Clouds and Trees

"Nothing ever goes away enough or arrives enough,/ and I want to cry when I think of my heart,/ muscle pounding in muscle, greedy always for joy." – 'A Warning', Eric Anderson

Month: April, 2009

Water Lilies

there is little hidden
beneath

a mossy water
lily

tinged with sunlit
dust

beneath the painted
bridge

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Refrain

I’m not sorry, I’m just running away
so get to know this body by heart
learn every curve, every line in the dark
you won’t see me tomorrow
my door will be locked
and I can pretend that it’s over
but that’s not it at all
there’s just these clouds in my vision
as I walk down the hall
I hung your pictures all over
and drew your face on the walls
there’s no truth in, “I love you”
it just makes me feel better
to have something to say

so spill your drink on my floor
dance the whole night away
it’s not like I care that he’s hiding your face
cradled in arms, you look silly to me
where are the grown-ups
they say they know how to be free
it’s just like you said, “it pays to be sorry”
that’s just how it felt
when my eyes caught yours
as I picked up my things
and I walked to the door

It’s too much for me
to get caught up again
with little games and conversations
let’s talk about love and the things that we’ll have
while I type out for you
“I don’t have anything left”
“It’s nothing”, you say,
“you’re just making a change”
well I’m still not accustomed
to saying your name
it’s nothing new it just never felt quite the same

well let’s take a walk
let’s hash this thing out
I get all official when I talk about
the things I want to tell you
the things that I hid
but I’ll make my old promises
and I’ll give you my bit
I’ll go out on a limb and tell you a secret
someone killed me years ago
here’s the routine I’ve been playing ever since

It goes just like this
I’ll be your friend
maybe your best one
if you’ll let me in
but I’m hiding that hopeful glint in my eye
it’s the last thing you’ll see
before you say goodbye

Gatehouse

I spent the day
riding a bicycle through the trails I imagined
to be trails
and the mist rolled in
to wrap itself around spokes and gears
losing itself in the confusion of my hair
and to escape the submersion
I increased my pace
until I came to a gatehouse
so I rode inside
and in that moment
my view was entirely obscured
and I thought to myself
I’d like a gatehouse
I like the idea
of a passageway
because in that moment of obscurity
it’s easy to imagine passing between two worlds
that the universe might contort over this hidden line
I saw that engraved on the ceiling were the words
“Dawn is the gatekeeper of all things”
and I thought that was an awfully ominous thing to say
but I rode through anyway

Awakenings

“They say that dreams are only real as long as they last. Couldn’t you say the same thing about life?”

In a dream they told me
my music had no lyrics
just slept along the lines
where some words used to be

When I woke up they were playing
songs like it was Saturday
and I felt the sun steal away my face
as the walls melted in fear

When I woke I was surrounded
by spinning sails, suspended by the sky
with girls who tossed their hair back
and boys who’d never die

When I woke I had some poetry
written on my hands
while the choir preached and prayed
wrapping ropes around my skin

When I woke I reached out at nothing
with glass across my eyes
as music seeped in through the windows
I took a step inside

In a dream they told me
these rooms are interchanging
and with thoughts dripping away
I took a breath and opened my eyes

Jainism

loose change rains from the canopy
of tattered leaves and tossing seas up in the sky
it looks like summer storms are brewing way up high
where silver pennies rattle in the clouds
waiting for their chance to come down
and golden coins are sending lightning to the ground
a light brocade of bronze inlaid wraps round my thighs
on the verandah where once we sat on different sides
to see ourselves without looking beyond our minds
while bright spots littered throughout the yard
can’t help but catch our eyes
the coins that we once thought were lost
are floating dots on the edge of the storm
and they batter on the windows and the doors
but we’re inside and we will love what we can find

Glaucus and Scylla

I take out a moment
while the sea boils around me
I am breaking my own bread
because the prophet here is me

She hides under the horizon
while the cold waves bite my face
One day I will cull my inhibitions
and dive to my escape

I never fly with my hands tied
I dive deep and still can breathe
You can pretend you’re on my side
while I pretend that I can’t see

The two of us are intertwined
hiding in silt and seaweed
We leave stains across the mountaintops
that tempt us in our dreams

Bubble to the surface
I’ve seen your eyes alight upon the sun
you won’t believe what’s waiting for you
where the land is lost and won

But when you see your reflection in the water
know that I’m waiting right beneath
Your love may come and go, dear
but at least remember me

Synecdoche

Welcome to synecdoche
where we hide behind the scenes
take a step onto the stage
we don’t exist unless we’re seen

There’s something lying in the grass
there’s something biting at my feet
there’s something hiding in the woods
I tell myself it’s just the trees

Though our doors are sealed off tightly
and our steeple’s draped in red
we find ourselves oft stepping lightly
to keep thoughts sleeping in our heads

So as the light cuts through our windows
brightly slashing ‘cross the floor
we’ll be split inside our shadows
where we’ll hide forevermore

La persistencia de la memoria

As space is slowly dripping by
our minds may take a break from time
where moments make their way
across the breaches in our lives
elastic cracks in an hourglass
where we spilled the sand
across some bedroom floor
and classrooms and barrooms
backrooms and ballrooms
where we gave up
to thoughts of the past
letting the windows of our eyes
fill with the sand
that we lost track of
so long ago