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, 2010


“I imagine knowing you/would be like unraveling the bark from trees/only to find more wood underneath”

Some call across the water
to find a friend on the other side
to hold their hand and pull them in

Some pick their way
slowly along the shore
and look up in surprise
when the cold waves run their toes

You, like some, bubble up from the below
note that the surface looks almost the same from above
and sink back down where things float with more clarity

You walk with the subtle ones
who step along the bottom
in no particular direction
set on the sense
that you might be immersed in everything

When the water ripples
from the blue heron’s sudden beak
you grasp it in between two ready fingers
and in a swift and practiced motion
swallow it whole



This angel might be terrible
but she must be much too beautiful
to hide her lies from only me

Her heart might be untenable
but at least she doesn’t tell people
the same things that she tells me

She could sleep inside a centerfold
but at least she saves her skin for me

Her eyes might be like bluegrass
but at least she plays them quietly

When she smiles it might genuine
but she whispers things I don’t believe

This angel might be terrible
but I see her like the seasons
I could trust her like the leaves
to crumble underneath my feet
but the dirt beneath your fingernails
that’s ground deep into me
makes me know the name of terrible
it’s this angel full of iron
who lies with seashell eyes
and honestly empty beliefs


I’ve seen scars like these before
a bee’s nest that bubbles out of the chest
wings that beat beneath the skin
the sound alone is enough to rub a body raw

She spent her time
feeling for the power inside of trees
He bought new glass for the window panes
and ushered her indoors

“This table is made of wood.
This food used to grow in the ground.
If you are lucky, you will die inside of a bed.”

See? Where the skin has wrinkled back on itself?
This is where they spilled out
You can feed on the fruit of porcelain trees
but the bees will only
sit quietly inside your stomach
and break the stale air into pieces
too fine for your insides
you can choke them with smoke
you can put them to sleep
but you’ll be forced to endure the dreaming of bees
If she is lucky, she grew wings
and flew away from the ghosted hive

See my tired skin?
I shed it and feel the pleasure of emptiness
Hear my tireless mind?
I silence it and I feel everything

And in the darkness of who I am
and who I am not
I can finally hear my wings beat…


I found this birdbath in my brain
fed it swallows and made it into something
presentable for a front yard

You can’t keep yourself
from climbing my trees
plucking birds from their perches
and forcing them down your throat
just to hear the kind of singing voice
that makes people believe it’s spring

When the sun comes through the clouds
and leaves a little glow inside of them
while setting itself down to sleep
I’ll sing back up to you
about the color the moon used to be
when all the stars came out
and how each one pulsed together
with all the shadowed grace of sunlight