Moon and Trees Sestina

Mercurial, the temperament of trees
are captured in sonatas of the moon,
their white-barked pale extensions are exposed
reflective, derelict as any sea.
The chalky groves of trunks unstrung, unknown,
in silver spooned collections of the gloom.

Examining the details of the gloom
do we assume this moonlight is for trees?
It finds us too, and mints us in unknown
coins. In tributaries slurred with moon,
where sunken dimes and quarters are exposed
as quickened flounders surfaced on its sea,

or dulcimers with nickel strings exposed.
Abstracted there and played out in the gloom,
in droning tones below the key of C,
refracted with the frequencies of trees.
A song is spilled from upset cups of moon
in staves of minor notes that strike unknown

chords. When juxtaposed beside unknowns,
where phosphorescent halftones are exposed,
there, we’re composed, completed by the moon.
Days only dream of what comes out of gloom,
what glitters through dense canopies of trees,
It splits and teases untried ways to see

dim aspects of its cratered, tranquil sea,
where sirens swim and sailors drift unknown.
We find ourselves there relative to trees,
our stands and twisted boughs that now exposed,
delineate the edges of the gloom
to rise in archipelagos of moon.

As though we know, have waited for this moon,
and floating there, we’re swallowed in its sea.
When drawn into the complicated gloom
where twilight comprehends the vast unknowns,
crepuscular, and circumspect, exposed,
we share the sterling-indigo with trees.

Perhaps we are dark sentiments of moon
expressed in undulations of unknown
shapes, shining for insomniacs to see.
Our pearls clarified and then exposed,
dependent on repeated bouts of gloom
to reach and quiver, not unlike the trees.

Infectious Youth (A fond tribute)

Eternally bleeding from the knife-edge spaces
in the library stone-steps
with breadcrumb-words and apostrophes; donning academic dress and fraternal order,  bursts the young, firm mind, unkempt in cavalcades of originality, dine and dash texts combined with a self-assured intellectuality sponsored by apple curves and way.

Fenced in the wasteland, calculated by the Pound,
price of admission paid
(for future-former associations).
They come:
emanating spring and
dispersing a repetitive freshness
in the wake of their
passage with devastating
sprays of drive-by stanzas.

Herein they go,
rambunctiously dismissive, pleasantly delusional,
(life inebriated, weaves
and sideswipes experience).
Galloping effortlessly through,
with sweater, letter and currency.
Hobnobbing
robbing and rhyming
schooled and appealingly fooled.
An infectious energy and worse,
we find ourselves in the
precocious lines of their
reconstituted verse.

Inspecting the Dark

 

Does not a form
of vision bait this hour
while frilled sharks of sleep
slide in between impaired
and deafened ears,
feeding on monsoons of dreams
I am here
breathing in this night of spring
on darkened curb below the plumes
of foliage that offer paper lanterns
of cavalcading lilac-whites,
their fragrant light accompanies
my sack of lonely bones tonight
as I inspect these trees
against that moon,
sit in this obscured
outsider’s room with quiet houses
walled within
the passing pantomime,
standing circumspect
and bricked around the slumber
of their occupants,
playing those lickspittle tricks
of a sober, fixed
existence;
blinded by the slighted hand,
waged and mortgaged
by the soundness
of illusions we expand.

Great Basin Plants

Regardless of the hour,
concrete culverts funnel
their noxious fumes upward
in unapologetic clouds.
They canker
the stretch marks
of great basins,
where the Bonneville ranges
heave like hard-rock breasts
and salt flats
rest between them.
They seem
to have absorbed
the curious tears of Lot’s wife
long ago when she harked back
to rough-scrabble elevations.

Even the Bristlecone pine
imperceptibly snake
their chapped roots
down through basalt fissures
and twist into the altitude
in tortured angles,
dismember the eons
before Pony Express riders
galloped across sprawling
high desert vales
beating out
a common time signature,
winding through the Four-winged
Saltbush,
dodging the spiny Shadscale.

Alkaline expanses
tickled by the wheeze
of gingham skirts and spun
wagon wheels, easily blanched
the broken frames of the dead
to accommodate
their deserted efforts.

More recently,
salt processing plants and toxic
waste incinerators are long-mile
neighbors up wind
from the army depot,
peppered truck stops
and the copper mine slag-heaps.

Rinsed in a halogen-sapphire light
after the sun gives up the ghost,
monolithic smokestacks bolk
a steady exhaust.
It diagonals
and dissipates in secreted
melancholy burnings
offered up to the isolated
and inhaled by the sparkling
seven sisters, reduced
to semi-precious stones
worn above a vacancy.

Underneath it all,
radioactive wastes
buried inside vinyl-lined landfills
live out their quiet half-lives.

 Flora on the Surface

Her recollections freckle lavender;
rosemary purples, drift
and dot the scene, mid
pensive pansies with bruised
eyes that bleed
into canary velveteen, 
let sail to bob and weave
with fennel’s eyelash greens;
a feathered flattery
that boats between
the columbine
with spurs obscured in flower,
forsaking other blossoms,
rests with rue,
whose bitter sorrow
contemplates the hour,
chaste daisies chain and violets ensue
and float above the tomb
in buoyant truth; a eulogy
of pollinated wreath.
Ophelia stares through them
from beneath.

Pelican

He stands, body of an immense, whitewashed
soup tureen supported by mustard
bamboo limbs jutted
out in twin tangerine webs
of lizard-skin fans.
Heaped hanging dishes of raw
Indonesian black rice along with the white
jasmine variety
against his sides, are folded wings
below his peeled, boiled egg
of a head dotted with opposing eyes.
They swivel, long terminated
on a neck of fat albino-copperhead
snaked-circumference
almost bent into a figure eight
while he sleeps with his acrobatic
nape against his back.
His bill is an arm-length
by a four-finger width
of a marigold funnel,
intersecting his frontal view
over blizzards of breast feathers.
This concludes in a single-beak talon
sissoring a three gallon collapsible pouch.
All skeletal hollow inner workings are enginneered
to absorb the tension hidden in an aquatic surface.
He is unaware of the myths
of self sacrifice assigned to him
and spun by our need to elevate behavior.
Folklore doesn’t affect his flight or fishing
nor does the symbolism of blood and water.