Saturday, February 1, 2020



Addresses Here And There

Some memory has an address.
It exists on a map.
All I need do is go there,
even if it involves ten thousand miles
of US cross-country and the Pacific Ocean.
So, I found myself last spring
walking by the house in which 
I lived my first twenty-three years.
There was nobody about.
I would have given anything to take a peek inside.
I saw the back and front yards
where many an imaginary battle was fought and won.
And the louvered windows,
the sunny bedroom that became my first study.
I tried to peer a moment through my schoolboy eyes.
But there were houses where bush once thrived.
No eucalyptus. No lantana.
Even the neighbours were either dead or elsewhere.
Everything looked new but forlorn for all that.
So I caught a bus, a taxi and a plane back to my own life.
It has an address also.
It exists on a map.
All I need do is live here.

In The House Where You Lived

One house grows dark,
so dark it's like it isn't there.
In the others there's anger,
young couples yelling at kids
or at their empty pockets
hut. in this one,
there's only stars spider-webbing
the window, a moon floating on its surface.
Outside other houses,
kids play war or hopscotch.
and maybe someone's out
for a stroll, rattling the gate posts with a stick,
hut this house is like a helicopter at rest,
its blades withdrawn,
its engines cooled.
its passengers pushed oul into the night.
It's no longer a block
or two from the used car lots,
the multiplex. It can't hear
the hum of the freeway
from its back room. It's deep
in itself. It's whispering
be still to a gentle, foggy
wind that blows in from a
distant place. There's no hag
of groceries waiting up against
the door. No lawn-mower parked
at the edge of the garden.
One house is not about the tree-lined street
or the chimney smoke
or the orange butterflies
Hitting from fence post to flower.
It's just a face looking up at where it used to be.
Its eyes are windows.

Maine Cabin

Fireflies provide the visuals,
crickets the soundtrack,
while in the background,
dark trees conduct.
Can't applaud
so why not one more sip of wine,
clap my tongue
against the sweet mauve nectar.
So this is what it's like
when you can't sec power-lines,
can't hear traffic.
And if I don't scour the modest parlor too closely,
then television hasn't been invented yet.

I'm finding nothing is the answer
when you refuse to ask the questions.
And a rocking chair is the cover of a good book
with me the blank pages.
I don't know why peace has to be
in lieu of just about everything else
but, if that's the price,
then creature business, forest rustle,
full moon and I,
will gladly pay it.

Even when Gale joins me here,
whatever's between us
is willing to share
with these surrounds.
Love is a brief blaze
followed by another and another.
Life together is
the rub of insect legs,
wherever moon makes light of dark
and why it doesn't always have to.


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