Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Circle (2005)

I could not rest in the chill of Winter’s past
So I rose to seek warmth in memories fled
After our last conversation my head kept
Spinning for two disoriented days

I’d always joked that her sense of timing was poor
So she expertly proved my conviction once more
A half past midnight call with earnestness and calm
Intent with a dialogue of enchanting words

An unexpected message misplaced in time
The words came across the wires like whispers in ether
Brimming with affection and strangely meditated
“It wasn’t you, it was about me you must know that,
You were a good husband, you always supported me.”

“You always provided, I couldn’t have asked for more.
You are still my best friend as you have always been.”
Clichés are cold to the point like the nature of snow
But snow can also hold warmth, keep you alive.

I once lived in an ancient building made of stone.
Its massive granite walls were cold inside and out
And its stout halls were cold inside and out,
They were no barrier to the seeping persistent cold.

Solid walls lack empty voids of shifting snow drifts.
They lack the ironic ability of snow to hold warmth
In the same manner a cliché can offer ephemeral comfort,
Displacing guilt and regret for brief moments before the thaw

And leaving nothing left but bemoaned droplets of hope
That yearns for fullfilment at the coming of Spring.
There is also irony in the passing midnight conversation
That closes a circle opened with vows and a pair of rings.

In between (2006)

In between silence and clamor
There must be a peace behind each face
In between words of hope and despair
There must be stories that are factual

The young man sits in a wizened body
A shell of youth, pawn of ancient memory
The young artist paints a neolithic symbol
A mark of extinct civilizations in acrylic

In between songs of angels and tears of mortals
There is the humming of trillions enslaved
In between the allemande and the dirge
There have been rises and falls of a thousand cultures

When in the night and all is silent,
The attention of past and present sit in stillness
When in the place that is within and so without
The past is a passing shadow, the future a bud unfurled


The whispery light hangs
On her shoulder,
Barely visible.

Alabaster sheen
Lives in the hollow
Of a collarbone,

Beaming a paleness
That attracts honey bees,
Imagining that something

Worldly could be so sweet.
The restfulness
Of her chin,

Leading up to lips
At a word's edge
Toward a restrained sentiment,

Hinting what the eyes
Might be saying,
Leaving Mona Lisa's smile
Much to be desired.

If (2005)

If I can empty my mind and heart of the past burdens
I might see the true color of her eyes.

If I can accept my role in the wreckage,
I might comprehend the true nature of her character.

If I can shed this reptilian skin of guilt and shame,
I might one day sense the warmth of her heart.

I stand on a glassy ridge of an emotional divide,
To my left there are reflections of faces, events and places;

The foundation of all that has led me to my position.
To my right is an infinite chasm for the detritus of my life.

I stand frozen, praying for the courage to let it all go
For in holding attachment in place of clarity,
I shall never in a thousand years know who she is.

promenade (2005)

one word forward
and a pause

a breath, a moment
of calm

three words forward
half a moment back

a smile, a glance
into a stare

another smile
contact and exchange

stumbling feelings
wobbly statements

committed hesitation
hesitant willingness

Amanda (2004)

Amanda with the spirited smile
I see her eyes and face in the soul of another.

Her prance belies the fragile connection,
Between heart and spine, love and honesty.

(Americus, Georgia)

stranger in my dream

Originally uploaded by equusignis.
There are moments she comes to me through a shared piece of music. I am moved but then I am left to ask what happened to the person who moved me so? I am asked where are the people who stirred these emotions in me? Where and why aren’t they here now? I was a silent, still pool. They came and stirred the water and have left me to watch the ripples. Sometimes the ripples reverberate my own sorrow, my own loss of their continuing presence.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rose River, Vietnam (2005)

This is the color of the river,
They call it red,
They call it pink

But it is the color of mud,

The hue of the toil of a million peasants,
A thousand year’s worth of tears
Pigmenting clay with the color of pain.

Firefly (2005)

for Jane

so i spoke to you
and it was a little strange.

you were distracted.
it was not like
one of our conversations.

but its fleetiness was nice,
it reminds me of
your evasive nature.

and even now,
i don't understand
why i put forth
so much effort

towards you.

Monk Initiate, Thien Mu Pagoda

Monk Initiate, Thien Mu Pagoda
Originally uploaded by equusignis.

Thien Mu (Heavenly Mist)

Facing North, river view
Realms cross in a muted fog
Still moments eternal


Cerulean prows wait
Silky waters lapping hull
Poised at will to leave


Monk initiate crouches
Washing leaves with mindful calm
Making tea for thought


The silence that is in his life
Is not a calm residing beneath.

The pillar that stands in sandstorms
Shows only pitted flesh on the inside.

