A shape, etched
For future fingers yet to trace
Hunched and wall eyed
I meet your gaze
A flickering moment
and then –
A turncoat self
I march along
to any song that please my ear.
A frozen statue in a forest glade –
Or assassin lurking in the shade?
Houdini-like I come and go,
A cameo part I play.
But always, still, unseen
My razor tongue, held in,
Catches, flicks around your words
And pulls them deep within.
I taste your thoughts upon my tongue:
A self dissolved
Unsure of where my margins lie
Know only that
In my fishy depths strange energies
Tossing me hither and thither.
The storms that make me heave and writhe
Pull my tears into the sky
To fall as dew on a rose’s bloom
Or rain on forest canopies.
Am filled by others’ lives
Their stories flowing into my depths
Tranquil now, a mirror, I
Reflect the stars and sun and moon
And, yes, your face.
I cast myself in arching bows
A dove of peace upon my breast.
From my cave I do behold,
I look around at all I see
And listen to legends told.
I stand upon a lofty edge
And look out upon bird and tree.
From animals wild I protect my ledge,
Wolf, cats large and small
My family – I must protect them all,
Children, wives that belong to me.
I cannot write but on my wall
I paint all that I see and spy,
For life is good as days go by,
The sun doth shine and that’s fine for me
As I paint animal, bird and tree.
I don’t know why I do this,
But something inside me needs to be expressed.
I don’t talk much.
I just feel, and see, and hear, and touch and smell.
So I make marks on the wall.
Marks that look like the things around me,
And express the things I feel inside.
Marks made from the juice of the berries I crushed,
Mixed with my blood.
I place my hand against the cold dry wall.
I fill my mouth with the warm, bitter tasting fluid,
And spit it at the back of my hand,
Until my hand and the wall are coated deep red.
Then I take my hand away,
And reveal the print of where it was.
This is me.
This is my mark.
And I was here, do you see?
I was here.
I was here.
Genes, genomes, DNA in a lovely spiral,
And inside a soul stands proud,
Creates meaning as, like the prongs of a tuning fork,
I quiver into existence,
Excite the air around me at
My own frequency.
I try to bring you closer
To my wavelength, by scratching
Symbols on a page, a piece of bark, a cave wall,
I put a foot through the ice on the top of a puddle
Just to show you that I’m here.
All of my security is found
in the predictable ticking of the planet
As it spins reliably upon its axis and measures out the hours,
My soul responds with a sigh of recognition
To the same indicators
That chug around and pull into the station
Every year, more or less on time.
So don’t give me a balmy Christmas day,
Or a cold shower in July,
I have watched these days go by
And my heart pumped with the waning of the moon
And soared in my veins as the rays of a hot noon sun
Fall, and bake me into the ground.
Give me life, death, renewal,
Give me spring’s early wakeup call, or winter’s death.
Give me gold in autumn, give me responsive, bitter, living,
In all its fashions.
But never give me snow in Easter,
I will not have it.