Le paradis n'est pas artificiel …

Pre-Occupation

posted May 29, 2015

Happy to say this was just accepted into the Canadian literary magazine, Prairie Fire. Happier still I've had two editorial discussions about the end line's 'very'. What do you think?


In sight of paradise, but out of reach of gods,
we don't blame the girls, or try to tame their
unkilled wanting, their gazing outwards,

nor stop them when they go to the highway
beneath veils of snow and passage, capes
of thick black hair across their shoulders.

It's said they never wash their hair light-thieving
otter-gleam, androgyne, cedar smoke but instead
pour oil over each other's scalps, work in ribbons

of warm liquid: oolichan, Oregon grape and larch.
Drawn down by comb and hand, soft fingers of family
migrate bone beneath head skin, shine each strand.

What oils, what answers? Salal, hemlock or spruce?
Their eyes skirt questions and are heavy with unknown
resolutions; they're set upon the highway, while I look

to them, gathering something sweet from the frostbitten
wild. How I long to bury my mouth against their napes
and apologise for the guillotine of our very presence.

*

posted May 10, 2015

Rising vesper buzz
of wild bees, powder casks of
honey at their knees.

*

posted May 8, 2015

Distance dances of
talon and wing fall asleep
swaying in the trees.

*

posted April 23, 2015

Touch wood, blades, draw blood.
Break waves with my body. Still,
I'm just touched by you.

*

posted April 19, 2015

Prairie grass whispered
oceans unseen mountains shone
blue distant as dreams.

*

posted April 13, 2015

Dinner napkins hung
dry, eyes' first light, days festooned
by our use of nights.

*

posted March 25, 2015

Quiet can fall so
passionately, hungry cat
'neath a bird filled tree.

*

posted March 16, 2015

As spring wind in the
trusses, dreams in my mind and
I run, just as green.

*

posted March 3, 2015

What weight, what wait a
seed packet, nestless bird's song,
unanswered letter?