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Title: Eyeshine
Author: Brown, Paul Cameron
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Cover Page 1

  Paul Cameron Brown
  EYESHINE

  Copyright © 1978 by Paul Cameron Brown
  All rights reserved


  ***************************************************************

  Cover Page 2

  English born, Paul Cameron Brown has lived
  in or around the Toronto area for most of his thirty years.
  His poems have appeared in periodicals
  across Canada and into the United States.
  One previous book, Whispers, appeared in
  1977.


  ***************************************************************

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  Canadian Author and Bookman, Grain, Androgyne (USA), Maker,
  Quarry, Or, Otherthan Review, Jewish Dialog, Tightrope, Alpha,
  Nebula, Horizon, Boreal, Stuffed Crocodile, Northern Journey,
  Origins, Mamashee, Wee Giant, Unchained Heart (USA), Poetic
  License.

  Published with the assistance of Ontario Arts Council

  Copyright © 1978 by Paul Cameron Brown
  All rights reserved
  ISBN: 0-88823-014-1
  Published by
  Three Trees Press
  P.O. Box 70, Postal Station "V"
  Toronto, Ont. M6R 3A4, Canada
  Printed and bound in Canada.


  ***************************************************************

  EYESHINE
  Paul Cameron Brown
  To my parents


  ***************************************************************

  CONTENTS

   7  Stillness
   8  Hewanorra
   9  The Intruder
  10 Dinner at Eight
  12 The Bay of Cortes
  13 Oracabessa
  14 Prospectus
  15 Gladiators
  16 Ocean Sea
  19 Cold Passion
  21 For Tom Thom son
  23 The Woodsman
  24 East of Oswego
  25 Presence of Mind
  27 Fishing Nets
  28 Rites of Intensification
  29 Jagged Wire
  30 Eyeshine
  32 Sweet Water
  33 Primavera
  34 The Encounter
  35 Magpie Tongues
  36 Plums and Vine
  37 Perhaps
  38 Approaching Thirty (Lauds and Matins)
  39 Passageways
  42 Kindling
  43 The Glowworm
  44 Between Two Stones
  45 The Waters of the Bay Lie Beneath
  47 Passing
  48 Kith and Kin
  50 To Sit Arrayed
  51 Silver Coins
  52 Sentry
  53 The Potato Eaters
  54 The Assignation (Pons Asinorum)
  55 Haunted Child
  56 Triangular Trade
  57 Casting Rocks
  58 Brushstroke
  59 Man
  60 Landing Schemes
  61 Mirage
  62 Stone Guide
  63 Red Illusions Under Glass


  ***************************************************************

  STILLNESS

  Invitingly, the sea shines her stars,
  captive flames within an impatient heart
  as darkness loads the pleasent isles with coarseness,
  slow sparks rise over a roaring fire.

  And strolling beaches near dawn
  when the sand fleas & crabs are seen to flee,
  one catches upon the imperfect stillness
  a song of one - wind with sea
  drawning near
  inward, such stars turn
  as bonds at last
  worked free.
  7

  ***************************************************************

  HEWANORRA

  The moon, at most a shudder or two away.
  The sky, bivouaked and cloudy, is within twin sloops of a bay.
  The lagoon opens, spars with the greater ocean
  by island hopping, green azure blue, as
  the wind steps before an open sea.

  The great ridge of the mountain
  lies obscured by rain;
  jasmine, frequent colour
  and plantations
  with cocoa, soursop, and cinnamon.

  Arawaks, Pelee,
  Carriacoi, Anegada,
  Josephine of the Creoles,
  let Admiral Rodney atone Lord Byng.

  And my Patois beauty,
  breath laced Oleander sweet -
  take the hemming from your dress
  then come sit down with me.
  8

  ***************************************************************

  THE INTRUDER

  The colouring of spacious flowers rove delicious to the eye.
  The road above the harbour fickle, carousing in its tendency
  to pull too gray by sky enamelled water.
  The tropical foliage, still and languorous, to my touch.
  Each particle of sunlight dangling as if hoisted from
  a perfumed ledge.
  Newly mown grass in streaks, browns serpent-like across
  the path.
  Low erogenous puffs of dust are swathed by passing feet.
  Near by, bushes wear the foliage of streaked mud as a mantle
  might cottonwool at Christmas.

  Life in such climes is built on connotations rather than pure
  innuendoes of purpose.
  The southern sky, the heat above the sea allude to this.
  This triumphant trilogy embossed upon volcanic slate, more
  crumpled paper than firm land.

