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: July, 2009

Looking Back, Walking Away

How well do you remember
walking in shallow water
and watching the ripples walk away
with the memories you’d made?

How could I forget
falling backwards through train tunnels
and towers we built while climbing them
or the bricks we kicked around afterwards?

Don’t tell me it was you
who burned down our hidden bridge
built out of split trees and yellow bruises
that we hid in the woods

and where did it all go
when I came back in ’98
just to see the mysteries we’d been?
I guess sometimes we make up our memories

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Twilight of the Gods

Many thousands of years ago
there grew a man named Jericho
he shook the walls of this cage
melted them into lava flows
and then inside he sighed
I can’t keep riding on these tides

Because yes, I’m growing up
but no, I’ve never been alive
If your idea of life is
something happening inside

Then one day, someday, something changed
he felt like he’d burst into flames
but what he did not, couldn’t know
was that he was born again that night
tossed once more out into flight

This explosion wasn’t much to see
but for him it felt like all was as
it was meant to be
that he had found his destiny
just by looking in her eyes
who knew love could make him feel alive

her face hid a mystery
one that would go down in history
a biblical disaster waiting
for someone’s worldly demise
devil’s messiah wrapped in lies

When they met in the town square
her spies were hiding everywhere
what could our young hero do
but be cut down in his prime
while she whispered soft words right into his mind
it’s not me, that’s just the nature of life
you can’t go shaking walls
and then expect to be alright

then left his messenger of strife

and Jericho in the town square cried
I have always known that I was meant to die
but I can only kiss the ground
and sing my thankful prayers out loud
I thank god that before I died
I felt what it means to be alive
that’s all I’ve asked for every night

and with that admission he expired

around him the town walls collapsed
crumbling to the ground at last
and in the center of it all
his faced turned a quiet smile
this place will feel my echoes for awhile

The Doors

Andy Warhol handed me a golden telephone
and told me that with it, I could talk to God
But I knew that the music would keep playing anyway
even if he were not listening
so I kept making it
tasting it
all the while wondering
Where is the new wine
we expected all along?
Dying on the vine
they replied
while you were singing silly songs

But we were meant to open doors
the gates to Dionysus
and in passing through them only found
that our isolation was inside us

Give me some time to find myself
let me follow my guide on paths through the past
let me visit the rooms of my sister and brother
before I give up my life at last

And I’ll read out this song I wrote
about feeling alive
and know that I’ll only really sing it
when I’m about to die

Slow Fade

Once I floated from a field of clover
and saw myself for what I was
now the ground looms closer and closer
and I can’t imagine what the sky looked like
when blue was more than just a color
which seethed beneath my skin

Prolegomenon

I wrote two tiny poems for you
on the palm of my hand
the whole time wondering
if I would run out of time
before you shook my hand
and rubbed it all away

Lonely Visitor

On the edge of things
I’ll never know
how to swim on the surface
of your skin
or why the water ripples
in checkerboard across your chest
while you swim on my ocean
and twist in my bed
tying knots in my covers
wrapped up in a gown of white and red
and when you’re spirited from the window
of this room where you cannot stay
I’ll call after you, my lonely visitor
whose name I can never say

Watering Hole

The gallant beast
touches the water
with his mouth raised up
to find the surface
a simple breath beneath himself
and if there was anyone to question
the blood spilt on its surface
it would be him
or perhaps the boatman
who swam there everyday
while his boat waited in silent vigil
its oars slipping from their loops
into the black abyss

Bide

I’ll try to find a nice shiny note for you
in every song that I listen to
I know you almost hear it too
every once in awhile
standing on tip-toed
glass shoes
thank you for calling on me
when I call you over
I just waste your time
we’re both bored anyway

Play your green-grass guitar
Throw your gold medals in the water
Buy a wreath of yellow roses
hung round your neck like a heavy halo
and you can skate on shoes made of glass
I can only stand with my roots
making cracks across the grass

I’ll listen to the birds on my shoulder
playing notes that never last
I’ll take my time growing up
but you’ll meet me on tip-toes
on the top of your house
peeking out your windows
I know I’ll find you there
if I whistle loud enough
but for now I’ll wait
and peak above the treetops
biding my time