Integrated Change

@integratedchange

Poems for living at the edges of worlds.

2,317 words

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Halifax

Her birthday, then upon the dawn
I left my snowy mountain-peaks
and headed through the plains,
the town that has a body-name
then icy snare that held me where
mom's stories live and kids still
rhyme obscenely with the monarchy.

Slept that night on dad's dime
and the morning slowed me down,
but not enough to interrupt
my upstream flow to Fox's run,
with diesel and the setting sun,
past flakes and flashing lights to
rest where plow-trucks own the night.

Where his trek ended, mine resumed:
I pushed on through a brighter day,
clothes-changing in the driver's seat,
a burger from the classic chain
then counting time and kilometers
till social studies shipped me off
to sister's air-filled guestroom bed.

Before I left the capital zone
she gifted me that mattress;
I stuffed it in my brimming car
and made a final day of roads
to Eastern shore, where traffic
got me late for dinner, but home
in time to taste the windy Spring.

Meeting Your Gaze

The simplest thing—
peering into a pair of eyes—
yet nothing less than the
whole world held there
in a moment, dancing
through a mote of light.

I cannot hope to know
what led those eyes to me,
or take on the way they see
any more than a heart
can feel what guides
its pulsing walls.

There is no thing so right
as how the eye proves wrong
both scientists and saints:
the eye just sees, as poor
as well, resealing self
in every optic cell.

Unflash, a trailing thought
can blink its glassy glow:
I find your gaze anew,
here at the front where
memory lost its tattered
curse and we relent.

We simply are, simply see,
whatever that might be:
touching only through
the obliquest, raking
path of photons cooked
in astral cauldrons.

Assailing no more, the soul
takes flight and now may find
itself free, completely you
and fully me: for a meeting
is simply nothing more
than preparing to pass by.

Abstract Bodies

As with flux, so with the fires of our veins,
bundled impurity roiling at receding shore.
Coils could cool into puddles of pools and
gather apart like the quicksilver smeared
across non-toxic paper in the hands of
learners lacking hazardous waste policies.
The buckle of a chest is sometimes amiss
not to the clothed eye, but known by a hand:
each one of us, to a man, is brokener still
holding the pressure of hearts underfilled,
that limitless torment winking, blinking,
thinking, stinking up the place without any
noise or absolutely a trace of disrespect.
Coldly, some sheaf of mildewed epidermis
might set the place-mat for these talents.

Quilt of Memories

Pale marks and figments of leftover meals
enshrine each and every feeble attempt
to start fresh. In the congregating din
(so many children hammering nails into
useless planks) long-abiding chaperones
may touch an arm—softly and without
rebuke—indicating available space to
refocus attention across those misty
billows of thought, movement, laughter.

Take a part from that textile decay laying
out on the lawn. Patch it into a worn
field of scars where trunks and trumpets
loop outward in golden-greys still pliant.
Make a new stain on an aged land-plot where
mustard and muskets play tug-of-war, since
times overturning time and heaps of spirits:
feel so connected to the total, hereditary
awareness of what is still left to be done.

Minified Ablutions

The drip-dim cellar of a star,
where one story contacts another
and the whole folds in on itself,
breaking and remaking the chances.

On banks of ice an eagle stands
in wait of silver, now winging
upwardly across my view and down
to something still more promising.

A gentle hum distorts some pain
and echoes in an old chorus
to beckonings providing space
for other kinds of vital rhythm.

And plastic, always plastic,
never far from plastic in this
tortured refossilizing realm,
using and disposing all we touch.

To sustain is to refrain or to
let go of what might come again
and open doors we've long forgot
that cannot take us back too far.

In the screaming expansion where
dust congeals and gives us ground
to stamp, seal, and overturn with
the liquids of our time, we wait.

An arm on a shoulder, the warmth
of breath, and perhaps there is
more than this, though finding out
means to depart and still not know.

Flight

What a gorgeous nightmare
unfurling there in front of me
and further, a parachuting
piece of instinct settling
down into the autumn wind.

Everything's a Fiction

We are all novelists:
for each and every
strand that builds
from thought or feel
to an ink-ling, somehow
real composes other
realms and worlds that
give us ways to live
and hurl our hopes
toward the sky: there
is no truth that's not
a lie because I can
say yes or no, and
with my wishes you
could sow new seeds
that just might grow
into a brand-new home
for each and every
strand that builds
into another truth.

The Heights

I make away on teetering shelves
of wind-worn stone to mark a new
horizon all my own, saltpetering
inward to the marrow of this
globe's indecent bones, in
hopes of carving a new home.

Without a wing to leap aloft
or fur so soft to move a hand
toward my head, my back: I stand
with arms outstretched and
hugging still the wildest reach
of mountain-sill, untanned.

