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Talking Back to the Trees, Part 2: Selected Poetry by T.S. Minton

(C) 2005 T.S. Minton. All rights reserved.


 

 

"The Year The Flower Explodes"

 

I

 

So shall this be the year the flower explodes

And scatters her petals in sacrifice

To herald the time of the dream that heaves the heart

And spirals so swiftly upwards from whirly depths

To meet soft-hued eyes that surrender, never fading

To spark the flow of sweet nauseau mercy milk

Rekindle the sprinkled leaves of wintergreen

And revive the silver mystery of frost?

 

II

 

Such was the sway of ensnaring illusion

Set in play when her face I seized

And all in a flash I saw it floating:

Petals of the bloody, effusive rose

Spreading for the sun

Desire's unblemished complement

Outward radiating, to me or so it seemed

And so in the auditoreum the poetry reading droned on

The cascade of honeyed words blurred

Though to her, girl veiled in mystery, I could speak none

Down that path to limbo went our chimerical meetings

Where words would tumble

And spill into conversations, hot mazes

That lead to mysteries opening, like petalled fingers

That tip-toe toward that secret spot

Where time stands still

And the laudatory egg of bliss

Too eruptive to bear

Engulfs us

And we drift in aftermath

Toward the yearning depths of the swishy sea

 

III

 

Careening rip-roar of the blue-tinged sea

Where amoebas spin round and round in halo'd light

And the whoosh of akashic breath

Brought from realms above by the cognate angels

Toss me through time, a traveler, to dance the primal dawn

Though in the dying rays of the empty theater called today

I can only fail to trace the lineations of my fine desire

And no effort of imagination can move the halcyon wave

Let go of the pendulum, strange sailor!

And let God let it come in all due time

 

IV

 

Electric green light pours from the lighthouse of the mind

And I see the silhouettes appear on the water's horizon

Like the glass-blown heat of a mirage

An image, a faraway apparition of nuclear sentinels so keen

To surge and streak and wreak havoc

Bringing the ash of apocalypse to bear

With time so short, and the night so very long and langorous

Won't you traipse with me through the fields of Avalon?

We might stumble perhaps on pink meadows in repose

And let the sharp stark tablets that record our past

Sink low into the murk and muck of everglades

And Hades will not know which way we turn

Why wait to find that in death all ends are known?

 

V

 

Oh to dream, to pass through a liquid dimension

And to visualize your doppelganger, quicksilvery form

Materializing to hot breath, breathing flesh

To just pluck my slip-shod daydreams from their web

And smolder right through the seething vale

To greet this steamy place of concrete streets

Where the hermit has hid, he's hankered in silent retreat

In a cold place, the place where silence seeps

Or will love come like snow that falls in the desert

Appearing suddenly, then gone, melted by the rising sun?

Will I be the arcane passerby who never dives

Into the bubbling fountain of your soul?

All the while the strangled ghosts of hometown nights

Spin round and round in roadside effigies to my ire

And we are no more to wonder:

"Oblivion, is that what the messenger came to claim?"

And then, beneath the stationary moon

How long will I wait

For the sounds of celestial music to spur me on?

There in the hazel light of the never known

You will be the one born from the dark ash

Who goes through life glowing like gold

 

(Tucson, circa 1993)

 

 

Vocabulary

 

Akashic: From Akasha, Sanskrit term for space or "ether," the primordial

substance from which the four elements of antiquity (fire, water, air, and

earth) are derived.

 

Halcyon: 1) "A bird identified with the kingfisher and held in ancient legends

to nest at sea about the time of the winter solstice and to calm the waves

during incubation 2) calm, peaceful."

 

Doppelganger: "A spiritual or ghostly double or counterpart, esp. an

apparitional double of a living person."

 

( Latter two definitions from Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1988 edition)

 

 

 

 

"Reflections: On Writing"

 

The moment remembered, rehashed in the mind

Becomes a key

To the free flow of artifice

The moment lodged in the mind

Gets made into a linguistic hieroglyph

And the reality of events that slip and shift

Becomes something more than it was

And something less

 

(fall 1991, Benson, Arizona)

 

 

 

"Conjecture on the Night"

 

The night runs deeper,

Deeper than negligee falling may fathom

 

Consider the way

Black eye-liner lingers

Just until dawn usurps

With her rosy-petalled fingers

 

The sting of forgetful wine

Brings an unconscious litany of snowflakes...

 

Melting, just wishing I had

Ah, the power to streak your face

 

While the night's as inbred and woven

As all your father's chosen habitudes

 

And the rude, unseemly

Unmelting moon

Sloughs behind a symbolic dark cloud

 

Aloud, the silence of phasing stars

Unamazing for their vibrant discharge

Of rings in apparitional white

 

The night means black.

 

(Boston University, winter 1989 - 1990)

 

"Apres"

 

Hey there, O Mr. Director above

  (from your omniscient angles unseen)

     Was it you who did the deeds that're done

        And determined the denoument

Of the wee and woeful human strain?

 

Under those blazing lightbeams

    We'll all, inevitably, have to be

Face to face

With the why behind a why

   Behind the mask, penultimate, in vain

       Flying unfettered toward the cosmic scribble

Strewn across the face of the vast

   Circling

      Shining

         Shimmering

            Smiling

Soul

   (Home found within, at last,

                not far away, not dreams)

 

And he so sly, here

Lighting, puffing his cigarette

Blowing smoke rings which swirl upwards and disappear

 

(1st version at Boston University circa 1989 - 1990; revised Tucson, 2000)

 

"The milk-rich flow of memories"

 

The milk-rich flow of memories

Can be recovered like peeling an artichoke

Layer by layer

Until you find yourself, a tiny child

In back of a pick-up truck rolling with grown-ups

Rumbling down the road

Then the mattress suddenly flies off

And tumbles away, spinning down the street

Doing crazy cartwheels off into infinity

 

(Boston University, circa 1989)

 

 

"Fear"

 

Pillow-hiding from the red-eyed wolf

Who paddles slowly by

Row, row, rowing his wooden boat

Billows of smoke curl from his eyes

Icicles lit by flames surreal

Drip, drop like funereal tears

My eyes in frozen horror stare

Through the open window, cob-webbed no more

 

(Boston University, circa 1989)

 

 

"Summer haiku: Boston 1990"

 

Footprints in the sand,

Seaweed in a swirl of waves

 

"At Revere Beach"

 

Beach uncomely, riddled with waste

Like a hit of crack, you start and it's so hard

To stop, so easy since everybody else is

Equally implicated, just one more fritter

        a paper bag

        a piece of crab (but that's nature's litter)

        a plastic straw

        a shovel and pail through with a day's castle ephemera

        soda cans (pollute the sands)

        and a cruddy litany of etc.'s

Negate anyone's responsibilities

So it seems, as the waves keep doing their thing

And the seagulls dip down low

Sure never to touch or come down too near

The sunbathers

Undaunted as a spectre

Amid the fruitflies of the damned

 

(Boston, summer 1990)