  Gravesides lying in twilight nakedness.
  The scion moon in her damaged vestry between acolyte
  clouds.
  Hamlets resembling clotted blood, nicks across an earmarked
  horizon.
  The poor, wavering to transfixed in their hotly owned sun;
  the one commodity they rightly possess.
  The outpouring sea, loosing herself in bridged inlets,
  countless points that nudge the land in acknowledged
  supremacy.
  The irrelevance of time, inbreeding of pale intruder.
  9

  ***************************************************************

  DINNER AT EIGHT

  At times, I thought of swizzling white rum
  in the tropics (not as a vocation),
  dropping into the club
  for a round of tennis
  before dinner at eight
  or a quiet set of darts
  before retiring.

  I had grown accustomed to my new routine
  (at least vicariously).
  In the best Somerset Maugham tradition
  I would dress for dinner,
  decline to be patronizing,
  avoid the potential slur
  if crisp linen did not appear
  regularly on my bed or table.
  I still found time to stop
  for breakfast coffee,
  take a moment from regimen
  to fondle fresh, wet flowers,
  look over the balcony at the
  blueness of the bay.

  The metaphysical qualities that come
  into play erode such morning somnambulations.
  The heat depreciated any vainglorious
  attempts to lionize the native Caribbean rum.
  Tennis and darts become ho-hum,
  more of a task than a pleasant diversion.
  The little yellowed board seemed
  to symbolize not convivial cordiality
  but crabbed provincialism.

  The tie & collar were intolerable
  against the saline tropic night and
  seemed rigid in a place and time
  the locals could not possibly share.
  In short, such things celebrated my apartness.

  Linen rarely, if ever, appeared
  and to resort to complaints
  resulted in only furthering
  the distance between one and his hosts.
  Even the coffee tasted bitter and seemed
  unsuited to the needs of an interloper.
  Neither was fruit juice the promised manna.
  And one can take only so much nostalgic flower warbling.
  The hummingbirds and oleander came to grow
  as commonplace and exhausting as the rain.

  I began ruminating thoughts back to my previous existence.
  Surprised at my illogical shift in allegiances,
  I began stealing thoughts more and more surreptitiously
  about the naturalness of working a full day,
  donning the apparel of a civilized man,
  dropping the white man's burden.
  Disgust filled me with my former Rousseauian yearnings.
  With trepidation, one's dreams
  can erect barriers more effective
  than the most ill-sponsored illusions.
  10, 11

  ***************************************************************

  THE BAY OF CORTES

  The sea is a requisitioned article in my possession.
  Above, in fat circles of conformity, glide
  turkey vultures, their combs
  a rich obscenely red.

  The guano rocks are isles and stepping stones
  of bird waste.
  They lie thick and bedeviled with fish fur,
  a dull lavender cached hard to the sun
  seems to shine a metallic harvest white
  as desert rocklets scattered to the breeze.

  A speck of a fisherman dots the horizon.
  His craft a barque in loneliness across the sea.
  Dolphins inveigh the richness of the depths,
  persuade latitudes to drift about their wake.
  Pelicans sour the parabola distances between light and sound,
  become chancy over this distant breath of song.

  Above the cliffs and the inner roads that follow
  the desert into geometric squares, stand abodes.
  The thin supremacy of shadows at dusk disparage the
  traveller here.
  Burros strayed lie dead by the highway's edge.
  The liquid depth of the mountains reinforces vulnerability.
  The night air is alive with the torment of insects, asplash
  with sound.
  Lights carry an eerie message dotted about the hills.
  Feeling alone is a delicacy to be savoured by the standards
  of the tropic sun.
  12

  ***************************************************************

  ORACABESSA

  An iron wrought gate of turpentine force conveys little pigment,
  almost black parchment letters mindful of
  hands, arched and stroked from the very stone, until an
  elephantine water runs nettle sand to their granite perch.
  The broiling heat in this part of the Indies one knows must,
  posthaste, carry to the humus and flies any modicum of
  human remains.
  And, over distant dispatch of time, the elongated sprawl of waves dashing up straight to the shallow's grave, makes
  memory drawn, any record of the little parish's dead flimsy
  in the topsy context of soil and undulant peat.

