Bone Dry

The closest I ever came to a river
was thirst. It’s ok, love, I was always sad,
more or less, yeah,
from the beginning,
before there was even you. Sometimes
the river isn’t a river, but a flood deserted
by a storm. You get to know the taste.
You know it as soon it leaves you with nothing
to fill it with.

Wish

The wind plays
at being startled by my presence,
and rakes my body for wishes
my eyes have made, the silver cravings of
two coins. It is falling head
over heals to carry you over dirt,
follows as I walk across Macdonell’s Field
until peering into the Mennonite well,
I see into the neck of the heavenly earth,
and the bare brown trees circling
our extinct sun. And in each step, the ground waits
to feel what it must give into next.
What if a word could breathe on its own,
or swim in a pail which we would draw up,
and shining, coldly, let us drink from it?

november 3

november 3

No stars, geese low, traveling south.

You feel that your body in darkness is
another life.
It rubs lightly past the faint window
of your room, an image, still,
skimming water between morning
and the southerly transmigration of dreams.
Closing the glass, it whistles a thought,
sleepily, but you,
your lips rest, and hum another thing.
You think of birds.

Leaves

One feels nothing
when the first days of November
arrive to fill in the wind-scoured constellations of geese
or to carry away
the sour mounds of apricot,
October peeled away.
One wonders,
where do the deer sleep here,
in November,
wake, cut away
under the grey trance of sky
when the blind car unzips its haste down
the threadbare road revealing
crops of still life too ingrown for
decay and that crisscross beneath
the unspoken snow,
yet to make landfall.

Northerly

Northerly,

circling

the windshield

its

hand prints of leaves,

giving in to

their brief flight,

and their glassy

question marks

that say,

why

does it rain

in the desert?

So

much

of

you,

stripped

from your bones,

old rivers that scented trees,

their nakedness pointing you

to the sky,

cathedrals that

do not ring.

Birds From the Garden

I believe now,

their faith,

growing absent in the garden,

skin-and-bones behind

cold stones,

and in creases of soil

they shed nettles,

almost

by hand,

in them admonishing their

preparations for regret,

seeing that

they take

from the windows

their lessening reflections,

then bear them,

because winter is the garden

of the desert,

because winter breathes the dead

into light.

Kioshkokwi

It rained in the kitchen
this morning.
Can I speak this way to you?
There is, after all, my passion
to consider, and your grace.
As I walked near the open sill today,
rain
breezed in, and I admitted
to myself, this feels like
a blessing might. So,
shall I
say something? After all, I
only feel it, like two
minor chords playing in their
different time, a miracle
because they steadily
enlarge
joy
from pain
But, I want you to tell me
about this thing of
hardly being born.
On Kioshkokwi River, we
paddled to Crooked Island,
south of Lost Dog Bay, and we
knelt
under a ridge of pine,
then spread ourselves into
eddies of fern and juniper,
as the storm pushed across,
and after
we lay surprised at the kind of rain
leafs and those long, untouchable
cuticles of sun can make,
without words, or praise, except
after, a spruce grouse from where we had
hid startled us, thumping up,
and coasted
through
the vivid woods.
And it drifted across the sill,
this morning, warm,
the light
turning in
a breeze against the sail of glass.
And, so, do I tell you I feel
dying here
is not quite
possible? That some things
arrive deep in night, or on
the thin surfaces of
mornings because
the days
only end, utterly.
Can I put this to words
for you, then believe that
we will continue to see
other days like
Kioshkokwi, that drifted
back this morning?
As though it rained that night,
droplets of sweat budding on
your lips, constellations
collecting along
your collarbone,
their tiny
stars emanating just beyond
the ochre nimbuses of your breasts,
celestial bodies
making
landfall
beneath me.
And, as I passed by
the window this morning,
left open all night, the rain
came in, at last
whirring through like
a river
in the air,
coming back
to life.

Beauty Lake Rd.

All afternoon
and near night
this deer
inside me
scenting for
its place
to die and lay
together,
this
deer, this
me,
we search
the sky
for it, or
the light
of each place,
to enter earth
’til finally
we see,
stepping
into
our tracks
to take us
there, the bird
that turns
air into
rivershape.

Firepit on Lac Dragon Island

I find the old firepit
that looks ancient.

It’s fifty at most,
a broken bobbin of weed

and blueberry.
Moldy blisters from fire

are spooned away
in a broken bowl

of a skull, fingers sucked
to their stone seeds.

The wind seems to find me.
It circles my arms,

then confuses them with cedars,
it seems, coaling their bitterness,

orange gruel, and crab water
crawling in

the salty beard, spreading
the unnameable colour of lichen.