Three Trios

“…Sudden in a shaft of light…
…Even while the dust moves…
…Now, here, always…”


T. S. Eliot



Chamber of Eternity




After time’s long reign of color –
Darkness, and the drained pool of the day.


In a voice of torches,
Wind flickered over the gray garden:
hands of air, stroking miles of smoldered leaves.
It was before and after some static time
unable to reach ‘now’.


Around us in the autumn light,
It was only fall past or fall future –
Monochromes of red and gold –
where dark birds cried “now, now” –
But only from a re-creation of days,
and never in the actual moment among these fainting cascades.


Tonight, under the moon’s deceptive light,
Half our lives are over – and you said it was good.
We are at ease to be half dead among the flickered ivory of lunar streets.
In the coming realization of half-lives,
Phantoms from time future or remembrances from time past
crowd-out this ending mirage of the soul’s dead zodiac –
And it was good.


Half-lives –
A limited infinity –
A sweet pathos of afternoon eroded a not yet recalled moment –
Glowing frescoes of recurring seasons,
Circling like coded stars –
Circling like a glittered expanse of ghosts rippling up from the drained pool,
Lost in a wave of some next staged event –
This void of the present
and inaccessible time.


At the cathedral,
Across a reanimation of evening,
Candled choirs whispered for the dead
In a syntax void of thought –
Cantos lost in a Sargasso Sea of circling ‘call and response’.


It became an oppression of clocks,
Where the moment was eternally still-born –
Yet, vitally alive before and after:
Equations of anonymity – A prehistory of integers
A proof in no real numbers,
and arrows of imaginary time.


Beyond the illusion of our speech –
Beyond this endless trick of afternoon light,
A completed eternity followed us into the garden like a stalker –
like false histories –
Like our graphic years spent in dreams:
Like darkness,
And the drained pool of the day.





Nearer the end,
A presumed map of expanding stars
Surrounded the burned-out crest of our few nights –
A murmur of non-translating futures
Plotted a garden path in coordinates of uncertainty –
Coming in bright white light
at the predicted hour of death.


Yes, in the sprawl of too many worlds –
Yes, in the violet dusk –
Yes, in the terrain of vacant streets –
Yes, in the rose ticking on the funeral urn of the beloved –
These all say “now,”
beyond our arrival and leaving,
But in a time that was (or that will be).
It was a cusp of luminescence,
This endless waking to twilight and thunder over distant mountains:
Lives all unreal.


If all worlds are eternally completed,
Then (it is true that) time is already redeemed (or damned).
I stretched out my hand for a final singing bird of night,
And the cold fragrance of more than one world –
of more than one time –
of more, and only one.


Intent betrays action –
As our words together in the garden
Once echoed to a violence of poems:
Shadows of what seemed like warmth before returning ages of ice.


The glacial sound of evening advanced from the ending summer:
Now – do you hear it? –
Here – ticking footsteps of the condemned on some bridge of sighs –
Always – figures out in the dark –
This disarray of recursive moments:
Terrible dreams of waking to nothing
In a trick of afternoon light.


“Now now”, but it is already past – (or yet to be):
“Now now”, black equations of time
and space, and the cut maps of our hands.


Nearer the end,
Our silhouettes rippled across a drained pool
Where all worlds were complete.


Skies darkened,
And I stretched out my hand.





All times at once.
All worlds at once –
Half our lives – long over, and eventually to begin –
Released histories calculating what will remain,
Among the small tragedies of the day.


Out of these imagined sequences of what is called ‘time’ –
Out of these snow-calmed streets,
We drifted in a white paralysis,
the next thought always from memory –
qbit chants calculating a rehearsed life
But, only from days future (or nights past),
where we stood before crumbled icons
in the house of our fathers.


It is only forever:
These images coded of Deja vu –
These rotting ghosts of purpose
Running in the echoes of children through spiral summers.
It was a small sacrilege of physics – a corridor of no time –

An illusion of entangled unity,
held in a dust of what had already happened –
This trivial matter of perception,
As nights came like pages in a book.
And I forever saw you holding a wet poppy from the summer garden.


At the ossuary,
Stone angels grieved for simulated worlds –
It was a background radiation of requiems,
Beyond the day’s scripted sequence –
Empty landscapes filling a limit of dreams
For those who are called ‘the living’.


“Now”, all things at once –
“Now” our half lives –
where the world’s clamor ends as it begins.


It is only forever,
Some completed spin of seasons –
Some heavens curling over our intended shadows
In a talisman of silver thorns and artificial light,
Yet it is the same glow –
that comes back from time future (like time past) –
that may yet count some few accomplishments of
the never-passing day.


It is only forever –
Stylized seasons and a shutter of doves over the zocalo’s empty fountain –
Time’s long reign of color,
and this simple mass of night.