  A greened isle stares past the feckless scene, past again an
  aged church noticeboard that scrapes out traces of news
  worthy of import to the wormy road.
  Whitewash, the colour of the shackled crypts, casts upon
  the church a pallor of distraught gray.
  A goat is seen foraging between such marker stones.
  The day seems to cut into the marble white detachment
  of the sarcophagi with abrupt candor.
  Yet, while the cove pokes like a walking stick, the sun &
  earth conspire to reclaim this space as their rightful bread.
  A huge vegetative urge to growth is witness to abundant
  further life - life in whorls of bamboo shoot, naseberry
  thatches & canebreak all garnished a short stride across the barrier gate.
  13

  ***************************************************************

  PROSPECTUS

  In salt flats,
  idle pools
  bunching off the ocean,
  multi-legged crabs, worsted stalks -
  sea crimson weed
  weigh the panoply
  to heighten my deepening fervour.

  In the bedrock shanks
  of spread tidal basins
  clothed in spools of enveloping
  brackish water,
  a plethora teeming with aqua towns
  and untold gadgetry exists -
  replete with mimicry
  including primeval
  flotilla tanks
  and broadsheets for spreading
  their way of life.
  14

  ***************************************************************

  GLADIATORS

  No broken visor, emptied glove
  abandoned cudgel, opened net
  - only gathering spots on spreading sand.

  Clang of cymbals
  wrench of flesh,
  death is a morsel
  delectably met.
  15

  ***************************************************************

  OCEAN SEA
  	All that is eternal is circular.
  			- Aristotle

  Cueta and Tetuan are outposts within the Arab psyche,
  frail islets jutting their Islamic consciousness
  into the infidel mind.

  A mere eight miles separates the tip of North Africa
  from Iberia's reclining form.
  An Arab dhow sits off the port of Tangier
  where the unsuspecting can lose more than priapic curiosity.

  Arabia, from Ormuz to Sofala,
  an empire of sabulous plenitude -
  shiekdoms, oil rich fiefs, and
  luxurious enervation.

  Da Gama rounds the Bight of Africa, needles the Saracen eye.

  Tutankhamen rests dolefully within the dunes
  away from bone merchants until 1923 draws nigh.

  Ptolemy errs and extends Africa to the Poles.

  The noblest failure in antiquity rests in Zama
  while Jesus toiled for our betterment at Galilee.

  Richard dies besieging Acre.

  Carnage occurred at Lepanto with attendant demise of the Turk.

  Marco Polo ignores the Levant for the riches of a Khan.

  The memory of El Alamein burnt away any vestige of Tobruk.

  The Casbah is my twain that confirms East & West shall never meet.

  The False Prophet is in abundance, notwithstanding Western civilization's fierce resistance to his ideas.

  Minarets, prayer rugs face Mecca five times daily while
  opium on a mother's breast induces premature death in
  unwanted infant girls.

  The purdah is an eerie monologue between the feminine
  form and purloined courage.

  Mysticism juxtaposes carnal delight in the halls of the
  Saladein's concubines.
  Harems & the seraglios are the coveted date wine.

  In Cape Bojador, there lurks a primeval instinct,
  a nagging supposition all is not right with Araby.

  The bath, the cloying sweetness of duplicity,
  stirs amidst trenchant eyes.

  Marmelukes are more than adventure book fiction
  in the silent quarters.

  The swirling dust, the prohibition of alcoholic drink,
  are dervishes in the hadji's brain.

  Everywhere, the ragged people cluster,
  almsgiving becomes a prayer in the saline night.

  Any but the Moslem faith caught in the pilgrimmage
  to Mecca meet swift death.

  The shopfronts with their bronzed clatter,
  decantered gold, near haggling that becomes
  the economics of plea bargaining, wits
  desire against pressing need.

  Debarking from Algeciras, facing the sublime North African
  desert as her colours coil, pitch forward amongst the hills,
  squares this continent's personality against the Occident.

  Europe found other continents soft butter to her trenchant blade.

  Here, she must consider herself matched with the heady dictates of survival.
  1 6, 17, 18

  ***************************************************************

  COLD PASSION

  	Some dead undid undid their bushy jaws,
  	and bags of blood let out their flies.. .
  				— Dylan Thomas

  The land is barren
  wears straw wisps
  as an unkempt man
  might razor stubble.

  The land is dry, a faded yellow
  in its barrenness.
  A sky broods from afar,
  a stalactite sun accounts merely a jot
  above that thin road into despair.

  Grass lies everywhere dead,
  faded tongues above an
  earth afflicted with scleroderma,
  deadliest of skin disturbances,
  forerunner of deeper pestilence.

  An erasing wind whips the fields
  further into bereavement;
  turns tiny bits of chaff to pursue themselves
  in a mad St. Vitus dance
  of cold passion.

  Starry night. With halos
  about the moon, pale and languid, big as crimson,
  far as wind driven flax.

