The virgin and her sapphire heart
Were early on the horizon
Drawing light as breath each morning;
All the heavens the night before
Could be known by her constellations
She had static virtues

That constancy of unchangeableness
Was her permanent virtue
A marblesque sheen
On her nature’s cold white callibre
A caul not new, or old, but delicate remnant
Of what’s always there

Present and birth-less she first appeared
Without origins, no destitution –
An element of all, all its elements,
The centre of peripheries
The periphery of centers

And then the late cloud’s
Space-time miasma, almost
Hellenistic in its beauty
Or at least Hellenistic
In the morning and Roman
In the evening,

Which you could say of all the stars
And wandering planets, Hesperus and Phosphorus,
And the equidistant spokes of any constellation,
Their fixed points untrue
Their identity uncertain
Expanding on a rhythm unknown


Going to Temple

When she hits the gong, I understand better the penetrative being of that whole ceremony,
I know there is prayer, and the vibration rings in wistful salvations;
Closed eyes encounter the divested earth’s magnificent hordes
Tides surfacing and sinking blinking with their mosaic surface light;
The throng and thrust of crowds here and there
Circling the ambient desire for mercy
As moons caught in planetary holds;

Such embracing fixtures of your love I have tried to escape
By ambling towards the greater sun, the light burning in its own failure
Until you are a shadow speck
Or the burnt morality of an atomic bomb
That divides our universe into peeling swatches
Of flame, ember, and warped darkness
With the light going.
I can’t explain how the light goes.


All the hairs have fallen away
Fallen to one hair
Fallen to one truth
A dog at a distance barks
This is the truth
This is the truth

Bicycles go mobile around on wheels
On the city roads
Free of dogs
Go on and around
They go on and round
They go on and around
This is a lie

The truth is somewhere
Between the lie, like
A spoke
Or air pressure
That stutters from the valve
When the wheel is gone

This is the truth
This is the truth


Water in any shape grows cold
Knowing the fixed state of things,
As old as the potted earth itself
That brings no comfort to us.
You have taken to the unknown
To know the shape of memory,
The prescience of time spent here,
As immemorial as our best guess.
The lotus rises in your palm
And dries into protruding seed heads,
Husks holding alien mammary
To suckle innumerable reborn –
Its flower colors and fouls
With the sun’s mitre burning
Its mud bottom and optic nerve;
A growing opus catching
The light and the tryst of its being.
The impersonal flower’s hidden life
In the rooted permeable water,
As if there in another version of soil.

Sun on a plain tilting

If the dead seem dead, it may be that they are,
Preserved in skins with a customary precision for life.
But, who would ask a broken soul to go to its end knowing its immateriality,
The lightness of its fodder for the mute air?
You perhaps. Your way, how you like to take us whole
Into abandon, at once possessed by living,
But in earshot hearing the dirge of your dominion. If I was as
Near to your suggestion as a final breath goes,
What is it you are trying to say?

The dead may seem dead, but
Roots that go on living in soil even as the trunk goes,
Dead growth prolongs life,
As if resistance were part of its homily.
Thorns thread living cells that cut and cross and stake redemption
In proofs of life, the staticness of death:
Energy like a phenomenon halts
Briefly in the phantasmagorica;
A land where flaming light burns off the prepared earth
Chest high and even with the heart’s blood-pumping heat.

Sun child.
The sun that lives as long as I do,
Your sun, is born in your womb repeatedly.
You trust the sky’s blue acceptance,
Not the river’s counterflowing flow, or
The mythological cave and the caravan
And long days on the road searching every town.
You cast that symmetry in yourself
Between the gold and blue
Reason and intuited known
Stones and the pebblework in the stream
Day and the allayed evening honing night.
If only the symmetry connected as you thought it did,
The rhyme with the reason under it all.

The shadows all make sense
And their lengths are all precise.
You, child born from the fallacy of a star know.
How the constellations straightened
The geometry of fear.
How a region gone dark is an illumination itself.

Any Night in June

A gold frame may do it, but a wooden will do.
Castigated gold, burning on the nacreous wood:

Plinths of fire, hermitical and surreptitious
Harp and lunge on air and bathe in blue flames
And lift and lorry and plane out, dead
In the impression of its inset oil;
But gouache could be its crushed and crouched inlets
And harbor fires, if it was an option.

Late film, along lime trammeled clouds;
Bled brush, burnished by a farmed palette,
With light from a diurnal tower browed
On the coast, returning the edge of the sea
As far out as ships go in a silent perfidy,
In the sailor’s night-time season and
Watery necropolis.

Lately, how hard to know if or where stories end;
What an orbits’ arc is meant to be;
If the mean drive of all solid mass
Is to move in one only direction
Derived from all other known physical realities,
To be carried on with a divine excuse
Out into the outermost limits and curved possibles
Of stunning theories,
Still burning in profligate and unknown
Starry wilderness.