We walked cloned harvest fields,
In clockwork-footsteps of scythes,
Hearing winds sweep seas of white wheat –
But it was only a trick of afternoon light –
Ghosts from before and after whispering of ‘now’.


Here – it is always the third that follows:
Two shadows drifting through codas of darkening hours,
with another suspended just beyond the day’s slow fingers.


Around us in the autumn light,
It is only now (forever) – a vast misunderstanding
and a thinning glow of halcyon days.


Nearer the end,
Let me show you a clone of the soul’s mirage.
Let me show you a monument to uncertainty.
Let me show you purpose in a handful of completed eternities.


After time’s long reign of color:
It is this trivial matter of perception –
Darkness, and the drained pool of the day.







There are no prophecies within static time,
Where without sequence,
Bells became a voice of the autumn night
As fires brought back our winter:
All things at once,
And nothing.


Along a loop of days –
Space and time became complete –
Hours out of time in a vignette of bokeh skies,
Where in the moment we might have animated a difference.


Approaching now, a pale memory was released.
Perhaps it was Alpen horns above the Bernese Oberland in late summer –
Completing a Dal sago
Where outcomes could only be changed from the beginning (or the end).


You said it was some temporal entanglement –
Some superposition merging life and death,
But it was not that simple.
It was a premonition of always and never having been here –
A memory of stepping out to the first snow,
To a returning cold,
Without tyrannies of sequence.


Years ago,
The children of the borough devised a game,
Where everything they witnessed became a staged set –
Lit only as far as they could see:
The old garden as their posed landscape
For all that was perfect and unreal.


At the end’s beginning,
We recalled hearing cyclical whispers from the coast –
It was an afternoon of nothing special – a trick of light –
the beginning’s end –
As jade flames of cryptomerias murmured something like our names
scripted in wind.
It was nothing personal.


In non-linear evenings,
An abstract palette of faces appeared at steamed windows,
And mirrored streets filled with ravens
and black flight of campanile bells,
Bringing inhuman shadows – reflections, not our own –
A perpetual time like the death rattle of bare trees at evening,
After and before a cold sleep’s white moment.


From all these redacted memories –
From our never-finished fifth act,
Around us in the Autumn light –
It was a held breath under the drained pool’s blue asphyxiation.


All things at once –
A pendulum of clocks in the sound of dragging feet –
Circular histories closing a worn loop of what is called time.
The more we observed, colors because less rich.
The more we listened, voices become less clear.
It was nothing personal.


Above the cathedral,
There was a flight of carbon stars –
It was a hiss of votive fire for the departed and the yet unborn.


Here in the mirror with faces not our own,
We became surrogates for the living:
Unattended marionettes in a shadowbox dropped from careless hands.


Between the intent and action –
Between the living and graven images of the living –
Between the observer and the observed –
It was a collapse of uncertainly into all this redeemed (or damned) space.


Out of the house of our fathers,
It will be entangled histories written in cloud-chambers all night.
It will be the breathing of things that do not breath like living men –
A script of winter ghosts bringing a simulation and a rest:
Echoes of voices that can never speak directly for themselves.


Here, in the cut map of our hands – Here, finding time laid-out like space –
As bells became a voice of the autumn night –
Where a troubled duality of certainty and premonition remain.
Voices came from after (or before in faint preces of call and response,
As memories of the cold will come again –
In a momentary eternity and pentimento of a girl’s face I would have recalled.


Once, at Jupiter’s temple on Capitoline hill,
Time became complete,
As the remaining Sibylline books
Could not have foreseen that everything had already happened.
There were shadows on the wall,
But no one could awake.
There were old futures circling the past –
As our attempted words in the garden
Strained to cross some small Boötes void between us –
Avatars in the wings of the stage –
All things at once,
And nothing.





From our graphic years in dreams –
Beyond these sad landscapes in pixels –
And the lovely Planck-length of afternoon –
Everything was long-competed and yet to occur.


From a slurred speech of waves along the coast,
It seemed a recall of lives past,
But it was only the held breath of what we could not say:
Sepia prints of smiling faces in the garden without essence –
A regret of simulations across too many entangled lives –
Long finished and always about to begin.


Under this litany of ersatz worlds –
It was an altered sequence of remembering –
And calculations of replayed days.
It was nothing personal.


Around us in the Autumn light,
Let me show you some few moments that can never pass.
Let me show you a sad landscape that cannot be changed:
Now – as time is laid-out like space:
Here – with histories losing color after and before the fixed moment:
Always – illusions born in the intent of looking, or the looking away.





As we returned,
Nearer the end,
A superposition of sleep and waking continued without our consent,
But it was not that simple.


Now – For a few moments of forever,
It was a staged perception of remaining color and old age,
With nothing left but a return of all our undesired many worlds.


Here – All night – crowds did and did not pass along the vacant brumal streets:
Lame prophecies from before or after,
Saying we can never decide when it is time.


