Sunday, September 21, 2014

St. Brigit and the Moon


like three crows gliding in for the lowest arms of the tallest tree,

three black flicks of a fan brush alight like three slick sighs

like Love, whose soliloquy is a tree

so tall it frames the world, suggestive of a moon

you sized me up, your gaze as wide as the reach of my arms in your love

where I stand never far and hollow through, a fugitive quake

in the wake of your bargain — it's you, soothe sayer

crashing over the citadel walls, your coursing waters scroll the sodium halls

and I'm a last gasp in a crowd of the last of my kind of devotion,

rushing for the gates astride a silver studded night,

who with a gift in his hands takes

and leaves miracles with the thrust of a blade of grass

up, up, up flew to you then who fell up, up, up and when

you were heard stumbling somewhere among the clouds

we, the three,

left laughing like heavy breathing, like

leaves, fell.
 
In love, you run

fingers through your hair.

Take a look around you now, skipping stones in a shimmering rain

once wept by trees — hear that?

There's this chestnut mare whispering

in the sunset wheat, the moon is on fire,

lightning drunk, upside down with thirst

and fair as a feather.



© J. Patrick Bennett

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mote of an Anecdote


I happened upon the thought of a kiss
In the midst of street market,
bell tongues and hollow clay pots
humming with their mouths' shut
like ornaments for a holiday's garden.

But the muffled voices of the market rose
louder, louder between the allayed kelims,
no longer muffled.
The thought of the kiss was plush
in the warm market breeze, and full and of a sweet wine.

The kiss devoured the marketplace,
the market square was dulled pewter and barren
and did not hum,
like no ornament ever swung.
Light was not thrown, indeed like nothing.

Amber locks cascading over the hawkers,
cheeks pink in the shifting light
as the sun side-steps for a better look
and silk smooth, some bone
like an unmade brutality rises,

smiling full and full
as if to reveal the giver unto the gift.





© 2014 J. Patrick Bennett

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

An Elk Dreams in the Evening


Her husband and son returned
without having got any.

"We have so little spread among too many."
Her husband means to use this need to test their son.

Packing only what they would need,
time hounding their every step

it was agreed: any action taken was better than none.
"Here is the way to raise a son," she considered with a kiss,

her golden hands rubbed pink over the pestle,
her jade feet gone numb in glacial silt.

They'll be missing for days.  The evergreens snap.
A silvery elk, sensitive to tremors

stops his gnawing on red-leaf salal
— in his eyes only the crackling of a branch

not far off,
not far.

Heavy hoof fall, moss-muffled shuddering
her shoulders course with warmth,

a reaction unexpected of flesh
undone in storms.  She won't admit

they're gone.  There are many rustlings
on the forest floor.

High above her in the trees, a blackbird
swallows and the world turns.  Below,

a peat-boar excavates earth, earthworms
breach the surface

bearing the nutrient of tomorrow,
a slush of comet and instinct,

a delicate blend of bract
and the tenderness of a hunt.





© 2104  J. Patrick Bennett

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Moon and Beth


winnowing today
from tomorrow's crops
the farmer
his red wheat cast
to the firmament
like prayers over his progeny

but solemnly.
Until his wife wanders the field
naked before sunrise
there will be no new growth,
no moon kissed dew
beckoning.









© 2014 J. Patrick Bennett

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

(working title) A Song for the lost


If May through the eye of September seems faint
it's because the air falls thin as the carriage pulls away.
It's inadequate space this breast rib-cage, for holding.

I would stay, and I do
in memory—that Chinese lantern adrift on a quiet river.
But in this dream I lean in running

my knees slow to a crawl,
and the only way to fly is to fall
like a silver balloon released at night

here at the river chiming,
confused by sky
like reflections under a bridge.

I would stay, we could stroll through the post cards
that lay strewn about the remnants of our feast.
Here — September, a painting of Arlington Cemetery

stone teeth superimposed on a field of grass,
here's one of you who wept outstretched like a cross,
another with a tongue tied between two promises

another with a jewel at the tip . . .
what promenade!
Like our August afternoons together,

when the trees tasted like honey wine
and we learned to coo,
to tongue like local birds.

Here, a photograph of Central De La Universidad,
her stout beams and arched courtyards,
shorn tree trunks painted in pastels of cloud,

landmarks of the noble and incurious elite.
Here!  Oh here, a portrait of Lurleen Wallace
frames the white wall.

Another portrait, another lady — the U.S.F. Constellation.
I would stay and in time I have stayed.
I write to tell you,

not of what I carry with me,
but to describe a sky you'll never eye, one
that implies the silhouette of gravity

where it has fallen through the thread of its fabric.
I write to complete my loss of breath
and inhale,

thinner and thinner along this promenade
until the thread of May in September.


© 2014 J. Patrick Bennett

Sunday, September 7, 2014

untitled


                                              — "and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee,
                                                         and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing"
                                                                                                                                Genesis 12,2


Yesterday's incantations taste like honey on the tongue, clench like shame in the throat.  At first,
eyes widen, pulses rush with ravenous appetite like when hearts barbarians crash the ceremony to
bestow the keys to city coffers.  And safeguarding the cage, des feuilles mortes, the gilded eyelashes
of a deep dream sequence in which natives stamp their feet before a feast and guess-who's guest.
These are innocent natives who speak with their tongues.  Give a guess whose guest they were!

We never used to cook our food.  River, that cold companion, that mother melody beholden only
to the mouth of the sea, always open, always running, her pleasantries are the contra-bowing of
flying spiders, the murmurations of starlings — her voicings are enough to reply to a sky pealing
with starlight, this dizzying encoded height of humanity.  His holiness Pope John Paul II said,

"Be Not Afraid."  It's why you is singular.  Why you simmer in your tempest of harmonies, you plead
and shout in pain for this gift that is your life and you are the only one who gets to live here.  It's
why you whimper in the face of a kiss you wished would have come when you kept to yourself, I
think, popping the cork.  These gates are burst!  We read each other in the rain-swollen wood, we
review the gate-shards for clues to tomorrow's weather, we see each other as if we remember someone
whom we never knew, and at the end of the day, beautiful are the finches.  How they race, against
time, against comets.



©2014 J. Patrick Bennett

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mercy


Each day at sunrise white flags fly loosed upon an innumerable blue.  What's a death to do
but smile and reply, "What else is new?"  When some fearful face take shape in place of a
golden hue – doubt ye, Men and Women, do!  Storms and ships pass this way, taken, as life
takes its time taking breath.  So as not to interrupt the rush of blood to the chest, I listen.
The wind is in me, under pressure, etching the litany of the lost across tree tops — that's some
body's baby, foregone to storms and war, the difference being that with prairies, the storm
excites life within each breast as it rises, and that in war life only ever falls, pale and forgotten
like men and women lost to love, like ships, lost under flags that fly against a falling sun.



©2014 J. Patrick Bennett