  The orange pallor, pale
  with liquid swoon and ability
  to churn itself about the
  night sky or flood in endless
  beams our poorer spectacle below.
  19, 20

  ***************************************************************

  FOR TOM THOMSON

  I have thrust my fists
  up to ice in the
  galactic mire of lake,
  lured my minnow wriggler
  eyes as bait to ensnare
  inroads, lake bed wreaths,
  across the windchill spine of
  brooding heart.

  I am on the essence of the North
  where latitudes of cold spontaneity
  remind me the nameless lakes
  part not easily with their secrets.

  A man's bones go easily to rot
  in the frigid perspiration
  called primeval ooze,
  precambrian sweat,
  the tertiary stage syphilitic crawl
  of advancing ice.

  All those terms your detractors, analyzers,
  devotees coin to define you: the Boreal,
  taiga, subarctic steppes, white hell,
  recoil under the onslaught, the lustrate message straining
  up alkaline clear.

  Water is your blood.
  A vast hoarding, most of this
  planet's fresh drink
  is flushed through your
  bowels, with kidneys
  separating the renic
  qualities as snow and
  sleet, the night side of
  your character.

  Tom, son of Thomson fame,
  his little canoe immeshed
  as scrubbed floorboards now,
  a giant winnowing such scattered
  firewood over a slow crop of
  putrefying muck; perhaps
  I see your eyes
  as sturdy bubbles
  popping from legions
  of green liquid
  to carouse with your
  firm memory.
  21, 22

  ***************************************************************

  THE WOODSMAN

  Barely annoying the woods,
  his cabin like our woodpile
  home now for chipmunks and birds,
  isolated by the lily pads -
  he eschewed all comfort.

  The view barely cognizant,
  the prospect of the Massasauga rattler
  and an occasional broken tin
  sharp at the edges
  was like water's drift
  audible, not yet seen.

  Toying with the cove,
  past island jetties
  & blueberry groves
  inside little giant's tomb;
  this man became ingratiated with lake treasure,
  his clearing a triumphant blast.
  He affixed his mark -
  blazoning human habitation
  on a lonely spot.
  23

  ***************************************************************

  EAST OF OSWEGO

  Ticonderoga to Lake George,
  the classic invasion route
  up the Richelieu valley
  past Plattsburg,
  Verdun,
  à Montréal
  across the North Shore
  reroute again

  to savour Albany;
  last of the trading posts east of Oswego
  before New York
  protective sanctuary
  lodgings,
  free from the scalping knife
  barrens and
  the horrors Fenimore Cooper described.

  Apple crisp, fall damp the air
  with an unbroken stretch of forest
  and Adirondack mountains,
  there, delicate slip
  of fair womanhood
  bliss, she lies, gentle as the finger lakes
  clothed in autumn crimson.
  24

  ***************************************************************

  PRESENCE OF MIND

  Spring heralds the summer with lilacs perched from that door.

  In snows, a swarm of bushes lie black and apparently
  rootless as the town's iron-gate bridge collapses under the
  centre part of the main road.

  Little enclaves of activity pass as stores,
  mere centrefolds across busy highway arteries this time
  of year.

  I am a grey fleck in my dark wool coat near the perimeter
  of a winding fence.

  The casual observer gives me half a chance to be seen in
  the deathless white, opaque coloured moonstone so still
  against the field's shores.

  A plaster river, her sides inserted with isle-dotted chunks,
  hands across a winter solstice tribal dance.

  Ostensibly, I poke the land from stylized limbo,
  a chalky substance disturbed with every movement's cough.

  And if I were to fall, lie down, and cry,
  the agonized winter's frantic sun
  would bury me with shadows,
  give forth dark branches to my freedom.
  In the growing dark, I ponder white and infinity.
  The hectic pace of the distant highway absorbs
  less and less my hope.
  In private cold, my face burns a tallow white,
  toes flake in frostbite or erode every sensation.

  Stars in the dark canopy above are cryptic mourners and
  people frigid sorrow.

  Black is my colour as I ebb steadily toward their heights.

  By morning, when the first wisp of straw or dry leaf
  catches light near this stringent fence, an occasional
  passerby with the presence of mind shall comment how
  lifeless fields are in the clutch of brittle snow.
  25, 26

  ***************************************************************

  FISHING NETS

  The polar stars drip in blood . . .
  Orion's mythical crystal white
  with clarity of forest and
  low expanse of sky;
  wooden barques, incandescent,
  row peals of silver light
  sowing each slough of wave,
  spider hues drip upon wetness
  forlorn with tug and rein.
  27

  ***************************************************************

  RITES OF INTENSIFICATION

  Did time on the Hegelian
  spirit, Freudian id,
  the totemic response to
  the unknowable
  where each phenomenon of nature
  became dream time itself,
  the electric crackle
  of God's Voice-
  movement from shadowy spectre to
  tight-lipped showmanship
  the learned empathy
  of tires careening around
  their throttled load.
  28

  ***************************************************************

  JAGGED WIRE

  A rail fence is more than that on a country dawn
  moving by lots over hill & stone;
  it barely pauses in the small of the field's lap,
  then is caught in grey positioning as
  light unfurls the sky.

