Visions of a city

Between all the signs of modernity —

glass-to-sky, scaffolding, sleek lines —

I scour the streets seeking this city’s ghosts 

the old cemeteries are the only places still alive 

there, ghosts breathe among trees and birds and earth-scents

elsewhere, cobbles and ancient stones whisper, but silently

their shadows hidden by larger, darker forms 

and parasols, slogans screaming brightly.

I did what I could to seek them, these ancient figures,

but so much of them is gone, so much of now is blind to the past

I went down to the river, hoping the water would at least be constant

but even it it is barely recognizable, churned now by motors and fumes.

The heart of this city is a-bustle 

everyone moving to their own rhythm

but here and there doors remain slightly ajar, open onto lives past,

hinting at some other world.

Glancing sideways I have seen them in their aloof existence

beyond the  hot, dripping streets.

The secret of fireflies

The sky presses down on me
its clouds glowing white
shift restlessly against the blue
always encroaching
but in this hidden garden you’ve built for us
the sky passes overhead
like a movie thread
distant, it disappears out of sight
here I am free to pause
to consider the black and orange beetles
fluttering between leaves –
ungainly, until I discover they are fireflies
although less magical in daylight
their secret bewitches
and at this I sway, drunk on dark thoughts
and lost in an imaginary wind
that whips down out of some other world
above

2. Night, imagined

I’m standing under midnight sky
watching stars streak and blink,
silent, white over indigo.

I’m standing on the edge –
day/night, dream/thought –
listening to the city’s life coursing
its ebb and flow pierced by staccato.

This timeless place, floating,
this moment nowhere, infinite,
is mine, unanchored;
I step out into the clouds
and slip free.

1. Thoughts of a night

The scent of Lilacs and fresh leaves reaches in through the window, bringing with it the coolness of star kissed midnight. I am alone in some ways, drifting already between reality and dream, between you and home and somewhere else. Life, possibilities, are just beyond my fingertips, just beyond the window frame, out where blossoms mingle with air, with sky and ozone and the otherness that is always beyond our four walls – any four walls. I lie here, silent, and contemplate timing, considering not if but when I will lift myself up, go into the night and embrace all that is out there.