Vertical Levitation

Vertical Levitation

Let vertical levitation
lift you from the floor.
You had your invitation
when you came in the door.

Celestial circulation
will provide the sound.
With no true complication
your feet float from the ground.

It is solid as this table,
trusty as this chair.
You know you are still stable,
though you are in the air.

Like the thrower of a hammer,
feel inside a wheel.
Your heart warmer than summer,
nothing stolen left to steal.

Let vertical levitation
allow you the chance
to defy gravitation,
more free than any dance.

So surrender to the vision,
this new sensation greet.
No misinterpretation,
the canvas is complete.

What you learn from your elation
will not be forgot.
Complete your own narration,
put your picture in the slot.

Let vertical levitation
shed scales from your skin
until purification
helps you shine from within.

Ibis

Ibis

Ibis. He loved the word,
the bird even more.
Summer lay on the river,
he stood on the shore.
Now a master carver,
he thought he could do justice
to the ibis he watched,
pecking at the water,
and when finished,
he would give his wooden sculpture
to the one he thought
more fair than Pharaoh’s daughter.

So alone at his bench,
he worked on the wood,
first on the neck and wings
till the ibis looked good.
The one he loved,
he saw walk from her shelter.
Though he was a master carver,
she told him, to choose him
would not please her father
nor would the builder of the pyramid.
Would not allow her to be a dancer,
to show her love for Isis.
Would prefer her to be a priestess,
to keep her treasure hid.
No, she could not take his carving,
but when she saw the ibis on the water,
she would remember what he told her,
that she was more fair than Pharaoh’s daughter.

“Then if it were not for your father,”
he asked her, “you would accept my ibis,
and you would be mine?”
“Look at the stars,” she said.
“In multitudes they shine.
Only if we sailed among them
could we drink our wedding wine.”

“If men can build a boat
to sail on the Nile,” he said,
“I could carve one to lift us
from the land and take us to the sky.”
“You make me smile,” she said.
“For I know you would try.
Only Ra can travel through the stars.
No. Look. My father comes.
The gods go with you. This is goodbye.”

So he listened to the wind,
rustling through the reeds by the river.
His ibis carving,
he showed to the water,
knowing now he could never
give it to her,
the one who was more fair than Pharaoh’s daughter.
Under the moon, he stayed for a while,
thinking he may carve a boat,
to sail to lands beyond the Nile.

Swimmer

Swimmer

The swimmer was master
of skills in the water,
had strength for each stroke,
control of lungs to breathe,
knew the moment that was not defeat,
but the knowing when to leave.
No, he would not drown,
he could not choke.

The ocean his play ground,
like when a child,
he ran through a wood,
and life was good. It was a lark.
No one would tell him otherwise.
Left his wife and his house,
his son and his daughter,
swam out once again,
to be free in the water.
Though the waves
seemed to stretch forever more,
at the right time, he followed them,
back to the shore.
He turned his head, to see a fin
that he knew could be that of a shark.
Like a black blade, it cut a ruthless line.
Fear tingled his skin.
Maybe it was goodbye to the rose,
farewell to the wine.
Still rational, his brain told him,
it could be that of a friendly dolphin
or a whale.
Outside his rescue hut,
he told the coast guard his tale.
Even when magnified, through his binoculars,
the ocean showed no fin,
till he wondered did it swim outside of him
or from within?
Maybe there was nothing there at all.
It was just fatigue.
And he thought that if you
do not believe there is something
to look up to that is fine and high,
you cannot grieve if you feel you fall.
And that night, the swimmer lay in the dark,
he saw the waves stretch out,
and on the horizon, for a moment,
the fin of a shark.

Though his life on land was not a disaster,
when it got slow, he got faster,
when it got bright, he grew dimmer.
No, on the ocean was better,
simple for the swimmer.

Baffling As A Blanket

Baffling As A Blanket

He was less than a hundred, at least.
Could have been a baker, a train driver
or a priest.
He had a way of breathing through his nose.
He wore two shoes,
and quite irregular clothes.
He seemed quite fascinated
by his newspaper,
reading from left to right,
the journalistic prose.
Then he got off the train,
and was never seen again.

It is remarkable, the people that you meet.
Some of them baffling as a blanket
that pretends to be a sheet.