The serenity that others sense
Are only moments at the end of

Contemplation and before self admonition.
There is a hollow work of faith

Still bound to an inherited hope and
Dearly afraid of eventual abandonment.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hue (Vietnam)

Violet dusk descends
Last sundrops, faint mandala
smile still luminous


In summer splendor
Spring essence still lingers on
Cooling nights, calm water


Ming Mang’s other home
Moved earth for celestial pond
Faded visions in fog



From languid to fluid are her motions
From shoulder to spine she resettles
Herself like a sage feline in quiet repose

I’m in full acquiescence when she turns to me
Her eyes blink with the movement of butterfly wings
Revealing smoky eyes shivering like a rising moon

She gives an abrupt yawn, coming into alertness
She draws my attention, commanding my gaze
Into a timeless place where my self dissolves

With the expression of her eyes she takes from me
All that is not truly my own—feinted memories,
Misplaced doubts and unfounded fears

Her Botticelli smile shears away all illusions
She in my heart shows to me the difference
Between frail human desire and universal intent


Dogwood blossoms
Or early spring snowflakes
I can’t tell the difference
Between the two sets of eyes

I try to hold so much hope
From that other verdant place
To this removed suburban hell

She always has the same eyes
I can’t find someone to teach
Me the difference between the two

I try to wait
I try to wait for changes
These tissues are strained
These tissues are tired

Six thousand years is long enough
They spread rumours of being a sage
But I just find broken bits
Torn and shredded, left along the riverbank

crossed fingers (2003)

for Amy

crossed fingers, long with
nails of velvety quartz

held at breath's touch,
hiding a smile

yet not fully covered,
not fully sheltered.

because the eyes speak a language
the mind can't ignore.

cameras can't capture it
artists can't render the likeness

all the poems of the world
have yet to describe

blue beyond the sky’s
ringed with night

quietly stirring,
almost imperceptibly

the life behind irises foresee
secrets that have yet to be


The measure of the distance between a sunflower's petals
To the hive is written in the spin of a a bee's dance.

He has seen the dance and now searches
With finding the combs of sweetness.

It is a journey between realms, the distance between where he is
And where she resides is a pilgrimmage
Into forests and foliage unfamiliar and confusing.

He is timid about the sarabandes in his chest.

She darts boldly between trunks of arboreal giants.
A faerie she might me, her image is more a feeling,
Her form often escapes depiction.

It is more important that she trashes the air
In an equine manner that he might expect.

Unlikely but precious behavior for a whistling firefly
Carefree as an eagle feather floating beneath a verdant canopy

In another incarnation, they must have patterned each other’s courses.
Such unlikely crossing of paths don't happen in random.

*(Originally posted as prose in 2005)

Best Intentions (2006)

We think, we think
And in all we mean
It in the best of hearts

Yet we think and speak
Of places we’ve never been
Emotions we’ve never known

Mourn and be fake
Be real in the watcher’s eye
Cemetery daffodils always see truth

Conflicting Desires (2003)

Conflicting desires
For refuge and exposure

Like a frond in the breeze
Gently swaying

Not enough force
To push back on

Yet moving enough
To sense motion

It is the manner
Of an ambiguous heart

Choosing whether
To stay or flee

Remembering recent history
Yet not quite learning the lesson

Monday, June 05, 2006

the in betweens (2003)

between the last
words spoken

and the now
a space lingers

it's empty canvas
awaiting an image

a dotted line
without signature

between cornea
and retina

there are images
fleetingly held

emotional gems
in color

projected thoughts
wait for a screen

in a moment
urgency waits

what the eyes see
the heart learns

what the heart feels
paint the canvas

leaving forever
pigment engrained

for all the in betweens
of past and present

somewhere in a box (2003)

somewhere in a box
within a box
there are seashells
far away from their origin.

they lay in anticipation.
inside their hardness,
live the sound of seas

yet the blue sky
and salty water
are far from their lips.

these vessels, stolen
from their place
it seems, so long ago.

emotional milestones
of events unfolded.

now the sea's stones
are folded away
tightly from the light,

lying dormant until
new tides whisper intimacies
into their emptiness.

Soldiers (2004)

Shed tears for those who no longer can,
Their eyes still open,

Their bodies torn apart
By a war that should not be,

By a war that can't be won
These soldiers go to battle

Not to become heroes but victims
Dog pawns for a misled leader

Lifting his brows in reverie,
Bonded in thought at his ineptness.

Sedona (2006)

Grains of sand stirred up
Aguile wings leaving red earth
Spirit world waiting


Red feathers descend
Quest for spirit child unborn
In arms of old sage


Old pine, child of stone
Holds to cliff, watching time pass
Old world sadly fades

Vestiges I

The green sea and the blue sky
Stare at me with intent.
They mean to remind me of the difference
Between caring and loving.

The sliver of the horizon
Displays a thin contrast
But without explanation.

Perhaps the difference is us;
The turmoil and the tears
That we think are so important.

On land they are only dust,
At sea they are only swells,
Both vestiges of things abandoned.