  All is a matter of perfect blistering -
  dauber wasps are seen to heave the moistened wood
  in chunks to mossy furrows, benign
  in their firm embrace upon alabaster trees.
  There, crusts of heavy nails, marked
  like fortresses, droop in their rusty mail.
  Mostly ants, in open canter, move
  in as upon an urn & lance far more
  than jagged wire the breath of stillest air.
  29

  ***************************************************************

  EYESHINE

  I remember the world like a picture.
  The habitat of trees and sense impressions,
  the cover of leaves as fall spurred its way
  thru corridors of plasma forest & sarsen stone.

  Most of all, I saw illuminated clearly
  the brash self poke of logic that came
  massively when sunlight stirred, lilted
  its early head erasing the world thru
  sand crusts of colour.

  The cabin floor, a cold dawn infinity,
  was a chilblain on frosty morning shadows -
  the old cupboards staring like flowers
  through a break in the leaves
  watched till the latches & hinges were worlds
  in frozen power, dark rust as thoughts
  meandering like age.

  The stamped down clay, the well worn earthen crust
  that met the door on opening showed
  the erring calender all its interminable
  days that waited, like madmen, to remind one of oceanic
  time.

  And, on wakening, the careless passage
  of life across speckled windows saw a terrain of light -
  tiny works in agility, the forest
  looming bright as meridians
  off ladders bristling with homuncular forms.
  Door of caring, the gentle trail
  left as a universe to announce
  the brittle thrust and restive eves
  of daytime shadow.
  30, 31

  ***************************************************************

  SWEET WATER

  The leaves lie hidden as spades about their home.
  Brief movement of a kitten, then silence
  till the car's engine drones.
  Close by, a pioneer cemetery sits near a secondary wood.

  Queer is the effect of sun on a tinted roof;
  bluebells with poppies,
  cowslip and tiny brook
  back of
  fields redden and
  given to wheat.

  A house is a machine
  processing the water of living
  a replenished cistern,
  birds paying a call, a minor animal
  brushing past
  an ivy-railed fence.
  32

  ***************************************************************

  PRIMAVERA

  A poem is perishable and,
  like it,
  so much of life is spent
  in intervals -
  the jarring second
  regaining consciousness,
  a post-mortem flick
  of the lank equestrian eyelid
  that signals morning's first crepuscular move.

  ... a little salad consciousness
  about the tumescent room
  with the sentient purr of a cat;
  her musky oils
  a green verdure
  lapping primordial scent
  to engross a little readiness
  as the day progresses
  to its Oedipal stage
  and arrested development.
  33

  ***************************************************************

  THE ENCOUNTER

  Today surprised me
  like a red fox blurting
  out of an October thicket -
  empty, dry, the burst of its
  energy camouflaged much as
  that fox, solemn and cold,
  biding his time
  till he thought I
  	passed.
  34

  ***************************************************************

  MAGPIE TONGUES

  Trillium breath, an ounce
  of feathered growth unravels
  in the cloves of the silent forest.
  The rain is heavy with the stamp
  of perfumed trees realizing
  slight restraint on bursting seed.

  Cloaked in fragrance, tufts
  of mossy step kiss the opening earth,
  a basement horizon presumes
  the darling test of flower
  across dale & rustling nook,
  then undresses moist greenery
  with sumptuous eye.

  The last is hardest -
  cat crimson, a fire weed sunset lotion,
  the rain erased away;
  nobody special harangues the leaves
  but birds steal in quietly with
  tenderness clothed of verdure
  to pinch a leafy oasis about
  their forest haunt.
  35

  ***************************************************************

  PLUMS & VINE

  Plums and vine (as the Atlantic is green)
  intone the heavy church wall
  with errant sprigs, so Heaven sent
  they are big with earthly passion
  racing for the sky.