She sat on a bench in an open air public park
with the collar and lead for her dog in her hand.
The dog was barking at a bird
who sat safely half way up a large plant
that resembled a sprouted tree.
A passer by told her to keep her dog quiet.
“It is not mine,” she told him.
“It belongs to a neighbour.”
“That is no excuse,” said the passer by,
who could have been an ex-military man
or an enthusiast for model trains.
“Oh, well,” said the woman.
“It might stop yelping when it rains.”
The man stalked off in a huff.
The woman shook her head,
and thought: “They were right.
When you get older,
life is more likely to upset,
as the seas of waves rise more rough.”

The Memories You Save

The Memories You Save

Faces of strangers life allows me to see,
but I know it is the same for so many.
It seems that is how it must be.
And I know I must not complain,
as my fish pond fills
with the chill of summer rain,
and memories rise unbidden in my mind
of one fair friend who I knew would not betray,
would be constant as she was kind,
but when you meet by chance,
the time you have is too soon left behind.

“I am a potter,” she said.
“My pots, my paintings on canvas,
the things I made, I left in store.
An old man, one of the fisher folk,
let me leave them in a hut on the coast,
on a cliff, above the shore.
So all my stuff and first memories
are locked up, safe in there.
It was hard, to lock it all up,
but I have the copper key.
My works will not get wet by the sea.
Thoughts of the wind worries me,
and the rain, beating on the wood walls,
but there are no cracks in the windows,
no holes in the roof.
My works will stay dry.
I lived in Dark Cove,
I left a man there, who I cared for the most.
He had this great beard,
and he really cared for his dog.
And I flew away from my home, Newfoundland,
went up high in an aeroplane.
It was strange for me, to look down on the clouds.
Never travelled so far before, not in the sky.
Now here I am in this hotel in Braemar,
working as a waitress, to put pennies in my purse.
I think I would like to spend some time
living with a shepherd.
This is why I like to sit at my window.
Look at the stars. The Great Bear has gone hunting.
It is late now. You do not have to go.
My mother never wanted me to be a potter.
Maybe a lawyer or something.
This drawing I am working on now is of a tree spirit.
You see, my grandmother was an Indian lady.
Her tribe lived far in the north.
They were beautiful, but you cannot live like that now.
That’s why I have these cheek bones,
these eyes, this skin, this hair.”
She paused then, looked at me, and said:
“I suffer from the same loneliness.”
There was silence then.
Nothing more could be said.
Now I am back where I am now.
The memory draws in
and draws away again.
To love and to be loved,
they say that is what
the heart will always crave.
And so when it comes to you,
the memories you save.

There Was Light

There Was Light

There was light before neon,
the electric circuit and switch.
Steadily it shone,
long before the sun, moon and stars
rose from the primal ditch.

And that light you must look for,
without a candle or a lamp,
will shine forever more,
long after the old feudal tribes
have deserted the camp.

Darkness has taken so many,
it is what they prefer.
You try to save them from shadow,
and they ask why you care.

All I can say from what I have gathered,
it is best to follow those who take you up,
who put water not dust in your cup.

When Elijah rose in his chariot,
to ride beyond the rim,
we can imagine his journey,
only in wonder can we follow him.

And when Perseus flew on Pegasus,
his winged white horse,
to save Andromeda from the Kraken,
we will him to succeed,
as we follow his course.

When children we play in the ripe corn field,
it is light we laugh in, for more we look up,
we want water not dust in our cup.

Keys Keeper

Keys Keeper

I was in Moscow
with my Bible and my cross,
to say beneath icons
the Lord’s prayer for Russia’s loss,
loss of her freedom,
loss of the right of her faithful
to praise their Lord,
loss of her soul fire,
to pray for the cross to be restored.
With your Iron Curtain
and your missiles and your pain,
freed yourselves from serfdom,
only to find you are slaves again.
Your politics have changed now.
To him they worship,
the faithful ones can bow.
I pray for the Jews,
exiles from their holy land.
Remember their old ways,
their coloured tents upon the sand.
Give them their freedom,
give them their right to praise their Lord,
release their soul fire,
all souls that knew loss will be restored.

I was in Cairo,
somehow lost in a bazaar.
I was looking for something,
in the land of Isis and of Ra.
Over sand I stepped,
to stand inside the Great Pyramid in awe.
“To know its secrets,
you must first go through the maze,”
the keys keeper told me.
“And you must do this alone.”
So on my hands and knees I crawled,
along low, narrow shafts,
the darkness solid as the silence.
I could only breathe brokenly.
I can still smell that sand and stone.
A square hole in a wall
I found and fell through.
On the floor of the inner temple I sprawled.
A young priest in a white tunic stood over me.
“It is you,” he said.
“The stranger from the desert.
How did you come through?”
Then my vision faded.
I woke in the early morning,
knowing not what I knew.