Distance

I wrote a page-long letter

When all I wanted it to say was

“I miss you.”

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I

Picture this: The arrogant breeze

on the combine rolling through a wide field of canola.

Before dawn.

Before the light breaks over the mountaintops

and the farmer grinds his teeth,

lights a dart

and wraps his dry withered mouth around

the billowing fumes of toxic aggression

the snake oil prescription of a new morning.

Fighting tide against time;

Hope swinging in on the carcass of a new beginning,

and this is us.

Foul and fair,

idle against the breeze

and now turned against the wheels

of quiet contemplation.

 

 

Like the devil’s stare

screeching, into the midday air,

we look on beyond the hills on high

above and beyond the breathy wilderness.

We flayed the bark off of trees

carefully selected from the sizeable woods behind the yellow hills

and broke them down to build what we though

looked like our best impression of a home.

 

 

Age upon age,

tore and tilled the fields

and the woods

bent under the weight of the dying air.

Can he rebuild

the world he once made whole?

Tide and time

persist

always bringing with them

hope of a new sun rising

and the fields now grown tall

fit to be reaped.

 

 

But the light still fades

and pulls back the curtain of the stubborn hope.

An optimism once sturdy

as the wild prairie winds send the house

sideways; flying through the boundless badlands

and still sitting by my side.

Like a shadow

resting softly on the dirt.

And here we are,

still here

fading,

sinking into the barren soil.

 

I can’t believe we couldn’t make this work.

 

 

 

 

A Silent Assassination

Cut my throat

Snuck up behind

In a dark corner of the world

Left me to fall alone in the shadows.

 

It’s a silent assassination

Of my beating heart,

as the blood in my veins

Spills into the air

and spirals around

Me.

 

A silent assassination

of my boiling mind

And now I hear the footsteps

Of your stilettos  grinding into the past;

The unfinished words,

the unknown thoughts

Pitched forth in a mess of calamity

as they come down

breaking my skull.

It’s a silent assassination

of the suppressed set of words

That I never could say

But here I go anyway:

 

A Drawing of Summer

I saw a picture being drawn.

Thick charcoal lines

Dark, harsh

enveloped wiry blue gems

as the artist scratched away.

The rough outlines of hair

crumbling away at the edges

so that when the light delicately lands on the canvas

the rigid black blends into a smooth hue,

and the blue dampens;

becomes deeper,

fuller,

altogether more soft.

At first it all twirls and winds across empty space,

chaotically throwing itself and twisting as the artist takes a step back to admire the dangerous work,

this picture though wild

when set in the sun

with the soft glow of the sweet summer air

and seeing what a beautiful landscape has unfolded before it,

the picture smiles,

pulls back the frizzled black lines,

and the blue gems dazzled by the hills on the horizon,

dampen, wash out, like cobalt spitefully shining under morning’s temperance

become one and the same with the sky above;

And I-

my heart began to flutter watching the transformation from such daring rigidness

into the soft, delicate facade

of beauty;

And it has never stopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a Demon Inside Me

There is a demon inside me

that bites, scratches and tears at my insides.

Forceful, hateful, angry;

And the beast within you

glares fiery daggers at the one within me.

They scratch and claw at us

pushing

pushing

fighting to emerge

so that they can rush out and challenge

one another.

Once outside they would stare down

snarl

bark

howl

and charge.

Their claws outstretched slice and rip at the other’s fur.

Sharp ebony teeth gnaw and gnash

and their bloody mouths full of flesh would wring out a deadly howl

to the full moon,

ever watchful mistress of the tides

and the cycles of our rage.

She sings reflections of what was once daylight

and the hills return her silver song,

mournful;

lamenting.

The devils cry as they both tear each other’s bellies out;

but they fight on

blindly, raging

raging forever.

They cannot rest until they have been left

empty, with deep red swirling stains on the grass

painted by our own hands.

But they remain within us,

and still they scratch and claw.

There is a demon inside of me.

And it tears me to shreds.

 

 

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.

 

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?