What’s is remembered, lives.

When you die

people will talk you up

fatten your totem pole into fierce faces

of defiance

because you were strong, because your blood carried

the weight of your legacy and your ancestors

when you die

I will wear your ring on my finger if I am still around

and every sunset will pull the moon down

her mauve redolence

aching in my chest

to hold you against me

for when you die

memory will become a marriage

between us, and the ether

I will live in the past ever more so

recalling the days we spent

living our life in each other’s gastropods 

it is my belief we carry within us

the seeds of ancestors and loved ones

blood and violets, oshibana in focus

and each step we make on this earth

we walk alongside the invisible ones

who hold us up when the going gets tough

recently, the going has been very tough and I have

beseeched the stoicism of those who are not here

to see me through

I don’t have their solidity, you know

nor their earnest lust for life

at times I think a brawny wind could

carry me off

I have at best, one foot on the ground

the other is hurtling in a rêver

a dream of less grief, less pain

where we can unfurrow our sails

and drift on burnished water

I was asked not long ago

what I most wanted out of life

and it seemed such a banal question

when struggling to survive

but really that’s the point isn’t it?

To keep putting one foot in front of the other

staring at the setting sun as it blooms

fattened orb of life

just as capable of destroying

a metaphor surely …

for our riddled

minds

(homage to Nomadland)

Nightshade

Oh mama

There are days

I am bent double

The stuffing of me kicked quite free

One side is fear that feels like unyielding felt, thick in my dry, slack mouth

Making me the puppet I never was, when good and whole

So is sickness for the soul

A sour well with brackish water and no yield

I long to be your child and retrace in time to your arms

Fantasies that never were, become, our lullaby

A palpable longing for comfort

Nourishment

To be saved against invisible foe

No

I did not invite you, fever dream

No

I did not beckon you visit me and stay, pinning my anxiety as colinder

Cast as we are, sluggish on fortunes wheel

Like chance, we ebb and flow

Moths without hardy wings

I desired wellness 

and while the summer river ran 

I believed it would never turn

Against me in undertow

Disease is a glutted wretch

A terrible betrayal

A war

You stand in rags fighting until your last

We all do 

But when the bees come and honey is glitter in the trees 

We forget our fear of unseen things

Believe ourselves immortal or at least

The sleek otter who can hold his breath

Longer than sense and her confine

For such a time I rested

Against this calm

Taking for granted what I did not own

And as winter will

Reveal herself bare and merciless

Soon those hours of peace lay behind me

Damp with regret and burned yet

To leave plumes of green smoke

Evoking Gods 

Who may be senseless to our call

For the comfort of our childhood

Curled inside a place

As yet unborn

Do not

Let me stay in this cold fear

Or stand alone 

With its frozen clasp about my heart

Squeezing hope til nothing pumps

But the ice of terror 

I am 

Just born

To this strange chill

The waking before dawn of prescient worry

Will I be well? Will I ever be without pain?

Oh mercy and her ink, clouding fortelling

The whine of our need to know, what Fates only jest

My gut is silent and 

Nothing but the fast snare of my pulse

Can be heard over lamment

I am

A statue of fear

Thinking back

To the Happy Prince

He felt pain

Of others

Taking the jewels that were his eyes

Sacrifice I do not have

A lesson

To think and care as we suffer

Of others and their

Equal walk 

In nightshade

Laisse tomber

Today

with your confidence on my lips

and chilblained soul

today I won’t give up

but tomorrow

when it’s warm and the breeze

feels like a caress

when the sky is beyond repute

and the only sound is you sleeping

by my side

then I may

close the page

laissetomber

for to end on a perfect day is preferable

to dying with rage