Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Falling Stars

I. Exile

Echo, echo
faint footsteps on the floor.
I came this way before
but memory fails and fades to shadow.
Shadow falls behind me
too faded to remind me.
The gate was closed and strangler-figs grew over it
my footsteps hidden by the fig-leaf's fall.
In fall the leaves are echoes of themselves.
When mirrors fall they shatter and your face goes with them.
Fragments of me stare from mirrors crazed.
Wherever I'm from, it isn't here.
Lost on the sidewalk
at home with waste
drunk on the serpent's tears.
Roses dot the killing floor like splashes of fresh blood
lichen claims the concrete kingdom. Life's tough.
Even in the garden, the jungle's near
both rose and lichen know the fear
of falling.

II. Captivity

Time is a poor guide,
his hands point a different direction every hour
like swinging scythes beheading flowers.
But you’re stuck with him for the ride.
Clocks gnash their teeth inside,
though their faces show vacuous smiles.
You get truer time from sundials
gnomon shadows pointing time and season
shadow hands of reason
laid across the face of denial—
denial of fear, denial of rage.
Raving captive in Time’s cage,
you scream and stamp and shake the bars
but there’s no escaping age
even hurtling lightspeed through the stars.

III. Dreaming

We cannot help but dream of flying.
Time, space and gravity
(these things we call reality)
obscure all clarity and make us dream of flying.
Full of fear and doomed to dying
we dream of light and air and open skies above
of endless love and endless flying.
Full of grief and crying, we dream of flying through the stars.

IV. Phaethon’s Ride

Father, the sky is huge.
I lost the path. Now the horses run wild
up and down, scorching the earth.
I see melting wax, a falling child.
I see so much from up here—
titan shadows rise from the land
and bend to peer at me in your chariot
with thunderbolt in hand.
To drive the Sun-god’s car
was not my calling.
My aspirations cannot end in stars,
this stanza too will end
in falling.

V. Inversion

In the deepest well
drop a bucket at midday
and draw up the stars.

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