She bends to kiss a torn magnolia

above a curdled sky. And then, she turns away.

 

Wind-strands race her up,

flick her arms. But she gives

 

no cheek-turns no lip-end-lifts

 

to faces blooming particularities: textures

in silk, veined in some, tremors

 

in powdered pistils, tints smudged

on her way. She frets at jeweled centers

 

leaning to snag her eye to which

 

she tosses nothing but a vacant sweep,

a weightless knowing. She trudges on.

 

Above her, a sky grovels—

stained cheeks like violated petals

 

ridged on edges too, as sadness does

to absences between eyes. She looks up

 

lips as still as water, mirroring

 

knowledge that silence gifts

the eyes. Rain veils her window, whole

 

plump faces peering in, blowing

magnolia endearments. But

 

she waves the whispers off

like a lover heart only

 

on the face

 

she kissed to name. She bends the wan sky

falling on her hands, curling fingers following a kiss

 

and scrolling a tendril writes : 

flow’r once.

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knock knock

from the car’s belly

laughing rain

 

in her lending booth

stool pigeons’ hearts

 

with a mannequin

our first and last words

still wind

How do memories slip in

congealing into live cells,

breathing and pulsating on their own?

 

None of them can ever be found

no matter how meticulous you comb through

cavities of the heart where in myth

anything you can’t stash away escapes.

 

Incredulous thought, of course—

an organ the size of your fist can’t

possibly compress into points as invisible

as unnamed stars, these heaving live cells.

 

What about the brain,

in whose recesses and pools colliding stars falling

in millennium bits of light, moments

as deep as the unseen edges of the universe are known

 

to be reflected?

Even more incredulous—this

organ the size of a ciabatta floating on water

can’t possibly breed the universe.

 

What then do you suppose

happen to moments at the instant

of birth (who, what gives birth to them anyway)

when they turn into memories?

 

Metamorphose perhaps

into phantom cells, molecules

you carry about weightless until

you coax them into being. Only then

 

do they dance before your eyes or

rush in to trample on your heart

Lent no matter Easter somehow still lingers in my being…hence, this poem:

 

Night for us wraps the sun scruffy as

a crow, raucous as a rooster tossing

its last complaint: how long the wait

for three o’clock, the hour of

lead the hour to undo eternal

betrayal?

 

Unease stirs our beds

filaments from a broken ciborium

—splinters of our spirits borne

on crumbs we had long swallowed

then scraped away for

pink dreams.

 

So unlike warblers so

lacking their marrow-less lightness

to fritter on twigs, we toss in gales

to roost in flesh, demanding

silence as if to lure death

we must first die.

 

Straining to sing we cannot

either…if we were but robins maybe

chords those daylong cries, those

dirges for absent mate, we may

un-shy declare—dark

is darker faith-less.

 

Who tears the pines in shreds,

pining notes so shrill these whirl

like tin stars? If we could

but like orioles blaze through our sadness

in the dark then singed, land

sobered but freed.

 

We are but ourselves, un-cocked to night’s

endearments, tuned in to strident signals:

the steel-pipe whistles (if it were but Pan’s), the roar

under belly, a thud under foot then

the jingle of keys, a creak as joints

part to solitary landscapes.

 

We have planted monoliths

in our nightscapes that guiltless

we treasure priceless unlike we do our

spirit—this soundlessness in our

being, this singing bird

we have stoned.

Absence is no excuse for vacant eyes. Presence belongs even to mere thought. Neglect is often the truth. And it’s hurtful. Yet it’s never always intended. Like I didn’t my absence here. I’m trying to explain away because I have failed you and this blog that I created with ‘love’ in mind. But there’s always hope to make up for what’s lost. It’s what I hope to do in the next while. And for an apt post, I offer ‘Abrazos’

 

Abrazos

If your lips open


as if in awe, and purse

for a light trill, if a tiny whisper


escapes through your smile,

a 
soft hiss as you breathe


you have said, 


Abrazos. 




 

Say it again

and feel your 
breast caving in


as your arms curve


like an open arc, an arc 


the size of your aching.



 

Then when your palms 


clasp,  feel how your heart 


gasps, as it curls


in hers.

 

poeticdiversity. com

April 2008 Volume 6 Number 1

that knows knows when a prayer
shapes the silence

who among the spaces senses
a prayer as it wings its path to the heart
that knows

a flight quite swift
aboard a whisper still quite mute
its sighs a song

only when it alights
on the heart that knows knows
its birth as a prayer

in the heart
only the heart that knows
knows only the source of Life

who knows what a prayer
lays down bares surrenders
to the heart that knows

who knows what peace
what healing what flowers
in a prayer

only the heart of the Son
who is the Father who is the Spirit
who is the heart that knows

who is the soul that prays

Alegria Imperial, CA
Sketchbook 5 ‘Let Us Pray’
SeptOct Issue 2011

Like tattered wings, clouds veil the winter sun this morning–as if it was possible to smoother the source of light. In the half-shade, El and I continue to walk on the river bed that the tide has drained. Our footmarks create indented landmarks for now seemingly engraved until the restless swirl and swell of river tide sweeps them away. I sigh over my foreboding of the loss, what I thought would be our guide when we get back, “Why doesn’t anything stay the way it is at all?”

