The Feather Diviner

By haphazard, I find them in all weathers —
these giant-magnificent eagle feathers —
and at all times outdoors I must look exactly where I am going
since there is no way of knowing,
ever, how or when I will find
the next one. Sometime, the rare quills come trundling across bare dirt in the wind;
sometimes, wedged — or pinned —
they slant in spiked razor grass; or sit still in the close-knit, twig-meshed cage
of some dead shrub. Whatever the case, these are the wages
paid out at random by mystery,
tokens of a rippling altitude that will always seem far beyond me,
who am Earth-bound, by nature. Yet, vicariously,
I can ripple after a fashion to this exclamation-marked treasure,
humbled, astonished, to the pink grave core —in equal measure —

and consequently turned out of this world robuster towards the sun.

Silent B (For Those who have to Make Themselves up out of No One)

Nathan Prayre stares inwards from an odd angle
at himself: Who is this stranger
stronger in conscious than me?
He minds
the abrupt unwelcome of all the personality’s lame haberdashery —
is this the desert of forty days
once so faithfully promised in scripture? Awake by night
to a stray patch of phantom glow on his bedroom wall
and the work of laboured breath,
he prays for tears — or sleep — or comfort
in precisely that order, pleading
to the active no one in himself
for the chance of a trace of a truce
with non-human human-being
or even some ever-so-slight side-benefit of the doubt.

Homing (Another Near Life Experience)

Photo by Harrison Haines on

In eight months the new house assimilates the jangled stranger.

But, now and then, random olfactory flashbacks come banging down the doors of second nature’s numb fortress.

Forgotten unforgettable conjunctions of brick-, paint-, timber-, cement-, corrugated-iron-, cloth-, soil-, and garden-smells reanimate those early impressionable days of first acquaintance.

How odd to lose touch — thanks to daily close contact — with intense networks of such visceral-physical fact!

Buried memories surface through gaps in inattention to the fanfare of tingling, dumbfounded nerves.

(Awareness in its high-beam headlights gets so easily lost in a tunnel vision’s on-rushing detail . . . )

Fortunately, unnoticed, something sensitive in us registers out of turn the world’s appeal to the body and takes life-pleasure in disrupting by means of involuntary recollection thought’s endless, teeming, habitually dogged ant-lines.


Photo by Daniel Eliashevsky on

You’re only the spire. You don’t ever touch down
right to the foundations. “Upwards” is a word
you may often happen to take seriously. The vista
seems to shape itself — flawless — all around you,
its beauty one unbroken ring. “Centre”
and “circumference” inevitably creep into your thoughts
as well as values and, on the whole,
you can’t help looking down a little. One day,
when the physical temple starts to rot,
belatedly you will realize
just how much extraordinary emptiness exists
between you and the actual — neglected — textures of the ground,
textures Planet Earth always freely, openly offers.

A Bull’s Eye for the Bullets, but Mind’s Eye for Beauty

Photo by Pixabay on

A cold wind. Standing ovation
in the trees — Autumn’s moon-dry rustle of leaf
on leaf on leaf. Thunder
in the chill brick bridge when trains pass
larger than life
overhead, white-hot catenary sparks
sizzling fresh air
with the stink of electric scorch. Then
pin-drop quiet, plump as moss, and moss
universally shock-absorbing all than could never be green
back into greenest
tactile patch-working clumps.

The Blind Self-Interview

I filled my pockets with the weight of a day’s long pain
and trudged to the edge of a barnacled pier —
not to throw myself off
but to kill myself
thought by thought by thought to the end of time.
I failed in the freeze,
as the chill sun set,
hopelessly unable to see what I meant,
and marooned in that zone between iced
and unthawed, where all I could do
was to find in myself one thought at a time —
and thought by thought to the dead-end
of time — a single good reason
to come back to life
once more. I failed,
but in the freeze of twilit sea air
and in the canvas quiet of so much intricate natural noise
I realized, with my hands,
that pockets could never be filled by that sort of emptiness,
and that dusk in a way can be another kind of dawn —
if you’re lucky —
and that home, if you want one, must be built
out of nothing with hard-heart-felt questions
and barn-nail thinking,
thought by thought
to the end.

Savage ● Salvage

Photo by capri23auto on

A hovering wasp rippling fine grains of dust with the fierce fan-force of its wings
zooms into land by what’s left of a smash-wrecked moth:
one large upper flight-panel dappled
with antique swirl.
Further off,
yet another flat piece of debris
footnotes blank brick
where a post-mortem sun shines on.
The wasp now wrestles with its unwieldy catch.
Using forelegs and jaws,
it bends the sheet neatly in two,
all the better to airlift it back home to base, intact —
whole hangars there stockpiled with similar,
edible, loot.

Lunar Ensign

Photo by Edgar Colomba on

I feel the new moon long before I see its light scar;
hushed is the healing in live air;
hope grows its young skin tender within me.
I am animal again, the faint stir;
the beginning has its unexpected start in me again;
I am borrowed by the lush understatement of a Spring instinct;
this raining in the blood lives so vividly on my side now.


You couldn’t stand it ―
crawling hour after hour
down the famished tunnel of your hunger
mostly for a mouthful of dust.
At first sight,
do I rightly get under that skin
you are absolutely certain
never to wriggle out of? Legless,
lipless, no browed,
ruthless ― my denudity
creepily never fails to unnerve.
Of course, I am poison’s
Greatest Living Treasure
and venomously adverbs
every single move I make
to the point where
I, alone, am the sinuous hairline crack
that fractures and flaws
even the most generous “Love
of Nature”. Slithering
or coiled, I bring you lightning
Sudden Death, and am always
prepared to pull ― despite
decades of cautious caretaking ―
just that light from under your feet.