The marbled heights grow paler
here, and in I peer to canyons
with springs so boundlessly
clear that harbingers of sons,
of suns mirror calls for any
soul to hear, so soundlessly.

A shrieking star could blind me:
paralyzed for white-washed ghosts
to find me at the hollows of a
coast dissolved by air-borne
salts and mist suspending
ethers kissed and motion-mulled.

No fortress here abiding any
clicks or booms of tidings
from those dead-set to reduce
my mighty peaks to simple roosts
upon the world's worn crown
where giant minds make proof.

You alone will notice how
the worn creases on the brow
of Odin's veil can settle now
that we have found another time:
entreating those the sages hail
as devildoms from Muspelheim.

The Very Fabric Wavers

Underearth: while rootsy rhizomes entangle
from seed-casings busted and decaying,
change emerges on sunless, twisted angles
that coil in knots of fibrous chafing.

Above such interminable depths those
origins always flex, to once again imbue
a sea of stalks that shivers as it grows
with blades that bow to mottled, mulchy dew.

These are the facts that matter for rot,
vitality once again sustaining old
dreams of compost weaving life from not,
in heaps of vibrant, active, soggy mold.

The new is the same, re-sheathed and shining
like skin stretched taught over a mild burn
and all writhing, teeming life still pining
beckons: world, work your incandescent turn.

On My Way Back

I'm on my way back
after an age and a
half spent without
myself, for all that
feeble loyalty
devoured by those
ungracious souls
that cannot ever
feed me what I need
most or provide the
solace I want within
my own hard-baked
soft-shell so brittle
and ready to fall
apart into your
gentle, open hands.

Inside

You have such a rich inner life which
bobs and weaves, past all those chained
and whirring gears in lovely, seething
incompatibilities and contradictions.

Mechanisms can't hold the brightest
blessings you provide, because they
hide so deep inside within the
dimmest recesses of your old abyss.

When another soul contacts them,
and makes you sparkle so brightly
those passions explode from your
face in beams of light, I hide.

Outside

Why do I feel like I need you
to know my thoughts for them
to be real, to fold and form
what matters most for me
and how I feel; how I see
in ever-tiny escapades of
thoughtful wonder and more
in-touchness with all that
means the most to me and
you for now and always?

Strains

A feeling of notions, wheels and potions
and that unfamiliar knowledge of what
it means to be whole,
when the world caved in and nothing we
could tell was here or there, just in us
and everywhere.

Then there, at the places where our
hearts untangle and we feed our noble
occupations with dreams of afterlives,
of hobbled and steely imperfections
that make their way to platforms of
hardened hope unfurled and waving,
beckoning to another settled thought
and an other fetid, taut misadventure:
nothing can make us immortal or even
deign to take part in our grand undoing;
because will's worth more than all that
fucking money, or any of that fame and
goddamn reputation.

In a quiet cavern, you can find me
preparing a dinner by candlelight,
just me and my small ones, ringed
by the flickering dreams of
all those endless murmurings that
give me the power to head out again
into that blinding day, untoward
and unbuckled from anything you
say or want or make me feel I should do.

Community

Tiers of dusty benches, and all those
whose skin and breath feed the film
in the flickering glow anchored
at the back of my head.

Front, back, and all in-between are
brimming with the being of everything
I've ever known, in silence still
waiting for a word.

How did we find our seats or feel out
where we might belong? If only those
in front would stand and turn, shadows
dancing on their faces.

Discolation

With grave concern
for self and others,
weaving some yarn may
undo our covers.

Yet when I come
to offer the tale,
mine may be selfish,
yours off the table.

What can be done
from inside these gates,
if nobody's truth
is freed to take place?

The wait grows long
while discourse abounds,
still doing its work
on desolate grounds.

Graphia

Looping cursive lines
were never my strong suit,
with unpredictable scrawl
defacing ashen sheets.
The press of a plastic key
is nearly always the same.

In Sky

Not a sigh or
sight above those
shifting bows of
vapor trails that
leave their form on
eyelids, hopes our
hearts.

Stuckness

To speak, to share:
flightless wing
on frigid air,
caught in flapping
flags moored there,
yet left to sing.

Of Knowledge

That guileless throughput
cannot reduce me to browsing
still: a butterfly gone back
to its warm cocoon.

Open your eager ears
to all those tormented, dusty
burrs: lurking in the touchstones
of a bookish dream.

Resourcefully yours,

The Blip

That swiftest mass
with airy wrath, can fall
and crash, make rubble of all
or pass, of peaceful lines
of a pre-planned path.

Only the radar knows that
the blip, with all its energy
is just a blip, a ripple in an
electromagnetic void with
such immense awareness.