Window of the Tourist Operator

Motley crenellations,
Cloud peaks rise
At a distance.
We stop by its furnaced window.
Props and sunbeds.
Where you will go at this time
Is uncertain. You hold your breath
Between you, your window image
And me.

I’ve started to look away.
Between two trees, there,
A road follows itself out
Over the county. The trees are
Spearheads on the short
Horizon, wedged on the inclines.
Inclines that halt.
Roadsigns (diamond, rectanglar,
Triangular, hexagonal), not-moving,
Lonely facts touted about
The destination;
A destination that will
Determine the route,
Like the understanding you will
Arrive at, but already know.
Logically, put this way,
Unprincipled, and unsure,
Everything is graduated –
Every degree
A predetermined angle.

Go with it, you say:
Go with the sun falling away,
The long unbroken rule
Of night, that abays with
Abject dogs prowling pathways
Out on night forays
Snarling and copulating.

What will you do afterwards,
Conjoin with the glib light
Of the next morning
The sharp and strained
Announcements of its fowl?
Don’t lose the way!
Hold the rail.

The PA system on trains,
Or other transport,
And a few other
Alignments will guide you.

Other than that, send a postcard.
It’s a truncated mercy,
Knowing such or such a place
The terse film of the familiar
Lines, a life beyond reason –
Hope beyond prayer.


These images that turn
This carousel,
Because there’s repetition
As well

On the wheel;
Its motion telling you –
As if real-
What’s right and true.

There’s a point though, at
Which we pause, or go on
Believing how or not
An oxymoron

Can satisfy the
Thirst underlying truth,
How everything recycles –
In the stem of the root.

Carbon’s neatly heat-sealed
In the leaf; like thought
In the soul’s dead
Ungrowing earth –

Nothing of the permafrost
Having come over the orchard
That first stole the myth
From life. The red

Altered blush, and line
Of a bituminous off-spring,
The malignant design
Only barely enduring –

One organic advance
At a time, by juxtaposition
In its genes. Our evidence
Is the mirror’s reversion:

There you see two images.
One floating, a woman’s face
In the water’s salvage;
Another, a lost race.

Water’s in her dream,
Wrapped in a towel for swimming.
It’s on the land’s cold rim
And it’s slowly coming.


I know a prayer, it’s a door
And its spirit is light,
Vague suppressing light
That hinges on darkness.

The tide surfacing,
Sinking on the beach floor.

The red temple’s
Circular dented gong
Moonscape pocked and hanging;
Threads hold it on vibration.

The sun’s a burning song
And the birds fly with it.

A summation: the wash is
Grooved in sand, an abacus of sound
Rising in ratcheted runs, retreating –
The solar night swatching at death.

A paucity of gaunt light.
Water’s dilemma still on sand.

Here comes the phishing moon,
Trees, reserved, dark in sand;
Let the sea pull us through,
Let the sea pull us through.

The halorific haze spreads
With city lights, off-beam, off-land.

And into the atmosphere we are.
It’s that that some confuse for other things,
Bright as death-bone,
This and that side of hemispheres.

Here, sea is
Brimming with departures, its own gods.

Bones burrowed in bone.
And what the soothsayer sees?
Tell us the story, the abridged fall,
Unsanctioned beginning.

Illumination is effigy,
Salvation your enemy.

Ahoy. Unseasoned aperture!
Floods flooding,
And the cold caustic killings,
The tribes, the tribunes, and all.

The new talisman:
In supplanted misery fire still burns.

The gauze is light.
The epiphany, shunted whorls.
The night draws in more night.
It’s a new start.

This darkness.
This feeble darkness.


The ship weaves under the heat of a promising star.
It coursed over the polemic rise and drift of sea
Until two nights ago, when blowhole like a flare
She came up, white and dorsal straight, a blue ease
On the water with the moon’s pallor, and Starbuck’s
Hollering down at the planks, a pendulum like no sea –
But he’s lost sight of her, down in the water’s black ovum,
Where whales of this type go; suddenly abreast their
Mammoth pride, the walls of the ocean. She goes forward,
In the cradle of earth’s gravity, and sonic impulses.
She could die beached on the tidelands, or she could
Die here, in moon-bleached darkness, swallowing
Starbuck and his kind, taking the hull out and the heresy
Of the boat. The warbled shriek and pinioned whistle
Of her song reaches the cold end of the deep, where
The darkness makes light a pressured life-form, as
Spectral as the sky, alien, and far-removed. The whale,
She’s heard the infinitesimal depths, and seen the outward stars;
Her rush is 90 degrees upward into the barreled hull,
Trust into a trajectory of limited grace, for mankind.