  Madonna Poverta in her midst
  with the pulpit clutching Light -
  so gnarled, like bush, that each crevice
  reeks with stone
  all stooped under such worldly avarice.
  36

  ***************************************************************

  PERHAPS
  Perhaps the sky once was shadows,
  the moon lisped 'mongst April's song.
  Now, those warm lips ease
  departing sorrow
  like pressed flowers
  emptied from hallowed ground.
  37

  ***************************************************************

  APPROACHING THIRTY (Lauds and Matins)

  Laconic tears or Botticelli's Venus
  holding the years
  like tresses
  in a wistful pose.

  Tenebrous youth accosted
  by callow Time
  bleeds the heart
  with spring aloes.
  No comfortable shibboleths
  to restrain the wriggling polyps
  in the skin or nestling hair.

  Gerundive in movement,
  each particled whimper
  of the clock surrounds
  a cloistered second
  poised about the bearded target.
  As far as you know, nothing unusual.

  A total of eight hundred months
  but grammar school sums,
  spiel & mileage
  to drift across a lifetime.
  At thirty, the best half of the potage
  is gruel hand drawn from
  the sabulous pot.
  38

  ***************************************************************

  PASSAGEWAYS

  Greet the days -
  	greet the moon,
  		gather the stars.. .
  Man is not at one with himself -
  collars the infidel ways of his
  race under pressure domes of widening silence.

  I scan the horizon barely cognizant
  of the metallic bits that pierce
  the night's crown - no
  jewelled orb stabs this queen's spectre.
  I am running and lost. . . ever slow
  to breech this reasoning.

  Honeysuckle mist with armfuls
  of orange lilies with scent stronger
  than the carriage needed in their gathering.

  Place the constellations upon their heads,
  the colour so transcends.
  And then there are the bludgeoned
  stars fallen into the eyes of
  my farmhouse scene.
  The sphinx moth that darns the night
  with her acrobatics escapes the wreath
  of troubled moon that places about
  her proboscised head.
  Let her stone the night in peace,
  feel palpitations on her ocean breast.

  The darting of stone cracks in fissures
  along the causeway to the stonehouse
  is certain and sure.
  A definite mood projects
  the starling tunnels,
  forlorn now with limpid darkness,
  crushed lavender from the pews
  of thoughtful night.

  There are armfuls of crushed bats
  in the passageway to my heart,
  each reeking with squeals
  to alarm the most frightened princess.
  Only one has stained the pass key
  and I must find her.

  A toad abides the thoughtful recess
  broken under the wall.
  He is a good toad and mourns
  the night creaking from the river bed.
  A monster dragon to the insects
  making a living near the light -
  a source of amused contempt to lepidoptrists
  squeezing the eye's circle,
  pressing her to release her giddy charms.

  At morning, skeletal remains
  shall stain the blighted chain (mood collector, toad, moth)
  but, for now, only the night buzzes with alarm,
  cracking her secrets with each tiny monster
  hurled at light's intrusion into dark.

  Perchance I shall narrow
  down the divide, position alarms,
  remind myself I am inured to the
  mood & scent that mans this cosmic bandwagon.
  I hold up flowers to remind me
  light escapes through jelly
  and that rare LUMINESCENCE exists only
  in lost bat chambers
  buried deep near the recesses
  of the snake.

  The cry of havoc,
  all those armfuls of collapsed lilies
  breaking under the toil of enforced handshakes
  leaves me like a broken lamp.
  I have no more shades to patch
  the plinths or barricade my heart.
  I have left my love on bended knee
  in a land I choose to forget.
  39, 40, 41

  ***************************************************************

  KINDLING

  As a matter of fact,
  ovens do carry a glazed stare,
  fireplaces are wont to parry
  thoughts to kindling
  before their stoop and
  on breathless summer nights
  one is hard pressed
  to recall cinder and
  blackened barleys any more
  vegetatively than upon
  these harridan pots.
  42

  ***************************************************************

  THE GLOWWORM

  In slow sutures of pale white -
  dabbed in growing spume & mud dried earth,
  a glowworm is obliterated by warm, soft light
  coming up to elbow particles of near dappled clay
  that plants dissect, warm as feasts, aloft a muscat lawn.

  Pale, segmented tortoise -
  trite in area and jellied purpose,
  the glowworm oozes headlong
  through an aroused dark
  necking furiously with fungus turds
  and truffles rooted from the
  pig ground by mice sized swine
  holidaying on scents and mildew salvaged
  thru pores & nestling bowels
  of their planet sized turf.
  43

  ***************************************************************

  BETWEEN TWO STONES

  They poured hot water into people's cups
  in which green tea leaves were floating
  like algae,
  or into red-painted spittoons
  placed on the floor
  which the travellers made frequent use of...
  It was strangely quiet.
  44

  ***************************************************************

  THE WATERS OF THE BAY LIE BENEATH

  An abandoned house -
  dark salved to eclectic;
  crinkly, black pigment of old pine boards
  disparate to the elements.

