Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Water Creature Testament

These poems were all written in the late winter or spring of 2008. I'm sharing them because re-reading my old work is usually a good way to jump start any lagging creativity. I think they have a home here, too, nestled in among my more recent work. They represent a cycle, and to me are a fairly unified work. Their ordering, while not arbitrary, does not necessarily indicate when each was written. All errors original to the 23 year old who wrote them.

Prelude: Allison Blooms

it's a halo
it's a hurricane
it's lighting-from-behind
i am
keys in water
you are
torn fabric and and birchbark

there's a long silent drive
feeling like the moment when eyes begin to close
i came home
and ran my fingers over every piece of porcelin i could find
thinking of your neck

i've got no veins in my two selfish arms, only-
old pennies and bits of string, so the legend goes
you've got me feeling like live wires and steel cable.

it's sugar and coffee, acid and base
milk and honey
loaves and wine
we'e ascending heights, digging deep

i promised you a hand to hold down every hallway
you promised me you'd never run in fear
we thought and spoke and whispered and cried
we said
imperishable things
i saw you open for the first time, you put on the real you like a display
valient, deliberate you peeled back your skin
i know what it means
the light and shadow playing behind your bones
as the tableux plays out in your eyes
you are plato's 'the cave' made flesh

you will make and fashion from me
things i could not see without you
you fear permanance
and yet also-
you fear a mercurial 'us'
memories are scary before you have them
in the event they're all you have
or maybe never given chance to form

i will promise you again:
memories. photographs. letters.
secrets. promises. magic.

Water Creature Song
we will envelope, intertwine. we are scarves and hands and vines
you overtake and have consumed me, filling my vision, giving weight to my arms
you are my core and my stratosphere, the air and soil and the trees and the tides
inside me, around me, through me, my skin my heart my eyes and my breath

we are heavy winter coats on rooftops, you and i.
pulled tight to each other, guarding against the wind
we look down at distant streets far below our toes
hands locked, breathless in the chill air, waiting to jump

our eyes glitter when we smile, as seen through clove-scented smoke
we dance inside each other, swaying tree branches reflected in a babbling brook
our delight and our passion running deep, now swift, now slow.
we are water, we are pools, like a river, or a lake, when still.

you've made of me a thousand new creatures, strange and small and tame
they run scurrying over fallen dried leaves, or they sun them selves on rocks
or they soar between the glass and steel of buildings, or lounge between roots
i swim languorously in deep warm water, my oil-drop eyes full of wonder

i am only what i've been, i long believed, a line drawn slowly in lead on paper
but this fresh carved model me, dazzling pure in marble, copper, or cedar
all soft and quick and warm, at your side, your feet, your mercy, your church pew
will follow, loyal, when you leave the dark hall for wooded paths and trails.

Water Creature Creation Myth
they spring forth in all directions
upward, outward
like the creation of the world
these creatures
the shimmering exhalation
of some glad new Pandora's box
the jeweled case that when opened
lets the wonder in.
i do not know who you are,
did you build this, only to open it when we met?
the key in your hand unleashing such things
they explode outward and laugh, scurry to all corners
return to you, humbled, awed.
they will walk with you along river banks
and stories will be told
of the creations you set free
and brightened up the sun.

Water Creature Venus
dipping and diving
water cold, water warm
sunning after-
basking in the after glow
all things reflected, refracted.

we're pulsing and we're pushing
waves and rivers and pools
diving deep and treading at your surface
splashes, depths, fountains, depths-
swimming, surging
streams and gulfs...
we break the surface together
the great mythic swim.
the hot sun, our bodies, the cool water, your face
the rythm we know, the strokes and kicks and dives
the creature i am is the creature in you
these dark cave lakes
i am an olm in you...sinews, no eyes, glowing
we swim in each other, we are water, we are creatures
we are in love, it plays out on your beach, tides and moon...

The Prayers Of The Water Creature

i fell into you, an evening, my aches all melted away
the day and night of wretched things gave through to your bright eyes
i watch you do the work you love, i sat and sighed and yawned.
we made a bed, you held me close, and my sickness seemed to fade
you fight a fever with your smile, you wipe away the cough and cold
an alchemist, a snake oil, a healer, saint or walking miracle
you're all i need, under any cloud, in any hallway
or whatever
creature i may be
The Season For Evasion

how many forms, this creature, how many natives to this wood
born in water and woods, eyes oil-drop and some times closed
swimming still, flying, crawling or running-
running, running through tall brown grass, fleeing hunters
the water creature earthbound for one moon,
skin dry, fur matted,nestled in the hollows of trees
water creature in stages: larvae and adult, water creature evolving
out from the water, past the shore, into the bushes water creature slinks, to slumber
to hibernate, to grow and wilt and stretch
take flight, water creature, third quarter moon greets your first night in chrysalis,
as it did your beginning.
awake, water creature, not as the cycle of your slumber dictates,
but when she is bright and full,
a round eyed moon high and pale and shining.
stand, water creature, not when the moon smiles full,
but new, and dark and soft, night sky like black wine
the streak of the milky way across a sky pocked with stars, wounds in the firmament
shout, water creature, again at third quarter, as the symmetry dictates

we will fly, feet barely touching, the whispering carpet of leaves running through these woods.
i will guide you, my nocturnal eyes glittering and reflecting the stars and moon
breathless, giggling, we meet the edge of the pool, our toes touching the cool water,
this new water creature, this iteration of all that we are, diving and tumbling
sinking down amidst rocks and moss
breaking the surface, gasping, embracing,
in our secret pool, in our silent wood,
only the water creature and his blooming companion,
the vine that he grew out of,
fauna sprung from flora

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