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Monday, May 25, 2015

Mammatus

By Craig Lindsay (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The multiplicity of succor within a storm, if you remember how to
tip your gaze up and back into the rain. Artemis Ephesus of clouds:
not the Untouched Huntress but the All-Mother, many-breasted,
pendulous, thirst-slaker. Those who study the surface things say
she was born in steep gradients in moisture, temperature, wind
shear across anvil cloud boundaries. An unfortunate reduction of
complexity, I think. Are they afraid to name her fecundity spanning
time, her bronze and marble idols, her uncanny gray-green skies?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Flash flooding

"Bodyboarders in Rio Vista Park, San Marcos River" by Charlie Llewellin.

The conditions are right for a leap. I’m saturated, can’t
absorb much more, and I’ve got no runneled karsts to
sluice the extra off into some aquifer. It doesn’t matter,
though. Rain keeps coming, sheeting down the caliche
under my skin, scouring fossils and calcite crystals bare:
lightning glimpses of my ancient, lime-white corruscations
as I'm tossed downstream, maytagged, pinned in the flood.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Elixir

How brackish those inland seas we carry within us, and how sweet
the salt memory of those tides. This is all I can do, now: fix myself
a cup of coffee, watch the honey-thread spin itself in as I stir, catch
it on the tip of my finger and lick it off. A taste of that mineral elixir,
and I recall how the berry stains set on your hands: sweat as mordant
fixing the juice, dyeing the memory, our skin damp as the inland sea.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Thorn

Here, I’m walking through a garden. There,
beyond this rough-leaved rose hedge, you
cry. Lost child, I can hear you from the other
side of the horizon, the other side of night.
I call you lost even though you’re held, for
who can say the man who holds you is your
family? All I have to hear you with are these
eyes, that photograph. The dark red petals
at my feet have been blown down by a storm;
the blood running into your eyes fills mine
with tears. Who would gouge a small boy?
Who would be glad his blood fell, spotted the
street, scattered it with iron-scented petals?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Epistolary

The image is from a lovely article on the making of a new mosaic by Aidan Hart.

The alphabets we use are all broken, but you and I
don't need them whole. Tesserae from our respective
shard-hordes, rough against fingertips that fit them into
place, speak for us, to each other, in a mosaic of un-
voiced vowels: silent, layered, reflecting glints of light.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Field Geologist at the Solitario

Once long ago, hot fluid rock irrupted, blistered up
between and beneath dead oceans, then cooled
into a hidden lens that capped deeper fire. Wind
scoured it, rain wore it down, but it still grew until
it blew itself up then collapsed. A pluton. A laccolith.
A volcano. A caldera. These concentric baffles are the
places where the whole story is laid out, but I can’t
read it with any sure sense I know what happened
and when. Some days I feel like that: like I’ve been
taken apart, reshuffled, know there’s things missing
and I’m still trying to make it make sense. This self,
this Solitario; no quest, just a traveler’s field notes.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Loop: January 1, 2015

Laying the ground, let’s just say this isn’t really a loop:
the beginning and end meet, but the sky’s lighter, the
air drier on my skin, and the cormorant I saw with gulls
on a wet containment boom flew off as I looked its way.

So it’s different and yet not: walking, casting on the trail,
scuffling in cypress needle duff. Or walking sans shadow,
not-loop again, recursive. Years ago these half-buried stones
sat atop the trail’s edge and I played patter-steps, hopping
stone to stone along the row. Today or later, another loop;
I’m sure to jump from rock to rock some more, wobbling,
awkward as that cormorant when it stepped into the sky.