Circles (2003)

there is a band wrapped around that finger
made of silver
it holds a life in waiting

there is a band wrapped around this finger
the color of pale skin
shaded from sunlight

longing passed between two
are like points in space
forsaken by time

two places in time
two places in space
seeking common ground

yet a band is a band
and while it can be a circle
circles rarely have lines that coincide

so what is to come and what has been
is often incomplete volition

Switzerland (2005)

Fall leaves underfoot
Roasted chestnuts, cold lake view
Swans on still water


Fondue and white wine
Laughter and friends long ago
My heart still holds close


Arcs of cobblestone
Narrow passageways in fog
Vacant marketplace


Old woman, seated
Leeks, carrots and fresh rabbit
Saturday market


Sleepy eyes, you have
Rise to smell of fresh coffee
Thoughts of bread and cheese


Leaving Montreux, late
You curled into me, night train
Come dawn, Venezia

Manhattan Beach (2004)

She sits crossed legged in front of her admirer
Friend, friend and even better, best friend
Practicing lines thinking of stage lights

It may be, it may be one day
We’re certain the pretty face will take her places
Hopefully places she wants to go
Hopefully places she wants to be
And in company she doesn’t despise

She sits straight faced in front of her audience
Attention, focus, boredom, three smiles
Playing the part comedic with dramatic intent

They can’t all be stars but there is light
They can’t all have light but they have money
It is a tinsel town and most of the lights
Are from reflections


(after Deborah Christian)

He stirs in the stillness of his focus,
Not wanting to define the object of his attention

This strange connection, a wispy liaison
Between two pasts, main line and parallel

Sometimes it is like a leaf tensioned on water
One reflects and the other avoids rippling

From a distance there are not two
But one and its mirror image

Reflections themselves never lie
Unlike hearsay and emotions
Contemplating potentiality

Rumor isn't always disinformation
It is perception tied at the ankle to hope

In the plane between object and reflection
Is a sliver of truth infrequently acknowledged


Empty vessel scorned
Forlorn heartbeat keeping faith
Seeking inner calm


Moon lights dark lagoon
Eight lost bronze horses watching
Lone cloaked muse passing


Vacant dim calle
Warm bare hands clasped tight
Some hands wanting flight


Bridge of sighs, above
Your scent, your warmth, grasping mine
This moment, none else

The Phone Call

You sounded tired
In the brief exchange of words

I can almost remember the expression
Of your eyes when you are that way

Miles of land are between us
Wrapped by a neverending ocean

Promise of future contact
Leaves me graced and hesitant

Without contact there is no resolution
Without resolution possibilities breathe on

Like a wandering albatross with an invisible leash
Like a freed spirit too afraid to vacate its haunt

Watering Hole (2006)

Her lips glow in just the right light.
Her mouth looks at you
Though her eyes follow something else.

A shadow in the midday sun.
Heat rays rising from the baked sandstone,
An artifact of your own desire.

There is no touch.
It’s a sense traveling by smell,
Something you don't understand.

Aromas of the savannah,
In this heat and later, below the stars,
You are as vulnerable as she wills.

You know it will kill you
Yet you come back to this watering hole,
Moon after sickle moon.

Buffalo Grass (1997)

Waves of silent green
Flows beneath our gaze

Sounds of the Dakota breeze
Shimmers through slivers of grass

Moment sensed
Moment kept

Time and distance later
Murmurs still pass through me

Like intimate whispers
Lingering in the mind's ears

Americus Spring (2004)

When I left town
The air tasted of frost

I have returned to
daffodils and narcissuses

Only three days have passed
Even Mother Nature

Can change as quickly
As the heart’s tide


Midway through this strange journey
I have found a new mistress guiding my desires.
Winter lays by my side like a
Slab of cold meat against a purple bruise.

She came to me without request.
She came to me undressed.
She stays in my presence with a siren’s will, deep as the ocean,
sensual and fluid, clandestine as a floe of ice.

She slows my pulse,
she chills my breath,
I yearn for warmth but
my pain fears abandonment.

She temps my lust,
she soothes my skin,
I yearn for freedom but
afraid of solitude.

Winter draws my will,
Shows me visions.
Winter fills my cup
with blood—the water of life.

She holds me in the dreams,
fearing Dawn might be my bride.
She keeps me in drunkenness,
Convinced the wakeful will destroy me.

The midnight can’t last forever.
The journey continues even as I lie
here staring into her cool eyes.
Snowflake irises perplex and fascinate.

Their grey shades of frost stretching to forever,
enclosed by almonds of white.
She expresses her purpose, weaves them
into my existence.

Her company is intrinsic,
as diamonds are made under pressure.
She thinks me as grains of charcoal,
ignoring that sometimes carbon is just dust.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Equine behaviour

Jane of the long dark hair turns away jesting
But searching equine eyes stay fixed on mine
She conjures on my face an unprecedented smile
Then changes direction again on a filly’s whim

Jane trots by my side, listens to my words
Nods, and says “I did!” in affirmation with a glee
She remains attentive while dodging lapping surf
And tossing her wild mane in the ocean breeze

Jane’s constant canter seem forever split
She offers an open hand while her toes dip in damp sand
She tempts my solitude with her affection
While the chanting that her allegiance is untrustworthy

Jane leaps and turns in a final gesture
In her signature fluid motion, in her hazy red aura
She leaves me interrupted, staring at the sun
I joltingly see that we two are a fractured trinity
Two of three parts remain in each others’ hearts
And the third, an equine spirit belong to none