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It seems to me that the wind,
however missing upon the wide plains
is all the more vacant in me -
so lightly imprinted in the snow, the hare
was it there at all?
We go searching for lost and hidden things
the beauty that we’ve unraveled
for safekeeping, later escaped from view.
Like the flowers I once painted for you
wild colors that nary a sea
to contain their wishes for your well-
being and flying!
What is life without the wild fringe?
Your dress lifted, you are
floating carelessly in an ocean horizon
your arms free, waving
at the rooted things
in a sea of summer grasses
a light and tender happiness
You, a butterfly
teeming with a full arc of dreams
the mortal colors about you
their quiet whispers,
These hidden, solemn things
whose songs are buried under stone
and too many hearts
contain exquisite meaning
that still flies in secret
An Ending, a Beginning by Dustin O’Halloran (from Transcendentalism, 2012)
that other christmas without a tree.
I see you’re covered in scales, too
the sun hurts; it’s brilliance relentless
and I stand opaque in the few choices left to me.
She wore just a smile and clutched a pearl. It was
far away hopes.
Children skipped along the dike
violet flowers had since some time
and voices withered in winds carried to sea;
all the while, we swam after dreams
there is so much tide
our windows crystallized, we learned
tears don’t always find their way
back to nourishing wells
some water nothing
dreams get away.
I come looking for you by the shore
how the sea is long and vigorous
so many broken shells
so few intact
so many broken and washing under
we give ourselves scales
when every buried dream is swallowed
and in the sea we cry
all their brilliance
-the hopeful and sweet words
flounder, churn in the salty sprays
gasp in half light then sink
a little further down
it’s nothing you said;
everything that couldn’t be seen
everything that could have been
I’d like very much to split myself in two
or three. To send myself far
and also, keep myself near
to you, and wouldn’t I like to throw
myself into the body politic?
To better tend the garden by the wisteria
and stock and keep up an east carp pond.
Know the words to a few more favorite songs.
And lay flowers on my mother’s step,
along with a hand-written note: Don’t I
remember the swallowtails of summer,
your endless patience and comfort?
I’d like to ride the rails to the desolate
tundra, and there, drink coffee with strangers.
Later paint murals on brick walls in old towns
and downtowns; photograph you by the old
grain mill, now dilapidated in the art’s quarter;
That I could also pour through London’s tomes,
swallow words whole and get them right -
the gritty diet of the dead in ghettos
whom ink has not shed enough for;
and draw you stretched out in the shadows,
light pouring through your hair; we’d swim
in Spanish seas, and Grecian, with the water
rushing along us, salty and silky, washing us
down to simple truths. And hold you with my breath,
our hearts tangled in a crystal moon,
or just on a wooden bench in central park
with a single plastic spoon, but together.
No matter, if there were one or more of me,
I’d always search for you.
Inspired and derived from Elysskama’s Poem of Remembering
I pinned an old papyrus
to the bottom of a desk,
so that when I laid on the floor
I could read the symbols
While the wind gusted through
windows and the evening’s
light stirred the silent figures
like vibrations from a violin’s core -
a language I used to speak,
But I have forgotten, because I have
not believed lately in anything at all.
A steady deterioration into goblins,
mischief – and crooked doors
not meant to be opened at all.
I have seen that this forgetting is corrosive -
Without home, I deteriorate from inside;
and believe the only way to save myself
is to remember my home, her arches and tomes;
drifting silently amid a sea of old wounds.
A swan upon a salten sea -
hieroglyphs that trace the scars
that have long since been buried in me;
yet never cured at the root.
It’s time I’ve read them looking up.
The roses on the rubber-wood table,
the yellow stars exploding
by the golden glass bowl with the rings
like a tree’s, and the ceramic petal bowl
with all the fallen wings
So many soft, fetal hearts
like folded confetti, half-gay, but with color fading,
yet still shouting their tender notes
and imbued with secret words left unseen
if they could be known
each a memory of yellow things
a summer scarf, a dried maple wound,
a praying mantis, a few hopes;
breakfast porch with geraniums
and folded palms
and the way you smiled together
two hands slipped together
naked in the world
two vines wrapping together
in a concrete world, crying
can’t you remember?
The wild and rapturous? and the quiet grotto
where you spoke words lightly
and they counted most
and someone could feel how you lived
in all those ancient and precious tangles.
She stuffs petals into the folded up frayed hem
of her dress, like so many hearts that had been
stuffed into odd spaces and hidden,
oh, that you could see how delightful
they are! (you are, I am).