voice is stayed and she stares
at him blankly, wondering again,
How is it they have arrived at this place...

The silence gathers like snowdrifts,
catches his ear; he stops to listen,
Stares into her leaking eyes
They stretch their hands towards each other
Grasping for some remnant of their love,
Her lips tremble with the absurdity
Of the notion that they may try
This staying together thing  another time;
How can she consider the idea
For even a second, when they both come
From such vastly different places,
Remember such very different pasts

She tries to remind herself how badly
He rewrites her history
How embellishment is one thing but now,
Every recital  of her transgressions
Has her growing more evil, less well

Then, tonight – oh my God – tonight
She’d almost forgotten that they’d
actually opened
Old-new wounds, some things she’d believed
scarred over
Were apparently never fully slashed apart
in the first place
The fact of the fiction has her feeling surreal
She can't tell which way is up, north, down, east
Her discombobulation so great, she feels
physically unwell

How could her memory be this faulty?
Could she really be this far off the mark?
She feels demented – she knows she's
subject to sadness
And bouts of mania – but demented?
Does she also have to accept that?
Dementia seems such an old person’s thing...
Besides she couldn’t be wrong
about all of her history —
Could she?


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Deep Tissue Bruising

It is late in the day before she crawls
From the edge of the woods where
She's lain crumpled since her last beating

Since coming to,  her head is crashing
Crazily and her skin burns so, she fears
She might actually be glowing ...

Except for a tiny blood blackened split
Over one eyebrow, she appears unharmed;
Her bruises are of the deep-tissue type

And she knows as she draws to a crouch
First,  then finally hauls herself to her feet,
Walking is going to cause pain so severe

It will pierce every single part of her -
Bursting flowers of agony like fireworks;
It's not  the first time, she's had to chisel out

A normal seeming demeanor to get her
Through, but it's getting closer to the last