shapes in clouds

Last night I dreamt we went together to the sea
and joined the others gathered on the beach,
figures made of sand who dreamed within a dream
of alluvial forgiveness.

From the kitchen doorway
a flock of shadows flies out on the ridge,
and in the gullies yellowed smog
is bleeding from the ground.
The earth is sick, reclaiming its own,
and the far horizon is a never ending fuse,
unquenchable linear fire.

Splitting the atom was always going
to be a mistake.

Survivor’s dead-end penitence,
insipid vicissitudes—
I clean my glasses, wipe my eyes, cut some stale
bread with a rusty knife
and still the kitchen’s misty with my misery.

They’re sprouting in the east,
skeletal beginnings, new formations shining,
constructs from destruction
Teresa said, I’m going.

I was non-committal.

What fearful dawn might come?
Mechanical vitality—girdered pterosaurs,
reptilian robotics bred in circuits,
Digisaurus Rex
rising from schematics.

When Teresa left I didn’t try
to stop her, I don’t know why,
I don’t know why I stayed behind.

I’ve packed a picnic lunch and
now I’ll follow, trek along the valleys,
climb beyond the ridges to the terra nova.

If she’s not there, we’ll meet again
where pitch black waves are breaking on the shore
and everyone is made of sand.

Sometimes it’s  hard to choose between apocalypses. Nuclear annihilation is a bit old-fashioned, but it’s still one of my favorites.

artwork — shapes in clouds

19 thoughts on “constructions

  1. Have you ever read Ursula K. Le Guin Lathe of heaven? It’s good. I am still enjoying the motif’s I wonder at your process, do you “fish” often? Does your day job allow you to be outdoors? What is your connection with landscape and or weather? Looking forward to your next post. K

    • Thanks Katie. I’ve read other Le Guin novels but not ‘Lathe.’ I’m afraid I’m mostly stuck in front of a computer, and I don’t have as much time as I’d like to take in nature. ‘Process’ is a big question. You can find stacks of stuff about writing on various blogs, I think it depends on what suits you.

      What I write ultimately comes from my life memories. I think it pretty much has to, even dreams are just memories scrambled up. This sounds a bit strange for fantasy, but I think almost all the creations out there–aliens, zombies, elves, vampires, you name it–are symbols, metaphors, representing very human traits.

      Sorry, got off the track. I just fit in writing (for blog or not) when I can. My process–wait for the first thought that randomly pops into my head, calm and clear my mind, and write down the thought that came before that :). Not far from the truth actually.

  2. oh I love this – the more I read your work, the more I feel I can tune in to your ‘vision’ – imagination – memory – whatever it is, you are able to tap into a rich source of imagery and story and spin in back out into the world with some damn fine language 🙂

    • Thanks Claire, now I’m going to have to put my head in a vice :).

      I think a lot depends on your personal story. I haven’t blogged any autobio stuff, and my preference is not to, but from childhood on, it’s shaped my way of thinking and I can see the connections in my writing.

      Another thing is that I don’t seem to have much choice about what I write these days, whoever (or whatever, more likely) does the writing just ignores me.

    • Yep, I saw the sun too, suspended like a bright droplet. I’ve discovered through asking that usually I see things that other people don’t, and mostly they laugh at me. In this one, I tried something different–adding divisions to guide the eye to the formations that I identified. No sun photograph though, I started off with grey clouds and pretty much let the computer do whatever it wanted.

  3. I’m bowled over. Brought tears to my eyes. So brilliant. There will never be alluvial forgiveness; it will have to be brought together for one side, only. The sea is dead; the plains are red, and Lot’s wife had no name. My mind’s visions of your imagery. I think it’ll be my new poem; inspired and dedicated for you. I have to go buy candy, now. Crazy comment, but thanks for your site. (And sight, and insight).

    • Well… If you’re thinking on a Biblical basis, then I’d have to say that S’dom and G’morrah are the examples of how not to be; If 3,000+ years of advance notice doesn’t cut it, well… Can’t say there was no warning… whether one believes or not…

    • If everyone brings their inflatables (like a great, big pool party), then there’ll be a bunch of Rift Rafts floating about! Hee-hee! 🙂

  4. Sorry about my panic attack; I’m okay. I don’t want you to feel badly; it’s not you. I’ve had a difficult day today, and I don’t know why that happened. Sorry. Thanks.

    • Randy, nothing at all to apologize for, and no pressure, I didn’t mean to imply that. Poets do whatever they want :). I have to wait until something pops into my head, and I don’t seem to have much say in what it is or when it happens.

      It took me a long time to send my stuff to publishers and I still get stacks of rejection letters, but now I think ‘well there are a lot of different audiences out there, and that editor just wasn’t a fan.’

      Anyway, despite the disappointments, I enjoy writing and even more when readers (like you) get something out of it :), Steve.

    • Aww, thanks. That was really sweet of you to say. I’m glad you try to send out submissions. They must be crazy not to take you, which just proves your point: so many people, so many viewpoints.

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