  The waters of the bay lie beneath.
  A long slope trailing back of brush,
  garbles stones hoarse
  in the throat of a dust-flecked field
  are made more barren
  by the skunk cabbage weeds,
  the ugly, flotsam cloaks
  of horse hair to the neck -
  a hair shirt, coddling abrupt the barren pain
  tilled from empty soil.

  The summer's heat.
  Nameless insect waifs
  wavering, adjusting tumult
  to straighten the tight air
  about the outward door frame.
  Pinched in windows, glass in
  refugee lots billowing about
  urine paper;
  nails a ruddy pick
  dried to rusty blue,
  some dim shiny in their cropped disrepair.
  A road dry, rotating bare,
  nameless zigzagged

  only limestone in shelves
  meanders in
  throngs about stony debris,
  sometimes up to this beaten house.
  45, 46

  ***************************************************************

  PASSING

  I should be busy with words
  but light distracts me
  makes for me, in the sowing of its waves,
  neutral observances, a chilled awareness
  that the sublime is contained herein
  the wonders of the commonplace.
  47

  ***************************************************************

  KITH AND KIN

  Once there was a giant
  who lived in a kneecap,
  a peculiar giant at that
  who expelled all reality
  as a pig might a poke.

  Not concerned with the dilemma
  of easing life's toothpaste form
  into dental crustings or
  oblivion's dark shadows
  from lightless paths,
  the giant assumed guardianship
  over his fibro-tissual home.

  The giant could be seen
  ferrying dwarfed bones
  over the inter causal dome
  of flesh and blood.

  At times, he substituted
  a remarkable likeness
  for his kith and kin
  by dumping calloused cushions,
  too long cousins
  of the diaper rash effect
  bunions, corns,
  carbuncles
  eager to roam
  the padlocked sockets
  between distant fibula
  and tibia.

  Poor femur, of course, was
  outraged against carpals
  and the growing phalanx
  arrangement of
  distant phalanges.
  Even the metatarsals
  were girdled in
  righteous indignation
  committed against their person
  by a maverick masquerading
  in pelvic insubordination.

  Altogether the body contains 206 bones.
  It is rumoured none contain
  a giant of his capacity, notoriety, or effect.
  48, 49

  ***************************************************************

  TO SIT ARRAYED

  To sit arrayed
  and task consumed
  by the edge of a window,
  the world as fire
  stepping free of winter's stain,
  jutting fingers of light
  to a basement ledge
  then allowing their
  foggy movement to
  displace dust's circle
  as it has come
  to be known
  over the last
  five months,
  is to come as
  near as possible
  to the brink
  of private
  sanity.
  50

  ***************************************************************

  SILVER COINS

  Seen the whores in doorsteps,
  slack, crouched as packing crates
  behind their quiet wardrobe lamps,
  inset like a skeleton's crown
  there to bend our will,
  provide passageways to power and suggestion;
  the winding entrance to rouged
  light flickering with powdered flesh
  yellow of gold,
  then black to ivory
  a frightful circus in a palace of turn
  within the grate of execution.
  51

  ***************************************************************

  SENTRY

  In Edvard Munch's painting, The Scream, eyes
  are grouped as discs — almost rotund arches,
  much as suns breaking over an eclipsed wall.
  Hollows, jittery the bridge a creamed escape
  careening the soul madly backward
  a pastel gathering sky -
  water rivulets where two solitary, graven figures
  seem indulging a flaccid, breaking stream.
  52

  ***************************************************************

  THE POTATO EATERS

  The potato eaters -
  grim, weathered souls
  wrenching a meal
  from sandy waste.

  The dark toil lined ridges
  carried from their fields
  to each human face,
  dim, pale light
  as shadowy as
  lives eked out upon this stoney rash of soil.

  Brows, a murky legend
  of overwork -
  deflected hope,
  seasons up in the smoke
  of a potato boil.
  53

  ***************************************************************

  THE ASSIGNATION (PONS ASINORUM)

  Many devils are in woods, in waters, in wilderness and in dark,
  pooly places ready to hurt. . . people, some are also in thick,
  black clouds. — Martin Luther

  . . .Masaccio to the Florentine Renaissance but a naught-
  every man the same, St. Francis the same as a Jack the Ripper.
  their rosy surfaces filled.

  Like an Old Testament curse
  he is loosed upon the earth.
  Ecking out his pound of flesh
  delivering misery in sordidness, he parboils the land.

