Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wayplace (Poem)

To end National Poetry Month (and because I've been wacking away at another seminar paper and am too tired and slammed to find a poem by someone else), I'm giving you another one from "Cloudfire and a Bowl of Kauri Leaves."

Enjoy. And, as always, feedback is welcome.

* * * *

Wayplace

at the city’s limit,
straddling the hill
Elder Chris could

barely manage
without getting off
to walk. Not tourist.

Not sea-veined kiwi.
Something between.
Though standing

ten years distant
from this photo, I’d
call you foreign. Alien.

Vagrant from a self
Time surreptitiously
forgot. It’s not

the slacks, the tie,
the shirt sleeves. Not
the name badge, words

white on black on white,
or the bag straps heavy
as a parachute harness

on your shoulders.
Not even your unnatural
lean against the pole’s

lean, legs cropped at
the knee by the photo’s
edge, or the gestures

you’ve twisted around
each hand: right arm
square to the abdomen,

pinkie and thumb hung
loose from your fist,
left hand timid toward sky,

index finger raised, set
to hook God’s bowels
from the Give Way sign

overhead. But how your
smile of a pose says
anything but content. How

your paper-thin passions
betray the burn
of breaking in new skin.

How you carved “Body +
Pushbike” in the pole then
took off chasing cloudfire

until it seared the veins like
apocalypse. Immersed you
in the cistern of God’s

mystery. Clarified your eyes
to white stones palmed smooth
by the smoldering lust of the sea.