The light

mid-march, the light

a feverish wound
inside my eyes

burning the end
of a story
I took all winter to write

Spring in Goscieradz: Leon Wyczolkowski

Not calligraphed by rain

That’s why I seek the storms of the
night. The fury. The devastation. The
swirling darkness. The blind sin. To
the morning. To this morning. When I
have to be the sun. Not the sky. Not
the shadow. Force sight. Force
myself to see. I have to be the sun
that makes you visible. You exist again
and I have to see you as you really
are. Not calligraphed by rain. Not
embellished by mist. Not remembered
better than you can be. In the morning,
this morning, I have to be the sun
and you are still who you always were.
But now we cannot turn off the light.



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Because tomorrow is today by another name

Oh, our truth may be malleable, but you can’t accuse
us of deliberate perjury. We bend with the wind of
self-preservation. Isn’t that our elemental mandate?
We dress in convenient falsehoods. Our masks wear
masks. Reality is a lover we scorn by day and take to
our beds at night, so the pain will comfort our
numbness. We strut like naked emperors bearing
our crowns of opportunism. Truth itself is complicit.
If it wished, verity could fill the light in its vertiginous
ascent to the sky. Are we water that we will harden
or disappear just to accommodate the whim of the
weather? No, our forbearance has no preordained
horizon. Our certitudes have disclaimers. We don’t
fear death, we are afraid of being forgotten. Our
last honest confession could have been hunger, but
we have long learnt to quietly swallow our pride.

Half universe. Half poem.

I wonder how they see the universe. Those
that might be a little more unencumbered, a
little more free? Is their night half lit instead

of half dark? I worry the engulfing murk till
it opens an ear. Till our angst matches our
scars. Till we promise each other a share of

invisible moon. Light is the preoccupation
of those who see the outside. I close my eyes
and look within. Half universe. Half poem.

Emptiness sits in a half full glass, uncomfortable
and wet along the rim. But the poem immerses
itself in the darkness, sometimes a word gleams

or a star catches its shout for help. Freedom
is the hallucination of those trapped on the
inside. A universe where poems swim or sink.

Purple Stranger

It was the way day turned to night, like the flicking
of a switch, shadows scrambling to unpin themselves

from the snow, the moon hastily draping a cloud over
her naked bosom, stars still, not ready to twinkle, the

glare of not knowing transforming into dark realization
in an instant, as if something had been revealed, as if

something had been hidden, forever. Except today, when
an odd twilight slipped into the silence, like a stranger in

a purple coat walking slowly over the slopes, holding the
eye, stretching distance, stark against the emptiness,

carrying not to the inky gloom that was to come, but the
light that could brighten a heart for just a little longer.


First published on Visual Verse (Vol 05, Chapter 04)
Check the link to see their picture prompt

The Absurdity Of Light

That’s why I left, to follow a different caravan, we couldn’t
agree on the meaning of light, if everything is an illusion, you

asked, does the mind brighten only what it can stand, you
even stole from Eliot, humankind cannot bear very much

reality, you were the darkness that spoke a different
tongue, your idea of space was to confer with the moon

perched on a swaying treetop, for me, it was a steel cuboid
in which my thoughts paced alone, you heard the rain falling

on grass in the rhythm of a birthing dance, my deluge had
the hoarse cadence of concrete and tiles and rusted tin sheets,

the drum roll of death, I left because we couldn’t agree if
there was light, but you return like night in the window of a

hurtling train, constantly shifting, constantly still, no don’t
reach for my hand, being with you again means feeling the

weight of truth across my body, letting the scream break free,
shrouding the sun and tasting the dirt in my mouth, you question

Rumi, the morning has slipped out of the wounds, you say, now
let the dusk begin to heal again, I left because we couldn’t agree

we needed light, now your opaque shadow trickles over my
skin, tell me how will I learn to unsee the world again.

Everything Becomes A Stranger

even a word in a sentence,
you hold it there, lock it in and
for a while it makes sense
then it begins to work itself loose
wanting to move
wanting to move on
another appears in its place
an unfamiliar voice,
saying something else;

a poem is a silent tree in spate
one by one its green eyes fall
one by one new eyebrows are raised
only you know it is a different tree
the shadows paint another dark
and whatever is flowering
is not caused by your being;

everything becomes a stranger
once it leaves, once it falls
words, worlds,
even you walking away
carrying a poem
carrying a sentence
cast shapes angled into the sun
as if the light is making love to you
in a different language.

Two Hearted Ash

I want to write about the streaming sun
that gives way to diamond tipped
kite strings,
about skies with moon shaped clouds
and cloud shaped moons,
about things that make you wistful,
about things that make you smile,
but this night,
oh, but this night,
see the soot from his fingers crawl up my arms,
a Janus with two mouths,
one pollinating the stars,
one conjuring murky storms,
I would make place for you
under this blanket of darkness
where hip and limb and temptation
commingle in the molten black
and whisper to you of old improbabilities
until dawn burns the words on my lips,
but you ask about the mountains
about love and tomorrow,
tell me how you can separate
one from the other in this inky void,
a moment, a petal, a fragrance
everything flutters in one breath of this night
you talk about things that make you shine,
every shade from lantern glow to incandescence,
but the empty page is the colour of my tongue,
I am two hearted ash from this stygian flame,
one pleading for your light,
one drowning you in the pitch.

Dark Light

from the balcony
i see new mango leaves
stir with the April morning,
the scrubbed first light sheathing
their green ochre bodies
as they polka dot
the black frock of night,

remember the window cleaner
with his long brush,
one stroke at a time
the backyard undressed
inside our room,
we laughed then,

but light is stronger in its absence,
the obsidian opaque clearer than its inversion,
everything it shrouds by day
is naked in the velvet murk,
your breath becomes the scent of moonlight,
your skin the colour of frangipani,
and my brown hand
looks so much darker
held tight in yours.