My fathers sword (a haibun)

In the mornings at breakfast my mother would ask ”Who are you being today? What should I call you?” It was an arrangement we had. I was an imaginative child and she humoured me. I would answer Robin Hood or Peter Pan or Galahad, needing breakfast before the quest. She kept to my names very well, but she much preferred her dogs.

you can’t go far in this life,
or do any good,
without a fantasy horse

My father never asked such a question. I was his carpenters mate, whoever I was. We didn’t talk much as he sawed and I held the board steady or passed him nails. I am sure he knew what I thought. He made me a wooden sword. It could strike a mighty blow.

in a powder of sawdust,
companionship
was always more than enough

i rode my fantasy horse
in the realm of dreams
but my father armed me well

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Nothing at all

all our conversations
are becoming like this.
what are you thinking?
nothing of importance
what are you doing?
nothing right now
what were you doing last night?
nothing much
is anything wrong?
Nothing at all

i can’t fathom your tone
nothing is not an empty void
it fills the room
it’s so real I can’t breathe
then you say if you knew me
you wouldn’t be asking questions.
i thought you knew me completely

you don’t say what you have on your mind
you tell me nothing serious is happening
you say so much amidst your questions
you ask if I should have been an actor?
what the hell do you mean by that?

you ask can I find what I’m looking for here
and suggest I am lost in my dreams
not all can get lost in fantasy, you say
like its a blessing, and i get an award

you think I can’t see.
i see the nuance.
you insinuate
as you circle
herding me in
with maybe it’s this
and maybe it’s that

i am becoming impatient
this is becoming ridiculous
i say in exasperation
maybe i should have run off with a clown
maybe i should have been lead singer
when i played in a band back then
i start to feel sarcastic
and I don’t like the way i sound

maybe i am not looking for anything
did you think of that?
i followed a path that lead me here
if wishes were horses I’d be riding
but I’m not wishing
I am trying to write a poem
sitting by a river
it can help sometimes
and that’s what I do

yes, sure i get sad, who doesn’t
but it’s never that nature no longer delights me
I don’t forget the glory, even when it’s hidden
behind a day in the grey, with no shine
the trees against the clouds still have grace
i am thinking of what i am seeing

the wind that blows blow all away
that’s where I am,
that’s what I am doing
that’s who I am
Nothing at all

The Tourist and Her Toy

the desert air
that blows across the land
is hot and full of sand
bringing no relief
to sultry streets

the passageways
emptied by siesta
echo to your running feet
rushing down the thousand steps
in and out of shade

the shade is dark, the shade is cold
you run away, while the town is sleeping,
continuing your seeking
leaving me behind
with no promises worth keeping

you thought you’d live your fantasy
you thought you’d find a wild romance
and these narrow streets held magic
i have seen your like before
you come and go like starlings

you only came to play with me
you will always be a tourist
you don’t belong anywhere
i cannot escape from here
your liberty is tragic

The Dreaming Path ~ a poem

Entering this fantasy
Leave not the Grove
That is my home.
However far
You may roam
Walk straight ahead
To find me.
Let no dragon,
though he be fierce,
Bar you from this vision.

Ignore the bridge
That is not mine.
Turn right
Onto a dreaming path
Where woodlands grow
In beauty.
Walk on
Along the river bank.
The way across
Is secret.
Travel
In the midnight hour
To better see
The lighted way.

See the heavens
Crystal shine
Across the dreaming river
Where currents flow
In silence
And sunset glows
Forever.
You have the key
Inside your heart
The waters will not part us.

Escaping the Tower

Climbing the mountain, trying to reach the tower
Confronted by a dragon, endlessly asking me riddles,
While a great storm gathers all about us
Thunderbolts roar, lightning reflects on my shield

(“What do you do in that room all the time?
What are you thinking about?’’
I stop to get the food
And gather the rubbish that needs to go out)

I am losing my footing on the slippery rocks.
The dragon flashes his eyes with desire
I have to succeed, cannot be overpowered,
I call on the rain to quench his fire

(“Always off in imagination,
What’s wrong with you?
You spend hours on that
And it’s not even true’’)

I answer the final riddle, the dragon steps aside.
My way no longer barred, I struggle on up the mountain.
The tower reaches up to the clouds
Eagles circle above, come to help me in my troubles

(“I know you have talent?
Why don’t you use it?’’
“I work too!’’ i say
“You could work more!’’ says she)

The eagle carries me up to the princess, we hover.
She reaches out to me. I swing her onto the eagles back.
My arm circles her waist, her hair flies in my face.
She leans back on me in relief.

(“You always were some other place,
Even as a child. No different now than ever.
Why can’t you just be normal,
And stay in reality?’’)

We circle together above the now sunlit valleys
Looking down from above, we avoid all the cities and castles
And land in a summer meadow by a softly singing stream
She adorns herself with flowers, I dream

It

it’s out there somewhere, hovering
at the edge of my mind as i turn
it’s out there somewhere, that haunting
form, a musical note, a flute

it’s out there somewhere, in the glide
of a kestrels wing above the moors
it’s out there, somewhere it’s waiting
just beyond my reach, in light

it’s out there somewhere calling me
persistent, it pulls me, always
out to the hills, the woods, out there
somewhere on the blue horizon

it’s out there somewhere, I call out
asking it to come for me now
it’s out there somewhere, answering
follow me, move, get up, come, walk

it’s out there, somewhere inside me
in every dream and whispered sign,
footfalls to follow, blown open doors
i live with it, out there somewhere

i knew it all so clearly once
high on a rock strewn windswept Tor
i saw it spread out across the land
a flying shadow, a glow, a gleam

i heard it in the forest close
tracking my every cautious step
smiling behind my back, laughing
it’s out there somewhere, i saw

it’s out there somewhere, I know
i smelled that scent of old, ancient,
it’s out there somewhere, primordial
lobe, in the depths of memory

it’s out there somewhere, alive