Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
You are wronged.
You ache so hard your tissue, your blood and beat,
folds in on itself and webs sound,
is the harrowing howl of hammered heart,
the sonorous bass that crashes rhythmic pump,
disrupting the steady, even equanimity,
even dull ticking of your world–
your imagined world–yours and his. Momentarily.
But the rest is long drift, the ebb and flow of hurt and healing.
Some wounds stay raw and open: the scars of lacerated trust,
open and gushing the glutinous lava,
melted rock of your mountain marriage,
the very fount of your avowed–out loud–couplehood.
And the plane of aftermath is sterile, once again stable.
You limp long on broken legged love, on parenthood and promise,
collapsing back into the other when gravity and hormone shifts
make peace appear right in resignation and ennervation.
For you fear no one will hear your last breath.
The hum of the daily feels like presence,
but the cataracts of dream, of your curt kindness,
are but steadying, the leveling of love,
after the fall and the gratitude for life
unending of upheaving insecurity unlived.
The artist and I live in a box of pain,
he in his blue house and me in mine.
Sometimes we share the same frame.
Crippled by pennies and oily spills,
we stream our strife in pen and paint.
Reflections of the tethering tightrope walk,
we sweat and steam in the cloth of life.
We press our ears to the rhythm of talk.
Chewing our nails in the toil of change,
we pay our prison down in collectors’ coin.
Hovering about the dollar bills on display,
we are scission of fancy and fistful plight.
A pression of paper, the sack holds sway.
See us shored in the glean of the glass
in art and always out of grasp the prize.
In a dream I spilled my coffee and you dabbed the drops dry
then kept me in the sanctuary of sunny walls of the canyon.
You surrounded the silence inside and out of the darkness,
sheltered me from the unknown and unseen threats
spewing from my head and the encroaching sentence.
Though a vision, the cocooned comfort of clean warmth
saturated my skin and soothed the silhouettes of scenes
I played in the air which demonized and tormented me.
The silken offerings of shelter and savory songs, teeming time
and release, held me suspended in secure freedom and relief.
Even as you encased me, swept me from danger a while,
ensuring ever peace and never entry either, none for me
who pierced your persona, the mask that sailed through days
without a hitch, I was not there, nor were you for all we said
for all we did, the lapse of waves on the ocean front of the inn.
I sat on a porch in the vineyards with you sipping wine and sage
in that illusion as we drifted through somnambulant skies of amber
portraying the iconic lovers of notes, words, cells and seasons.
Culling the seeds of our silvery days we played Tristan and Isolde
and all about us applauded the proposal, the performance of us.
But awakening in the half lit room of slatted rays of golden dust
I feel your shadow lingering hidden deep like rusty pipes
in the foundation of this house, shambled upright and tall.
The image creeps about the corners of my eyes, tingles sight,
but I stretch open the passage of the day with true flesh and mind.
A temperate day filled angry space.
The day before a tempest blew
which splintered moods and cracked the view
to drippery splash; it muted hues whipped in place.
The smoke of plume pinched alley’d brains.
To squinting eyes of grimaced spook
The next day’s past was full in view
as muddy soul and grim repast, forgotten pains.
The yestermorrow engulfed my walk.
Among upturned poles and toppled cars
the leaves sodden mulch beneath my shoes
I swayed now then amid the garbled talk.
The suspect sky was clear and blue.
Shorn of tear and crashing cloud
it mocked the storm once loud
with fear and gust then now cruel.
My feet stood glued to pavement frames.
A heart struggled in wait and fear
when an opaque shade appeared
to face me now stilled, frozen, same.
I came and met my coming and going
my went came first and then my still to come
only the now then, not yet any, is none
and all that is there is to knowing.
What to do when the skin pickles
and the mind dries splintered?
What to do when eyeballs glitch
shudder open-shut, right to left?
Where to go when cars slam openings
cabin space so tight it pierces skin?
How to survive the sandwiched time
of somatic stares and twitching sleep
unparalleled movement unceasingly on?
Why do we contrive without power
un-surrender ourselves to perpetuation?
Which is in?
When will the uncleaved door bend
ope-crack and whistle in the
sizzling windy train of space,
belly breathe hoary air eons long
trellised and clinging to cilial body,
When stillness is–
A sketched out sea colors
the canvas auburn and indigo waves
Digital smears of cyber brush
and stroke, feathered illusion
of depth and space
texture and sense
I smell the ocean but feel no breeze
you do not move me
in a virtual world, yes
in the plane breathed warmly, no
nearly lifted from the screen
lying flat across atoms and time
no light, no touch, no sight
The sky and the sea run parallel
but free of attachments,
committed only to movement and time.
While the sea moves in currents
as the day and nighttime stimuli
take her–as does the sky–
she buoys those upon her up
or swallows them down,
supporting or drowning,
life-giving or taking;
he hangs his companions there–
free and suspended–
with little to no support.
A risky visit to his domain
will surely lead to lost lives
without self-supporting devices
but the ride will be once-in-a-lifetime.