Always – Beyond some base reality,
The moment unraveled into a double slit of dusk and dawn –
Fusing fact and possibility in the long wait for ‘now’.


From a small expanse of recorded time –
Out of this block universe,
I have seen our shadows walking apart from us
Where the darkened garden became unfamiliar:
A child’s game of endless simulations beyond what could be seen.


The cold will come again,
And dust of the beloved will move through completed seasons,
Where old dualities of light will continue to suspend our disbelief
Across this flickered trick of afternoon.


Nearer the end,
It will be a movement without sequence –
Bells becoming a voice of the autumn night,
As fires brought back our winter.



Wood of the Ladder




From this winter house,
We awoke in the hypnagogic half-light,
You held a last poppy from the summer garden –
It became a red shift of receding fire
And blossoming opiate under indole-ring skies.


In the casual looking or looking-away,
Where we remained both dead and alive (in time past or time future),
Our silhouettes startled to a delayed choice –
It was a catecholamine waking to more than one world,
Where illusion climbed the wood of the ladder to morning’s false glow.


It was a premonition of no free will –
It was the recalled scent of the beloved’s wet hair –
It was the callous replay of the static day:
Lives all unreal.


It will come that the many only entangle to one,
As our talks in the garden became merely recited lines –
Doppelgangers that do not throw umbrages like living men –
Premonitions of yesterday, and futures long finished.


Now – Outside careful landscapes of base reality.
Here – From elaborate histories written in ghosts.
Always – Vapor drawings of what we might have accomplished
from our graphic years spent in dreams and acetylcholine prayers.


From this winter house,
Storms came in black horses woven of wind,
And clotted crows surrounding a mortal wound of all that was to come.
It was qbits of unresolved music at the predicted hour of death.
It was the hypnogogic half-light,
Counting days as numbered steps back to the beginning.
We remembered the scent of October fires.
We remembered being young,
But it was not that simple,
Here at the end of summer and simulations across too many worlds.


In this long exhale,
In a before and after of what we had intended to do,
It will come that all choices have been made –
Premonitions of yesterday,
Where the cold will come again,
And you will continue to hold a last poppy from the summer garden.





Coming to the place of small hours,
The voices called “Follow us into the garden past the drained pool”.
Unreal landscapes fell in remembered details around our feet,
Where an infinite moment of bad dreams continued.


Between recitatives of memories,
And debris of before and after,
We stood still with little chance to awake –
it was murals of birds giving the perception of flight
where there is only a frieze without motion.


From what has long happened and may yet begin again,
A scripted evening arrived.


Here, with no forgiveness,
Everything was becoming complete and unfinished.
We knew the nimbus of light was never real –
A halo around the hanged man –
A children’s game in some ever-twilight,
Suspended in hidden variables of catalogued heavens –
A surrender to stillness that seemed like motion,
And silence that seemed like sound.


The voices called: “Follow us into the garden” –
“Follow us into seasons that do not pass”–
“Follow us into years spent in dreams” –
“Follows us into the turning point of the still world” –
More real in reflections of the drained pool.


Beyond the garden gate,
It was a transcendence of refusing to witness the moment,
Keeping humanity from too much unreality –
Here at the turning point –
Here at the clear promise of uncertainty –
Here at the place of small hours,
Here, where a moment of bad dreams could only continue.





As we returned,
It was a last glow in reflections from the eye’s drained pool.


We have heard the prophecy of birds
Saying ‘Now – Now’ –
Carving dark glyphs against completed indole-ring skies,
But it was only the inhale and exhale of our exhausted light,
Entangling dreams without a dreamer.


As we returned,
A child came along the empty hallway not yet afraid of the expanding night,
Or the gnarled figures waiting out in staged autumn streets:
It was only reflections in the mirror of faces not our own.


Somewhere between after-before and before-after,
It will be a remembered forgetting of days –
An expanse of free will without choice –
A double slit of dusk and dawn,
And the unreal embrace of a lover in the Planck length of afternoon.


All times at once –
All worlds at once.
Here between the calculation and the result –
Between the wave and particle –
Between the looking and the looking away –
It was only an endless trick of afternoon light,
Suggesting that morning might yet come.
It was a resolution of our many worlds collapsing to ‘now’.


Around us in the Autumn light,
One evening we came out to a cured-gold of falling leaves –
It was an October glow fostering a selfless senescence,
It was this void of the present and inaccessible time –
A limited infinity,
Where all returning hours could only be anticipated or recalled.


Without sequence,
You said half our lives were over –
As voices continued calling us into illusions of the garden.


Nearer the end
It will be time’s long reign of color.
It will be dark birds crying: ‘Now – Now
As fires brought back our winter,
Where the cold will come again.


Now – Let me show you the end as a beginning.
Here – Let me show you purpose at the turning point of the still world.
Always – Let me show you all times at once – And it was good.


Τώρα, Εδώ, Πάν