promising

at the end of mind
the little bird
passed silently

the leaves
blanketed
distant promises

like rain
his eyes
your shelter

promising release
the desert’s thirst
tiger skies

virga approaching
in fading light
escaping

first star
calling
a wishing well

treasures lost
dreams awaken
found again

and held precious
as fingers close
’round.

virga

erosion

i see you
now
the faded garden
profile lost
in stagnant
water
calculations
of time and weight
versus matter
the fountains
rubble
held off
by abstracting her
death
to points
and law
the inescapable
justice
of symmetry

the awful reasoning
lends balance
deceived
her hands seen
through nightmares
wave away
demons
no more
the magic of those
times are lost
to childhood
I carry
my demons
with me
now
the inescapable
dimensions
of time.

old-montreal

fleeing

the thumping sound
hollowed ear
the scream of pain
cool waters won’t heal
down the rail
the clenched finger
racing thought
consumes
thoughts of you
caught
in flashing light
racing
sporadic glimpses
into the twisting
night
wind whipped
and wandering
temporal rages
your quest for home
nullified
to matters
of survival
and flight.

RunningDark_lookbehind

reaching

tortured sky
collapses
moments frozen
in prose
a fisherman
in the rain
head bowed
the flowing water
a wisp of smoke rises
pipe in hand
gulls swoop and caw
littered docks
the lighthouse
dreamt as
a tower
now
intervenes
casting light
shadows dance
across your tender face
tender thoughts
the dried corsage
held deep
in the fisherman’s pocket
remembers you.

– Previously Published 2002
Marco Ashcroft and Maysa Peterson
in Renga Rounds

dried flowers

between us

Mission Iceland underwater

tetonic plates moving apart

brown eyed girl
reaches for the
unreachable
losses herself
in a moment
in a smile
in a pause
in hope
within the inward
pause
that embraces
childhood dreams
fairy tales your
mother told
days into days
receded
never touching
the strength
of night
of darkness
stood alone
unnoticed
and unshakeable
phantoms whisper
what she cannot hear
his sudden
fixation
out there
face strangely
turned
listening
the shadow approaches
reaches
across the divide
lingers
forms the land

letting go

at the end of language
the world bends, turns
a cool stream through
green hills hearing
sees feelings foreign
bird feathers sway down
they dance in the draft
that circles your room
circles upon circles move
touch speech in the twilight
daydreams trap hopeful pleas
your golden slope of neck
this morning light
how it caresses curves
untold illusions of God
and the awful rowing
proves you unprepared
to his harsh eye
harsh standard of home
in the still isolation
resembles hellish solitude
those glints off darkened water
far gems captured in light
as dewdrops dripping
from fanning forest green

flickerfeather

alone, again

the white bird crosses
begin again begin
how her face
like wings like
fireflies
the far shore
again
towards you

like waves that
rise and fall to meet
the chilled sand
once ancient rocks
from distant lands
again begin again
reflects more than moments

foam gathered
at your feet your
homeland
spread deep
waiting

and in the stillness
the lingering hunger
rises to meet
daylight
alone again.

Tern