Saturday, December 29, 2007

grey morning, transparent clouds

10 minutes

rolled out of bed way too early this morning or at least that is how it feels. it wasn't too early though. it was 8:05am. my body was no longer interested in sleep even though i wanted to drift back into lucid dreams. there seemed unfinished business or lack of recall from some of the dreams. the whole night seemed to be some sort of odd recapitulation of excerpts from my life, actual characters replaced by new faces in some cases. the brain trying to draw lines between the dots and make connections while the other-reality part of the brain was presenting mobius loops and introducing unlikely or impossible trails to follow.

the strongest and most lingering recalls:

a woman who was either completely new or a composite of several people (i was reading about herman hesse's novel damien. perhaps influence by the character of frau eva?); an ambivalent relationship somewhere between platonic and intimate; a man who completed the triangle with more ambivalence; distances traveled everyday––something about the connection between a rural place and an urban setting; a place where everyone knows you; restraint in my own natural urges.

a return to art center, my alma mater. it was not clear why i was there. there were many familiar faces. we all came with our "kits," ready to design, draw, whatever. perhaps thoughts about me starting to teach next month. something i've wanted to do for a long time and it is finally happening.

in any case, my head was active and clear on this early winter day and i have the instinct that the feeling of this morning will stay with me for a long time to come...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Sarabande

souvenirs of the moments of a year

Strewn across his vision
are fragments of hues
and luminance; souvenirs
of the moments of a year.

White pale light conducts
fragments of remembrance,
matching chroma and senses
like a kiss telling a truth.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Written from Al-Zahra

a found poem

From al-Zahra
I remember you with passion.
The horizon is clear,
the earth's face serene

The breeze grows faint
with the coming of dawn.
It seems to pity me
and lingers, full of tenderness.

The meandering waterway
with its silvery waters
shows a sparkling smile.
It resembles a necklace
unclasped and thrown aside.

A day like those delicious ones
now gone by
when seizing the dream of destiny
we were thieves of pleasure.

Today, alone,
I distract myself with flowers
that attract my eyes like magnets.
The wind roughhouses with them
bending them over.

The blossoms are eyes.
They see my sleeplessness
and weep for me;
their iridescent tears overflow
staining the calyx.

In the bright sun
red buds light up the rose bushes
making the morning
brighter still.

Fragrant breaths come from the pome
of the waterlilies,
sleepyheads with eyes
half-opened by dawn.

Everything stirs up the memory
of my passion for you
still intactin my chest
although my chest might seem
too narrow to contain it.

If, as I so desire,
we two could again be made one,
that day would be the noblest
of all days.

Would God grant calm to my heart
if it could cease to remember you
and refrain from flying
to your side
on wings trembling with desire?

If this passing breeze
would consent to carry me along,
it would put down at your feet
a man worn out by grief.

Oh, my most precious jewel,
the most sublime,
the one preferred by my soul,
as if lovers dealt in jewels!

In times gone by
we demanded of each other
payments of pure love
and were happy as colts
running free in a pasture.

But now I am the only one
who can boast of being loyal.
You left me
and I stay here,
still sad, still loving you.

~ Ibn Zaydun
(died 1070) (Córdoba)

The River

for Benazir Bhutto

There is this sadness and comfort
As if everything is okay
Today when I walked beneath sheltering trees
The shade gave me a grace
I never thought was possible

There was for a moment
That I really am not alone
And tonight the stars
Would break open for me
And shed celestial light

I stopped in my tracks today
And looked down at a fallen leaf
So rusty and coppery in the midst of summer
And I saw myself in its colors
Always in autumn no matter the season

And in that moment
I let a bite of hope enter my heart
As if I didn't have to walk this path
With only my footsteps as companion
The road to the river won't be so far