THE TRICKSTER RESPONDS

The man liked to cry out into the night,
asking questions for which he knew
there could be no answers, or if
there were, they would be things
he would never wish to hear.
The coyotes in the hills would listen
to his pleas, his entreaties, his
moaning, and they would remember
the spirits of the old ones gone,
and yet back in their now-animal forms.
One night a trickster sat on the mesa,
and when the man began his questions,
the trickster, orange eyes aflame
spoke clearly, loudly, telling the man
that the answer to each of his questions
lay within himself, and he need only
look there, if he had the courage,
which the coyote knew, he lacked.

CREATION

God created man in God’s image
much as man created God in his.
If there were no God, there
could be no man, and yet,
if there were no man,
there would be no God.
Perhaps Aristotle had it right
but certainly easier, noting
that bird and egg must
have always existed, and so
for that moment, Aristotle
without knowing it,
created both man and God.

ASHES TO DUST

The dolphin
is born of the water,
the man
born of the fire
and of the earth.
The dolphin swims
unrestrained,
the man
chooses to live
in the city of Afterlife,
focussed
on impending rebirth.
The dolphin stares up
in wonder
at the amassing clouds,
the man
curses the sky
shielding him
from heaven.
The dolphin
nurses her pup,
the man
suckles
at the fount
of promises.

HARMONY

A young woman steps
from the shower and wraps
herself in a large blue towel.
“I don’t want you to see me,”
she says, to the young man
standing in the door of the small
bathroom, “look away for now.”
He reminds her they are married.
She says, “One thing has nothing
to do with the other, and
a husband must know his wife
by the contour of her chin,
the curve of her hip, the smell
of her slowly drying hair,
and the sound of her lips pursing.”
She says, “When you can do
all of this with your eyes closed,
what need is there for sight,
and if you cannot, you
could have a thousand eyes
and still be blind.”

RIDE

There is a man standing at a bus stop. He waits at this bus stop each day, regardless of the weather. He is waiting patiently for a bus that will not come, the bus line was discontinued many months ago. He has a cast on his leg, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. It is old looking and you suspect the break is healed, but he hasn’t gotten around to having the cast cut off. I consider for a moment at least stopping and offering him a ride. I know he will decline.  He knows the bus will not come, but he is going nowhere, and here is where you catch the bus going there.

A CONVERSATION

She said,
“You’re breaking my heart,”
as though
it was a small twig which,
stepped upon,
splinters with a small pop,
pieces flying
in opposition, lost on the forest floor,
waiting patiently
for the next errant step
to further
subdivide until the bits
are indistinguishable
and slowly rot into the soil.
I said,
“My emotions are running away,”
as though
they strapped on Saucony’s
and fled
into the night, dodging
among trees
until they grew ever smaller
quickly receding
into the all-engulfing void.

SEAL SONG

A young woman holds
a mirror out to the sea
as she sings a simple, sweet song
to a cloud which lingers overhead.
You want to ask her about this
but you are afraid – afraid that she
will forget the song
and the small cloud
that is your only shade
will slip into the arms
of a retreating wave;
afraid she will turn the mirror
on you and you will see
not the small, happy youth
but an old man who walks
bent over and unbalanced,
threatening to fall into the earth
with each shaky step;
afraid that this young woman
will slip away into the sea
and your selkie dream
will shatter on the nearby rocks.