The Empty Room

There’s an empty room on that floor.

It’s been, oh, probably decades

since anyone has set foot

through that door,

and walked on the hardwood

along the wide window

where the sun penetrates deep between

the fibres of the curtains, gently blowing

in the cool summer breeze.

 

Decades since anyone sat in the soft leather chair

and put their feet up,

slept away the afternoon

with a newspaper draped delicately on their lap.

It’s been decades, I’d say,

since anyone heard the pitter-patter of the mice

running along the beams overhead,

and the barn owl resting on the peak of the roof,

surveying the landscape in the moonlight.

 

 

Decades passed,

and still it sits,

that old now empty room,

waiting for someone

to smell the musty air,

pull back the curtains,

watch the world outside the window run away

as it cycles through each day.

 

Yes, decades, I’d say.

And yet it still waits.

 

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Once, Just Once

I am touching the air.

And everything around it.

The wistful breeze of the world’s untamed breath chills me,

chills my bones through and through.

I can feel the gaze of those things

crawling and brawling with untamed ferocity

as though their razor sharp thoughts tethered to mine

pull me down the canyon

into the unknown below.

 

Here we find the untapped skeleton,

the unseen ghosts of the primordial mind;

and the air that I breathe,

the air that I touch,

caresses my fingertips and flays the remaining scraps from those forgotten bones.

 

Once,

Once I stood atop a tall mountain

peacefully,

I touched the wind, and the wind only touched me back,

and nothing more.

But now I,

skinless, fleshless,

sitting here in the gulch

as the tethers pull away at my senses,

and the brawling things scratch at my bones,

and stab at the purity I brought with me.

They know where I have been.

They know, and so they relent

but only for now.

 

Soon the air again will blow me yet further than ever before;

as it is well-known that a delicate breeze will topple mountains

after dynamite has been set off.

And I am a stick of dynamite .

It is no matter of whether it will blow,

but when the fuse will reach the powder,

and crack away at the great rock wall above.

Then as I grasp at the air around me.

Choking,

choking for breath,

it will then topple over me.

 

The brawling things

will dig my fragmented bones out from the rubble.

And if they can reassemble the pieces properly,

they will set me up atop the hills again,

and hope that their violent urge to decimate one another

will leave me untouched.

Once,

just once,

we pray and hope together that the tethers will be broken.

And the fight will leave me in peace

to look down at the valley below

and see only its beauty,

the form of the ravine as it flows into the horizon,

and I will breathe.

And when I touch the air.

it will touch me back,

and once, just once,

do nothing more.

Pale Blue Dot

The sky streaked blood red

with dark, broad lines of ash

painted by the fingers of who came before us;

And underneath, the people sat quietly

watching the great clock turn in the heavens

and the day count down its seconds,

until finally the darkness overtook the plains below.

 

As midnight passed, the hoots of owls, and

the chirps of crickets

surmounted by deafening silence in between each beat.

I looked up to Polaris

and then I felt the cold air wrap around me

and whisk me away

to a world overpowered with hues of gold and grey,

with structures higher than the stars themselves.

And soon the people too looked up to the guiding star,

and they, too, were swept away to the this marvelous new world.

Together we stared into the void.

Millions of tiny silver lights pierced the endless curtain above us

as we looked on through eternity

until the light faded.

 

And there we sat,

knowing in our hearts

that though it was not written in stone,

that though the water washed away our ink,

that though what we built would crumble in the sands of time,

though as millennia pass,

and as the great clock pushes forth relentlessly,

until all memory of us fades like those stars in the void,

and when aeons have gone by,

those who take our place will not know,

that we had been here.

