Nineteen Pictures from an Exhibition

Nineteen Pictures from an Exhibition




<Winter Light>


At the end of anticipation,

A wind of birds brushed a canvas in dark remains of summer –

It was a gold of evening completing old maps of our folded hands.


Voices in the dream’s motet bled Kyries of dead stars,

Over a series of repeated nights.


Across the piazza,

Couples became a union of ash and shadow,

As silver thorns of heavens circled in black ice.


At the end,

It was all these multiple worlds that covered our faint memories of sleep –

Dark pennons of summer,

Completing golden maps of our folded hands.




<Manfred at Moenchblick>


The light was immense,

But our images were becoming too faint to recall.


In a fever of night,

Lessons of humility followed in dreams,

Without our consent.


Before morning,

We circled in a catalepsy of imagined choices,

Under silhouettes of Chough wings

Forming brush-strokes in lamp-black and ash.


The light was immense,

But we could not catch up.

And our images were falling further behind.




<Ponts Couverts>


Across Petite France,

Eight-notes of ambulances

Delivered watercolor voices of rain and red lights.


Events unfolded under broken glass of storms –

Everything had been recorded,

But nothing was final,

And old lights glittered in a wreck of history along the canals.




<At the Line>


Waking after waking –


We saw unfamiliar patterns of stars.

Dreams emerged from ink of black skies,

And Sumi-e stroke of faces outside of time.


It a was momentary eternity – Crows circling all night,

Bringing a silence of our collapsing hours.


I saw you at the end of blue days –

A graceful wraith of old age.

You had marigolds in your hair the shade of autumn larch.


Waking after waking,

We were coming back to the beginning.

Crows circled in a twilight country,

Back when skies promised rain – dreams emerged,

And you had marigolds in your hair.






Sirens sang –

It was plainchants of lost sailors in sketches of verdigris tides,

And dry voices of drowned calendars, out of time.


You stood at the helm:

A doppelganger in unique shadows,

Portending a silence at the end of the year.


Without a compass,

Overhead, stars wrecked in a dead reconning of completed light.

There would be no time for last words.


The seas were still,

But avoiding an artistry of rocks

Was never possible –


Sirens sang –

Airless dreams advanced in our mirrored silhouettes.

The coral light was perfect,

But the silence approached,

And there would be no time for last words –


Ghost ship or not.






Along 49 steps,

The sequence of light ended:

A cul-du-sac of cold fire and incomplete maps.


Crossing the path,

Stars swung like censers over long distances.


We found markers in abandoned gardens,

Where old wood of fruit trees

Scraped skeletal branches in a black chorus of wind.


At the end of myths –

Marble urns littered the evening

In imprints of human form.


Along 49 steps,

The sequence ended.

We had been walking in circles,

Born of incomplete maps.

The winter was now upon us,

And we knew that the light had never been real.




<Dates in Stone>


A passing cloud darkened an afternoon.

It was not on any calendar.

Softly, rain chiseled dates into smooth stones.


Across the west,

A galaxy of crows moved away too quickly to count.


From infinite variations of the moment –

Everything ended and began,

As we stepped back in shadow –

Where rain softly chiseled dates into our darkened stones.




<Colors for a Dead Poet>


Footsteps in a storm

Wear away rough cobbled streets –

Nights already seen.

Kerosene lantern of stars,

Flickered to a stained-glass fall.




<In a Water Garden>


Creeping Jenny, Taro, and cardinal flowers

Surrounded a sutra of fountains.


Hearing requiems of rain,

We waited beyond achievement.

The gardens were calm,

As a stormlight blossomed in the receding glow.




<Light Going Out>


Dusk crossed the border from Mexico –

An immigration of shadows and a tired sun.


It was a secret the authorities already understood.


At the San Jacinto plaza,

An ancient music stopped.

Without documentation,

Clouds continued to cross the border well past evening.


It was light going out.

It was amber marigolds for the dead.

It was relics of art in ash from what was left of our time.


It was only the intention to stand for something.

It was a secret the authorities already understood.




<Los Alamos>


Over black robes of the Jemez mountains,

A cold wind fanned coals of orange lights.


Mutations of cottonwoods and silver poplars,

Extended dark arms under an experimental vaccine of stars.


Our fires had always been receding,

But now it was apparent.




<Figures on a Beach>


At the edge of winter,

In pale pointillism on distant headlands,

Grazing herds waiting under painted Prussian skies,


From a lunar wash of golden chain trees,

It was a superposition of youth and old age,

Bringing back a futurepast when the night was unclaimed,

And the world was still young.




<No Translation>


Desire breeds a birth of ghosts.

Clouds like phantoms

Came at nightfall in a palladium green of the slipping spring.

From here, shadows only grew colder within this aging house.


It might have been a scratch of voices,

Or failing clockwork of ghosts coming to the locked door –

As empty galaxies swirled in a bright drain of finished light.


A soliloquy of night continued.


To awake was never possible.

En todos los mundos posibles, no hay nadie.






They continued to groom our long sleep,

And I will tell you what I know:

There was no sequence –

As my hair was grey and brown and black.


Always, we slept under a blanket of static hours –

A Sargasso Sea of circling dreams –

Recursive nights piecing together mosaics of memories,

Not our own.


We saw clear images of flickering light,

But the small details were always out of place.


I will tell you what I know:

Humans tire of life in this rich poverty of creation,

Where none of the cuts in the world could heal.


Again, by night –

We awoke to an open window of cold violets and snow.

It was a development of character and practice for a long sleep.


I will tell you what I know –

There was an unremembered scar on my hand.

It was a sequence without chapters, where my hair was at once –

Grey, brown, and black,

And the world could never heal.




<Prayer for the Departed>


What will it mean when yellow leaves erase your face?

What will it change when we fall into blue waves of the draining day?


In a dance and ecstasy of the autumn soul,

Red choirs of elms emerged,

And days circled a steady compass of the spinning sun.


In dust of your streets, we became soaked with stars –

Finally, letting go our ancestors,

Beyond what had passed or what would come.


Under a glittered boat of rustling elms,

Days circled a steady compass of the spinning sun –

It was a yellow dust of your streets,

In a dance and ecstasy of the autumn soul.






From premonitions

Of nothing past the moment –

Fire of leaves increased.




<Storm of Roses>


Not contained,

The light passed by.


We lost speed coming through a dense glow of dreams:

It was a storm of roses.

You stood in our young garden.

By a steep path bordered in color I had seen before.


A night of too many lives painted a darkened sky.

Something came up from the Southwest –

In what seemed like a choice,

But it was merely carbon shadows of all that had already happened.


There were wet fields painting a return to evening,

As doves called down a pink noise of encaustic light.


The light passed by –

It was an exhale of what we had been given:

Lives that seemed like a choice,

Where you waited in a night of too many lives,

Bringing a storm of roses.






At Feneos,

Dusk sketched a negative space over mount Cyllene.


It was only a grey field of winter trees.

In chants of ghosted leaves –

Everywhere charades of lost color drained into documented days.


From a fifth circle of morning

Without incident,

Shadows waited by the river for passage.


No history.

No crossing.

No ferryman.




<Ferns Return>


Spring clouds of white ice.

Winter gardens in still sleep.

One jade scroll breaks through.