Eventide

Riding passenger side, I snap shots
Winding up, down in front
Stability taking on long exposures.
From the back seat youth mocks
Our separated falconer’s aging grace.
Two instant polaroids, twins
Destroyed by pictures of memory.
Precious and precarious, sliding
There once, here once,
Then at once gone again.
Right heel dug into the floorboard,
My driver breaks so hard and we
Rise higher for another mile. Memory,
The silent thief, steals selectively —
As if nature meant nothing of value.
Yet we never stop to salute the flowers —
All the wild green needles.
Sewing up uniform badges of yellow and purple.
The foothills’ shoulders grow anew with peonies
And gold sunshine glowing with military atonement.

How jagged time? Uneven hours
We spend ours climbing that hill again.
Eventide approaches.
Revealing the light our hands shield
Our vision with a tight salute.
Soldiering on escape the fight
And yielding to our darkness.
Thrown at our windshield
Sticky bug bags take the first punch.
Tonight we cheer for an unknown winner:
The Surreal versus The Unbelievable.
Then we drop down tearing around the ring.
The Summit dragging us down for the count.
Face flat then right over onto the side.
Automatic machines gun with
Buckshot spray. Hitting whitetail from
Underneath the wheels,

Unifor and bones fast and cold underneath
Blankets just a quarter mile thin –
Count the microclimates in a 14 mile exposure.
My imagined assignment so real to me anyway,
Inertia now drove dissension in the
Ranks, attracting attention, dousing my focus.
Yet I am pacified by coastal royal blue velvet,
And by the courtly cape of dense silver fog.

Branching in and out to take my focus
Away, lost in the sky and yet at home.
Running beside the little brick foxes
Already started by the drooling hounds,
Follow each by each in broken golden lines.
Shrinking to a pointed index fingers,
Words written between the knotted trees
Escaping our eyes writing letters
To one another, to anyone.
I imagine the trees and they alone love themselves.
Writing in dead languages like towers of Babylon
Yet without oral tradition
No monks or followers to take dictation.
The mighty force upwards, tying rings around
Hands remembering papyrus of their own making.
They, like me, can write their own stories.

Distant deamons dance to the music of the eventide,
Whose eardrums thump and pop from slight descents.
Mercies clear the stares and the macabre glances.
And up ahead the night hides just around
The voluptuous Earth’s curves.
Yet she shakes off the road upon her hip
Langushing and lounging
Laughing at all the forsaken highways.
You snap me awake. My hypnotic state undone
By our quick duel to the death –
I roll one window down with enough sense to show
Our passage party the orange evening parades
And presents a silent moment for exposure.
When nighttime undies the simple flash
Lighting up the cul-du-sac we find a space
Quieting the car and stalling the motor.
The king and queen announced lit up by drums
Of snake oils and Butter-cupped angel’s trumpets.

Washing off any
Sickness, our plague
Knows when we’re gone
It’s done.
Waves roll in goodbye.
Goodbye,
Blue sky of eventide.
Eventide, goodbye.

Mine Field

Is the rain bothering you awake?
No honey, your breath tries my dreams.
Silence, broken by my
Finger tips tapping out
Warnings in barbed Morse code.
So even a clock stopped dead
Is right, like opinions or
Pain medications.
A real mistress knows that
Night whispers her end.
Pearls, wisdom and
Idioms stick to the black
Floor of a yellow city cab.
Like all irrelevant souvenirs,
We leave it on the seats.

Do you hear the cat snoring?
Yes, he lies back pure in sleep,
Swift tail whips a dream’s fiend.
Wagging sinuous and snapping,
Fortunes of thumbs and scams or
Of more dexterous hands, of
Beasts who feed and caress.
Swiping the tiny dimple up
Right between his almond
Eyes. Exactly where four
Fumbling aimless paws
Aim yet miss. He must always
Itch, just as you flip and fumble
Over to find a cold field
Covered head to toe in clover.

Playing the Cat

Scene 1: Enter Stage Right, Cat

This year Cat knocked Mary down.
Mother of Jesus, Carpets, Jews.
Last year, Cat ran off with the Husband—
Taking Joseph’s coat, too.
Not seen since the incident,
Neither man, nor carpet, nor cape.
Cat, exit stage.
Three years now since,
Cat, spuriously,
Dragged down a turkey.
Bigger than his head, feasts Cat,
Dinner of greasy fowl, used and
Orphaned. All shiny fat prickly sinews
Cold kitchen floor decor.
We retired in living color,
Cat waits on sock rugs,
Chasing bugs and saints.

Eyes devour the Lollipop Guild,
Feasting on colorful Witches brews
Enter Wizard. Sleep in straw
The tin cans sending queues
Heads with curlers, spitting nails—
Shake and roar, black as night.
White pictures of spoiled babies.
“My,” gasping grandmother
Hungry, yet we search the air.
Relief, at long last,
A manger all in tact,
Still missing:
Carpentry’s first common
Union worker.
Cat stole him three years past.
In stretches morning, you gripe
“Such an imprint for a wife.”
(I am the knife.)
Cat, please take leave —
Please leave, leave the coffee.
Four years back, for I
Then me. We sighed, “no cat.”
Dreams of dances on tippy toes,
A vision of homes built round,
All trees and ornaments and we’s.
Petting slowly, backhanded
Head to tail.

Cat purrs waltzing,
Jesus asleep now, Joseph
Warmly herd sheep sows, Mary
Wailed and cried still.
Windows shuttered,
Elbows under chins, on sills.
We keep all the straw for a manger.
We each pull out one for luck:
I forgot to count the flock tonight —
Up to number 10 to silence
My weeping, I shivered.
The Egyptian visions,
The escaping slaves —
The sundown desert —
They eyed green knaves.
The riddle the answer the
Four Footed beastly things.
The long tail sweeping
Dust up on wings.

Nestled pyramids, soldiers of sand,
No servants hand, no strangers.
No one died today, no saints
Made. Cat wore the Ankh,
Carried the dog headed staff,
Drawing along the sea crooked to
And fro on the sand, wand dragging
Wagging a tail — Happy in now,
Yet name him Memento.
Cat, built it all alone, he meant
To say, “I made that,” in peace
Aligning November’s
Surrendering sun.
Cat dreams of Cat things:
Play, sleep, sun, warm, eat.

Return to your lines, to track back
Over three years, to four.
In scene two: sorrow and worry,
Cat pictures Mary, Joe, and the baby boy.
Rejoice, back in the trunk
Running for the fifth term monks.
Cat: teeth glitter with hope
Of centurions and scarabs run.
Cat, to you surrendered or given
From your own meaty dinner,
pulled. Drowned asunder
All in a Dead Sea, deep
Asleep, dreaming wonder.

Swaying, overhead wire flying
Cat awake and wicked green
Snipped, he nips at grass.
His game — Cricket.
Slow, moribund, drying spice scent.
Boring holes, hearing voices.
Charming. Then crack —
A bat. Eyes followed us
On western war bliss.
Then rob the sun, beaming
Warm like a kiss.
The Queens pearls go dark.
Yet to remember:
Do not face
Anything larger than you
May forget
To enter: open this moment.
Exit the Cat.