If I Could Find You

If I could find you

If I could fail you

If  I could follow you deep into the darkest caverns of the world

And light the way with only the glow of your heart beating in my hand

If I could see what you had seen when you found me

Crawling through the dust

And eating the weeds that I plucked from beneath me

The weeds cultivated in agony and borne on my frail and wizened breath

And if I could gaze deeply into the heart of the world

And follow you,

And if I could look into my own soul and feel the tempo of yours as I searched for you

And if I could fail you

And still light the way with only the glow of your beating heart

As I carried it through the deepest catacombs

Then could you find me again?

On a Frozen Pond

I think, one day, I found it

buried in the ice;

where the rotted fallen trees encircled the lone pool of sunlight

that bent emphatically across the mountaintops

and poured itself into the frozen pond,

waiting till spring to thaw.

There’s something here,

a tick on my shoulder whispered in my ear

and then it bit me there;

The blood dripped down,

boiled the ice on impact.

I can see it still when I close my eyes:

The harsh redness beaming in bold defiance of the winter air

And the allotted warmth of sunlight designated for the particular season.

The fiery creature burrowed itself deep into a place

Where my hands could not reach to scratch

And squealed its deafening echo, resonated unending through my skull

as a broken phonograph record,

skipping over and over

Countdown to Infinity

I tell her she reminds me of snow covered trees

On a cool winter morning.

Or something romantic like that.

She smiles and turns around

Her red jacket spins effortlessly in the air

while lightly hugging her hips.

We count down to the rhythm of memories

of the year soon past, and

TEN her eyes glitter in the starlight

NINE My arms wrapped around her waist

EIGHT Her soft lips tingling against mine

SEVEN My fingers tracing lines and trails through her long brown hair

SIX Our clothes melt away into puddles at our ankles; her thighs resting on and then soon grinding against my lap

FIVE My hands grasping to unclip her bra

FOUR Her delicate face shattering with an ecstasy that we share as I enter her

THREE The rough motion of my body wrestling with hers, her breasts rise and fall like waves in high tide

TWO Her soft shallow breath now gaining ferocity, building with notes of love, hate and

the combination of all 525,600 moments, the conjoined pleasures, pains,

all collide as the clock now is about to reset in a broken dance of ‘I wanted’ and ‘she wanted’.

ONE We finish.

We’re lying together, breathless, lovesick

While thoughts of all that we’ve done crash into the shore.

The gaze of her hateful eyes meets mine, one by one the stars fade away, and we sit deadlocked;

Tasked with the torturous feat of facing one another again.

ZERO This isn’t what we wanted.

Giordana

When we met

There was a river between us.

Pulling away at the banks.

carrying old trees

along with it.

She asked me,

“Do you think you could love me?”

and I only turned my head.

Watched upstream

For something back there

to flow down to where I was

No, I don’t think I could.

But the river doesn’t slow,

And the further upstream I go,

the further away it pulls and carries her thoughts and feelings and

whatever hopes she held with her for the future.

I walked upstream

Hoping to find that one old tree that I once had to leave behind.

Her question haunts me to this day.

Not because of my answer,

or because I left it hanging in the brisk morning air to freeze and drop into the river.

“Do you think you could love me?”

And I walked the other way.

It haunts me because it is burned into my mind

like a brand of that stubborn sensibility;

She held her hand out to me

So that we could plunge into the river

Together and be carried downstream together.

But I left her to float on

alone, and I walked the other way alone.

When I came to where the old tree had been,

There was only a hole

As it had uprooted, and had itself plunged faithlessly into the river.

Those words still singe my brain even today as I look back to where I had been before

“Do you think you could love me?”

 

The Watcher at the Gate

There is an old man who stands guarding a gate,

always watching

And if you ask him what lies beyond it, he will tell you, “I know that not.”

The gate has been there since the beginning of all things

Bronzed by the passing of time

Worn by the rain, and snow, and wind

“The gate,” he will say, “leads to twilight.

But what else is unknown to me.”

And when the time comes, he will call your name.

You will find yourself standing before him

He, robed in grey

will step aside

And tell you to pass through

Then you will pass through

And you will know what he has never known