  A modern day Tantalus up to his throat
  in burning lies,
  his death is to live, in the contemporary sense,
  the thousand cuts-
  to bury the skies as a dread Caiaphas
  into the contradiction, the snares of his being.

  Measure for measure
  his blond mane, pale scarf
  are hallmarks of the doomed Dutchman searching out the
  Coromandel;
  like Cain stumbling upon existence,
  he hearkens back to the original Murderer,
  has sold his inheritance for a pittance
  and by doing so has ridiculed the human condition
  with his life charged obscenity;
  his blond beast scowl curdled about respectability's neck,
  his fang tussled face a menacing white cigarette,
  the soul imprisoned jailer to his teeth, breath and brain.
  54

  ***************************************************************

  HAUNTED CHILD

  In the dark of wedlock
  	nightly sky,
  the wither of hope
  	and estranged replies,
  cause a white face to flicker
  	with transparent eye,
  calumny of purpose
  	to slowly die.
  55

  ***************************************************************

  TRIANGULAR TRADE

  I would watch him lifting
  another drink from the fridge,
  joke about the connection
  with a triangular trade -
  bedroom to kitchen fridge,
  then to the bathroom -
  only to repeat the cycle
  not knowing such comments
  scratched his eyes
  climbing through the window
  for escape.
  56

  ***************************************************************

  CASTING ROCKS
  Merely on edge,
  the wharf in bad light
  clinging to water's ledge -
  a loon from afar
  the Woods
  closing with each sound.

  Casting rocks toward moon's glare
  lapidations laughing back,
  the treacle of warm night
  coaxing fire's glowing might.

  Sudden, oceanic wilderness
  breathless in barked silence -
  and camphor to keep the flies at distance,
  the anchored boat like a prison ship
  dallying on the waves,
  brambles & underbrush
  sunken wet sand,
  abundant berries rasp in thickets -
  the cottage like a jar
  closing for the night.
  57

  ***************************************************************

  BRUSHSTROKE

  On rue Vincingetorix,
  a Paris hovel
  in a garret of cold -
  Gauguin enchanted
  serpentine colours, the medium of
  a brushstroke from
  a paltry primitivism.

  Rue Vincingetorix,
  cloudy haze
  sun as billowing plaster,
  neatly laps
  scrapes clean
  the bereavement
  of a man's pain.
  58

  ***************************************************************

  MAN

  In the old air
  by his rocker,
  a silent trapeze of thought
  suspends an aging man.

  Each movement as of the katydid
  droning -
  a monologue with the past;
  a buzz escaping across
  still, warm air.
  Elsewhere, cicadas whittle about the octogenarian heat.

  Nestled quietly, a supine stare erodes both time & place
  unto bearded grey -
  nuances clasped
  in a breathless chat with death.
  59

  ***************************************************************

  LANDING SCHEMES

  Omens are the cloth of dreams
  scissors used to open sky -
  the future riding birds
  en route to ariel docking piles.

  Leonardo was of the opinion creativity might be
  enhanced a notch should aspiring artists nota bene
  principalities, bile, their rhumes as tiles
  then perceive them piecemeal as stratagem, not snuff or
  random blotch, the heads of diseased pigs
  but conjuror-sextants toward the stars.
  60

  ***************************************************************

  MIRAGE

  The intense focus of light
  but pointillism,
  into this juncture bits of light
  surround rough, inverted sky -
  dawn is their message
  unfurled about
  the alumni apparatus
  of incensed eyes
  and whispered sun.

  The heavy mirage of dots,
  landscape locked
  Seurat, a frieze of summer heat
  choking water lilies -
  the sun as a crystal ship
  adrift across
  bedlam-sponsored
  random dots.
  61

  ***************************************************************

  STONE GUIDE

  She was fading -
  into the stone
  into rifled shadows heavy
  with fallen light,
  rippled boughs
  of splitting fruit &
  droopy leaves
  to a sallow body under clumsy years
  that ripped the tunic of her coat
  while bleating the dismal age
  with each petal fall
  of a stockinged foot.
  62

  ***************************************************************

  RED ILLUSIONS UNDER GLASS

  Life as green illusion -
  the cool fronds of the fern
  are deep set in firmest soil
  and the grassy narrows
  brook a silent, liquid play.

  Red illusions under glass -
  quietly picking strawberries
  where a woman hums to
  the buzz of flies
  with the afternoon sun disappearing overhead.

  Each grasp of the berry
  a red stain, the darting of seeds,
  crimson tendrils do confuse the eye
  with a polka dot starling raucous
  in glee above.
  63





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