“Though I go to him constantly
on the paths of dreams,
never resting my feet,
in the real world
it doesn’t equal a single glance.”
— ONO NO KOMACHI
… And what is left of us is passed.
There is little to do but negotiate grim options,
The dull utility of mere existence.
O To never awaken;
Away to a nunnery in the clouds
Cloistered in dream committed sleep,
Where you still may stir.
I hear voices:
Heart stragglers venting,
Pillow Words tumbling.
Brief utterances spoken as memory’s voice,
The voice of the absent you.
My median mouth,
My channeling tongue,
Owned saboteurs betraying the passion.
I end as I must, deep in my own language
Sounding simply as myself. An imitation cannot
Hold your sacred evocation.
Dreams are a dull second to first person fire.
I wake just at the threshold of sensation…
Wallow in the meager residue of you.
Can little dead places sustain life?
There is no substitute for love, for you.
Shut my eyes. Shut my world.
Inside the Mask
Whispers inside the mask
Resonate like cathedral bells,
Vibrating the visceral strands.
Deafness is required to fool
The unnamed plots there,
Devised and thickened deep
Within the well where murmurs
And shouts all sound the same.
The same old same-old,
The tell tale face that rings a bell
In the pupil’s cracked lens.
Wolf! Wolf! Go tell it on the mountain
But never inside the mask.
The web is known before you weave it.
Experience hears but hardly believes
That anxious audience of one, and a
Haughty pose struck for the mirror’s
Sake feels much like cheating at solitaire.
Truth can be hard to swallow,
But one can acquire a taste for its
Sometimes gritty finish, or so I
Whisper to myself when no one
Is listening inside the mask.
SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #31, JUNE 2005. ISSN 1479-425X