Friday, February 22, 1985

DARK SHORE

DARK SHORE
—from Matisse's Goldfish
—for Roger Kent

Philodendron, hibiscus,
and a lemon geranium jungle
explode on a tropical sunrise
against the pink wall.
Four bored tangerine-colored fish
in a round tank mouth food
and spit it out again
where it settles on pale green rocks;
a luminous fog on the pink table
near the rattan chair
filled with blue shadows.

In the black & white tiled hall
of the colonial mansion
we stir baskets of fragrant maile leaves.
The basement elevator shaft
belches decay into the hall.
The wheezing lift
and Roger's emphysemic breathing
keep time as he shuffles to the bedroom
for his late afternoon nap.

Thin-ribbed philodendron vines climb
to the tall ceiling, piscine leaves
fan delicate membranes,
slow dancers feeding on air.
The hissing oxygen tanks
reflect fiery hibiscus fish;
the small pebbles of their eyes
along a dark shore make no sound
against the barely discernible rise
and fall of sheets.

2/22/1985
rev. 6/85
after a CPITS class with Duane BigEagle

LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON

LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON

All back in breast, your mouth,
my mind semicolon slow velvet clouds,
sweet, almost painfully tender,
like two people in the same dream.
Our arms encircled the ground—
Shaken from the herd,
pine needles shudder in summer wind.
There's that moment between dreaming and waking
where time and consciousness don't exist.
Like the hearts of twin doves,
my breasts drift into a pulsing slumber
against your back—
what better place to rest?

2/22/1985
after a CPITS class with Duane BigEagle





LOVE IS LIKE, —after Breton

LOVE IS LIKE
                        —after Breton
           
My love is like a blue gardenia-scented night,
or a lone tree first seen by sailors too long at sea,
where there is no time for crowded lamps
or stars in the darkness.
My love is like a candle burning
at both ends of the church
where the darkness ends like the pavement.
My love nails the graveyard of a smile to the earth
when he is angry; cataracts skyrocket across
the liquid corridors of the Nile
and lemon sphynxes drift unheeded
inducing the dunes to mate with rocks
and with dopplered sound.
By the execution of desire, vain fruit ripens
because my love is a phantom mirror
to reflect stray music.

2/22/1985
after Duane BigEagle's CPITS class

 


RIDERS IN THE JUNGLE

RIDERS IN THE JUNGLE
  — after a painting by Gauguin, The White Horse 

By the stream of white irises,
a green bird watches a riderless white horse 
thrust his nose into the indigo water.
Splinters of sunlight flash up 
like slim birds from a fresh-cut orange. 
The man on the roan horse looks over his shoulder 
thinking he heard something fall into the water.
His friend strokes his horse's brown neck
and both horses paw grass tufts into the water
uncertain of what lies ahead.  

 2/22/85
after a CPITS class with Duane BigEagle

see Savage Dream
The White Horse

first draft


The man on the roan horse 

looks over his shoulder 
thinking he heard something 
fall into the water.
By the stream of white irises 
a green bird watches 
a riderless white horse 
thrust his nose 
into the indigo water. 
Splinters of sunlight 
flash up like slim birds 
from a fresh-cut orange. 
He strokes his horse's brown neck 
as it paws the water, uncertain 
of what lies ahead.  

 2/22/1985


Thursday, February 14, 1985

BLAME IT ON THE MOON



BLAME IT ON THE MOON

During the full moon,
my birds flock to your chest
and turn into the moon's silken young—
they alight, and slide down to where
you've furrowed and tended the earth
between us and we discover 
glistening stars in the tilled darkness.


2/1985




Friday, February 1, 1985

Measuring the Fall


MEASURING THE FALL



Time is like a full river standing still, going forward and backward into black oceans. Friendless ripple on the muddy pond like in the southern hemisphere where the water is upside down and the sky has fish. This river that flows past our houses leapt the dream of its banks last night. Flotsam. Jetsam. White horses after rain, wings lift off from the backs of clouds as if the race to learn how to fall as gracefully as rain were a thing learned, instead of listening at the back door for the subterranian red depths of a lone heart beating during the storm. The river covers the fields, vineyards, the tops of trees with wild abandon, and branches take root in the brown passion of it all because the flood comes before the spring tide; we can canoe over the watery roofs of orchards, and watch for rouge-tounged eddies swirling in the treetops. The past is never quite finished with us. This river measures those without fault, and those without design; this time you appear on my doorstep like an apparition, the slender seducer, the rain, flooding the way home. To fall again on the bed with you is not a waste of time but another reckoning, another beginning from where we left off.


2/1985




ARTLESS SONG


At sunrise, the winter stalks
shed the silken wraps left by the moon.
From behind flannel sheets I sing
an artless song of the night.
The houseboards crack and groan
as the gas heater hisses.
The quail scuff the oak leaves
looking for grubs and seeds.
The day-spider tugs at her webs
and the worm disappears, as if in a dream.
Already, the sounds of the highway
enter this room like a waterfall.
The pale sky holds signs of a deeper hue.

2/1985
added 11/16

The White Horse (the savage dream/riders in the jungle) no efile

no efile






RIDERS IN THE JUNGLE    
after a painting by Gauguin,
The White Horse  

By the stream of white irises,
a green bird watches a riderless white horse
thrust his nose into the indigo water.
Splinters of sunlight flash up 
(like slim birds from a fresh-cut orange.
The man on the roan horse 
looks over his shoulder 
thinking he heard something fall into the water. 
His friend strokes his horse's brown neck 
and both horses paw grass tufts into the water.
uncertain of what lies ahead.             

2/85

See The Savage Dream  filed as 2/1989; it may be older

don't know the date of expanded version, below. It was in my 1989 folder, but that's when I filed Savage Dream.