Sunday, December 10, 2017

Always Dying


While precocious winter dusk subsumes them
the cluster squares awake, coin where the cold's
kept out of rooms: high-rises pock with light
the north shore mountains' feet, inlet's
other strand; power-grid optics spangle
farther up - then peter - as residential homes.

The steady automotive chain that spans
the inlet's bridge, likewise lights. No slack
in the pelting sleet on us: day of cold clay,
wet legs and hands, snow breath, seizing back,
foresting the height that was pared by storm;
ubiquitous slurry inhales boots. Day goes

into an urn. Salal cliffs are vantage to spumes
the silent freights, remotely on slate,
drag as through a dream - slow, far down.
Why above the salt water far down, each springing,
the jewels of lights openly springing,
would make the heart to sink, in dread, to death; and why
from this place, ice cream point, prospect named,

poses question to another dusk's purview,
where once, at a forest edge, two I knew
crossed the cold meadow. Hearing first their voices,
brother sister they, called in recognition
to their friend, watching gold melt in the west's
wide crucible of the woods, regained on the other end.

We wandered trails and before we knew, the fastest
falling dark: three mergers we, each one's face
to the other, gradually getting covered
with world's shades, made us more intimate; the grey
chill settled, and something was - that warmed -
keeping us to feel no need for emergence.

Never had we seen in a blacksmith black
such dusk, this hammered burning,
as that one held us in the darkening paths.
Panes of rose thrown on the pillars of fir; the red
light dying, light dying, openly dying;
no light coming on - and we did not leave
for joy. An owl was like a lori bird,

from way back in the wood’s heart
from way back in the wood’s heart,
in the furthest quiet and shadows and cold
the oo-ta-oo that led us to spy him who, mostly
silhouette, stood on a tree's lower rung. And then he flew
like winging smoke, and we followed the owl like smoke

we were following the owl like smoke, mostly smoke
to the world's material hazards and its lights
that deny the dark down to each fast-lit
corner, while not overcoming it,
only the room it lights to see. But the light
illuminated all, that died into the trees.

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