A minor quartet

The Art of Dreaming I
1. Close your eyes
2. Remember

The Art of Dreaming II
1. Trust your eyes
2. Surrender

The Art of Dreaming III
1. Damn your eyes
2. Carry on

The Art of Dreaming IV
1. Open your eyes
2. Forgive

No one dances where no music is

Out in the cold border
of the solar system
angels twitch, elves leap
no song stirs the no-air

meanwhile, here,

edges sharpen, and clouds
pull away from the sun

I hear that trees, unlike us,
hear the large hum of all that lies
beneath the scaffold sky


You will understand part of what I say here,
like seeing parts of the river of use to you,
like knowing the rock by the cracks
into which you can squeeze a hand or foot.

Love dissolves walls, but kernels remain.
How can I embrace you, if we become one?
How can I crave your touch, if it is only my own?
For every melding there is a sever,
and for every sever a mending.

It’s a riddle: how can you know a changing fate?
How can you see yourself through your own eyes?

Once, in springtime

It was a day much like this,
wasn’t it?
You sat in the large chair
doors and windows open
spring breeze drifting through
the empty house.

You closed your eyes.
Birds bickered
in the dusk-tinged trees.

The smell of lilacs,
the texture of your clothes
against your skin,
the sound of children
somewhere down the street,
a stray, feral jackhammer,
barely noticed.

Suddenly you saw
your mother’s face,
heard her voice, so
natural, so matter-of-fact,
say your name,

and all the secret places
returned, as if never forgotten.
the space behind the furnace,
ancient, pointless bits of coal
still strewn across the floor,

The back-porch roof,
the gully out back where
you tipped autumn leaves
and slid downhill on
flattened be-dusted cardboard,

and down the network of alleyways
that bound the city together,
the far corner of the library,
that smelt of old paper,

and there, in the park
that was wilderness and comfort,
the boulder next to the creek
that ran a rainbow of color

from the factories upstream,
the solitary water strider
hovering alone over
its desolate domain.

Once you found a ring there,
bristling with keys,
the locks to which were
long forgotten.

Later, in a dream, you saw
your ship sailing without you,
your bags on the pier,
and you, turning, seeing the port
as if for the first time.