"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time." (T S Eliot)
"A dark and chanted verse is what I am." (
Forough Farrokhzad)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SEQUOIA IN JANUARY


Mountain ranges always arrest me
Like long arms lunging
To gather me in and make me a prisoner.
So Sequoia was a natural
From the second I saw
Far enough
To take in the horizons –
Multi-faceted and sliced into slivers.
I became a happy hostage.

Icy wet tarmacadam
Defined the trip to the top,
As I swerved and swayed into the fog,
Driving my hope to break into clear air.
Then I turned to see the vapour from above:
Frosty pillows bulging
Like bumpy billowed binding -
As though I could roll across
If I was weightless –
Gleaming in the afterglow of a subdued sun
With neither time nor energy
To waste on heat.

The crags and crevices of steep black slopes
Stored sparkling snow in creamy caches,
Sending a shiver down my spine,
Reminding me of other alpine scenes,
Several continents
And many decades of memory away.
But Sequoia’s peaks
Protested their predestined paucity
In a blatant blast of biased
But plausibly prescient pleading.

Soon all around me were the giants -
Red and green and beyond big -
Their flared feet fixed
In the frosty flood of flurries
And set to stay stable as sedentary centurions
Or perhaps much, much longer.
Indifferent grey shade chilled the air,
Freezing precarious public paths
Made perilous by prints of frivolous feet.

Back down in the dampness of the misty air,
A sculpted coyote skulked and scarpered,
Its face full of something like guilt –
Culpability chiselled into its jawline -
Bashful blame blinking in its eyes –
Or perhaps it was facetious innocence.
Who knows how predators
Express such practical pretences?

At the bottom the stream
Roared into the town –
One of three rivers rushing loud -
As if already swelled by winter’s remnants.
Tourists ignored the frozen air
And snacked on ice cream.
Then they got warm by smoky fires
And sampled pizzas and tostadas,
Sipping sweet zinfandel from another valley.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

NEXT TIME


Once I thought
That next time
There would be no pain for you.
We would take in deep draughts
Of our very own togetherness
And spend more time
To savor each moment
And rise fulfilled
And unhurried.

I thought we had
The rest of our lives
To learn
How to please each other.

I thought the years
Stretched out ahead of us.
I thought our passion
Was nothing
But the very beginning
And the end was too far away
To know.

But we were destined
To be lovers truly
For just one fiery summer’s evening  –
Fleeting minutes of ecstasy
Underpinned by adoration,
And, of course, our love.

Damned even though
We thought
We had shattered
All the barriers
In front of us;
Doomed even though
We knew so well
That we were made
For each other –
Different but devoted.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

MALIBU SUNSET


Only an hour ago sky
                     was just sky –
If there can be mere sky
                     in that rich view –
But now as red sun scorches molten sea:
A new palette makes blue much more than blue.

Shadows stretch far behind to make me tall
But my wide eyes focus on dark shimmers
Out there, distant, way past shore’s crashing break,
Hidden secret from wet splashing swimmers.

Surfers see no more than white topped waves’ curves
They miss the grand art fair beyond creamed crests:
Edges glitter purple – sea, sky alike -
Reflected on beaming faces and chests.

Solar redness makes me expect sizzles -
That never come so far as I can tell -
Then, as if to temper my disbelief,
A single gleam pricks through the dimmest dell.

More needle points soon dot the western glade
Paler than evening’s star, dazzling goddess,
Glowing and glistening she will always be,
While the others discharge a cool caress.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

FLOTSAM


Choppy turquoise, frothy bright white
                                               seascapes -
Blistered sun low - cloudy pink red –
Sketching crass corrugated horizons -
Rolling sand hills housed an old surf club’s shed.

Seagulls active - issued harsh shrieks and shrills -
But I had peace and felt no need to stir.
Salty, fishy smells mixed with spiced perfume
On each recurring wind gust messaged her.

My muse had led me to a strange shoreline:
Stretching long and gold and quite new to me;
And we sat at the rippled water’s edge
Within the reach of lapping, soothing sea.

She wrapped herself around me close behind -
So my head could fall back upon her breast –
And she fingered my hair, stroked my temples,
Rendering my damaged heart sweetly blessed.

Her teasing whispers reached my eager ears -
Sliding like silk from Esfahani rugs –
Filling head, heart and loins with glad desire –
Tingling spine and shoulders to cheerful shrugs.

My hands drew line patterns on her smooth legs
That held me safe like arms on a kind chair;
But not so firm that I could not turn ‘round
And please her with each kiss I had to share.

Dreaming we dozed and watched the waxing tide
And the setting sun’s warmth drained right away.
Then we, inspired by fast rising passions,
Became flotsam, swept up in our love’s bay.