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Unseen: An Autobiography of Light (Part Three)

2009 April 13
by J. Scott Mosel

Up the Road Apiece by Christopher Woods

  I am looking at a picture
  of wheat fields flanked by woods.
  There is a cloud for each mystery

   that cannot be described.
   Down the road, there is a group
   of words huddled together
   near the railroad tracks.
   They are about to make love.
   They have no problem with infinity,
   and either do I.
   Come on, let’s go!

   J. Spanos (1933-2009) Crossroads of the Infinite






Of all the places
I was given to love,
there is a place made of water
where I return
every time language fails.

I remember to stay here
a little longer
than the rest of the Earth.

I like the way the leaves
glide, as if the current
is holding its breath.

Some words take longer than others
to surface, and this one
is worth the wait.

If nothing else, I can chase
my shadow under the trees,
or follow the cardinals note
by note through the underbrush.

They know where they are going —
I do not need to understand.


I can see the hole they cut
into the Earth. At night,
it looks like a pool of black
water where ghosts swim
on their backs, long strokes
that stretch moonlight
into wavering fingertip threads.

They are afraid of the water.

I can see them huddle along
the edges for warmth.

They take the little of me
that remains and change
into a game the dead
play on vacation.

I see them blowing rings
with my breath.

I hate them. I want to
stop them, but I cannot stay.

They have nothing to say.


I see you making love.

I cover you with everything
I have. I cover you

with my silence,
and when you move,

you sing together a music
that holds me here,

where your notes and your key
echo my desire

to be human, to linger.

I turn you lovingly
into living sculpture,

warm to the touch.

I measure you carefully,
your flesh in my hands like clay.

I never learned the difference.


I do not remember my origin.

I know one constant: look forward
into the void.

I wish I held a string in my hand
and could follow it back
to its origin,
but I might not like what I find —

I know only two letters by heart:
alpha and omega.

I would rather stare forward
and travel into the places
where a language is never born.

Here I begin, each time
I open my eyes.


I want to whisper
to tips of trees as twilight

recedes and ripples
into memory: the first time

I touched atmosphere
and created color.

No one was there,
but I can still see the way

the leaves turned in my arms
as I pressed again

and again
into the language of vein and cell:

I never let them down,
never lose my touch.


Early July, a breezy afternoon,
and I am outside looking at flowers.

As I remember
now, beneath this bubbling splash

of rain, I tried to step
into your tiny blue

eyes, to touch the sharp needles
of the pine trees beside the porch,

taste the green perfume
and watch the kaleidoscope

inside your eyes twinkle
as I strain to part clouds.

I can almost hear you speak
a wish, a whisper,

a wisp wholly human,
but I am not permitted

to remain — I move
out of range,

I sleep on the edge
where your dreams

are born, where the light 
you see

is your alone.


Look at me
passing over your madness,

water and grass
so much of what I love

I forget to shine.

I become a snowflake
that cannot find its way South,

my life for a moment
alive in a wordless flame,

the constellations writing
the only words I believe,

Spring dropping its weight
into the medium

my life becomes.

One Response leave one →
  1. August 14, 2009

    Hell, I like it! Write more, you piece of chaff bait!

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