He answers without looking at me, “You sound like a three-year old, you know, when everything adults say is met with a ‘why’.”

I hold back my quip, keeping it as close to my inner hearing, as mute as my heartbeat. “We all do have the heart of a three-year old. We ask questions constantly because some things do need answers like why moments hardly ever stay.”

As if hearing me, El goes on, “if any moment at all stays, we would be frozen like stalactites. But these soon melt, too, as you know. Or would you disagree and tell me about stalagmites?”

“Yes, what about stalagmites?”

“You know the answer, don’t you? They change, too, indiscernibly as it takes hundreds of years like the canyons to show the tiniest of marks. Nothing stays, little girl!”

“Of course, I know. I know.”

The rustle of water rushing back and forth on our feet, lapping its way back and forth from the belly of the river takes over our voices. El looks farther up the river where a barge shimmers against the sun that has since emerged from the clouds. My eyes trail his as he scans a horizon gaping to the sky. We trudge on, the sand weighing heavier on deeply soaked turns of the river bank.

I comb silken patches we skim along our walk, noting more signs of life once, now emptied even decayed in skeletons of mollusks and shards of clam shells. Washed over among them though are some stones that shine, showing off it seems, delicate veins, inimitable hues of blues, greens, rusts and grays. I secretly covet and keep snapshots with my mind of what seems like a standstill in their moment, aware of my stubbornness for impermanence.

I am stubborn about moments, meaningful slices of life like what El and I have together. Nothing extravagant like floating on the ocean at dawn to see how light plays on Alaskan icebergs. Or a distant trip to the Northern Territories where on a hotel balcony, we could watch the Aurora Borealis fling sparks. I wish nothing more than quiet moments like now to freeze if only for a breath. I catch El’s eyes light up with another thought.

He breaks the rhythmic sound of the water. “Amazing how water can hold up tons of steel, isn’t it?” He hasn’t taken his eyes off the barge.

“Some laws whose author mankind has been attempting to fathom to circumvent, these are what hold the universe up or what you perceive as moments together. Imagine if in its interminable rotation the sun stops!”

“I understand,” I say in a whisper but I regain my voice to state, “And I do understand how the constellations stud the universe without flinging at us on this blue dot, a tiny planet called Earth, in the infinite vastness. I understand why the universe unless in parts decayed and discarded cannot cease. Where parts die, the interminable movement fills it up and renews it. Should we say then that this is what eternity or infinity is all about—constant change, movement?”

“Hahaha! You’re not a little girl after all. You’re thinking too deeply. Should we turn into philosophers now? But seriously, there’s something else beneath the seeming restlessness in the universe that you and I have been skimming.”

I wait for his answer though I have it. My shadow has faded into grey. The sand has dulled as it has lost the shimmer the fullness of the sun has lent because clouds earlier drifting, now veil it again—those tattered wings.

Movement. We’ve covered half of the river bank way past the copse of blackberry brambles that open up for an entrance; the horizon now seems only halfway farther within reach. I stop and facing the river, stretch my arms palms up as if to hold in balance the universe I imagine. On childish impulse, I raise one leg exhilarated that I don’t tilt—the sand has sucked up my feet. Gravity keeps me rooted and unless I bend back halfway my body length, I won’t fall.

“Balance is the answer to why the constant movement,” I shout with the wind.

El grabs my shoulders and pulls me backward. I fall in his arms as he says, “Equilibrum. Nothing in this universe, in this Life stagnates because the essence of it is constant movement. But in the constant flow, nothing is lost because in movement the exact point or the moment of which you’re so anxious about is the balancing point, the point of equilibrium.”

I feel his breath on my nape. I continue his line of thought, “That’s where it happens then, the significance of a moment, right at the heart of a moment whose nature is movement.”

“And those points accumulate to keep the balance against those uncertainties yet to come. You’re right in wanting to keep a snapshot of each moment so that when you step into the next, which is unknown, you hold your balance with what you have in your hands, namely, a moment you’ve kept.”

“Like memories of our meeting, and of the picnic when you slipped an engagement on my finger, huh? I float back to those moments, you know, when your business trips to the Okanagan take weeks and you can’t manage to send a word and the world flows in blank pool.”

“Hmmm…” he takes me in his arms.

Our moment has changed. We have changed from seeming antagonists flinging questions back and forth to the friends and lovers that we are. One more moment in our lives that began as formless as emotion or thought, as restless as clouds or the tides, has been clinched in a point of balance we have moved into in our walk by the river bank. For me, it is one more moment to keep against tomorrow’s moments I cannot see.

We turn back, our hands clasped, our shadows braiding. The sun has slipped away from those tattered wings again as brightness swarms even among the ivy in the copse.

First published in Timeless Spirit
Copyright 2011 by Alegria Imperial