Interpreting the Night
Moth moon sings, calls the sleepers
into labyrinths where sirens whirl
and tumble, fluting blue tunes
that drift deep, deeper across the coral, the rock.
Filaments of salt crack, tickle
the shore, sand slipping
like the desert shifts its hills and valleys.
Wind circles into siroccos that lift dreamers
over the aches, the wounds of days
cowering in lonely spaces.
A dragonfly zips through haze, through synapses,
tugs tendrils of dreams still echoing
as sunlight swells the room.
Wrapped in Snow-Light
In the Old Place
muskox drift and foxes trot
through snow, flakes gusting
like a blizzard of dogwood blossoms
through air stripped of moisture,
parched and stinging like thorns.
Polar bears and seals leap
across floes, gliding
under cracks, through leads
until they loll, exhausted, together
in an archipelago of blue ice,
jagged edges. Ink-dark sea,
blinding sky – absorbed in arctic dreams.
I believe that you are hurting,
I believe you have a song.
With a sky surging into redbuds,
whispered spring steals winter’s frost.
Though morning’s lost her colour
to another hour of dusk,
the evening light still lingers,
and you savour twilight’s plunge.
If birthday candles weep
another year now gone,
I believe the love you seeded
is budding in the dark.
The feather falls out gently
so another one can form,
the honey hive is sweetest
wherever there’s a swarm.
I believe the artist’s painting
of a cloudy, stormy sky,
and I believe she sees its wonder
in the echo of her eye.
Though the cat has caught its bird
and leaves whirl down in fall,
I believe that root and wing
are strongest after all.
Answer the Moon
Remember the ocean, each molecule
of water, each grain of salt, how it rises
and falls, lifts and tugs you under,
singing her song along each wave and swell.
Remember the wind, each season drifting in
at just the right time: summer sun to dry
sodden spring, a kaleidoscope of leaves
before winter’s branches scratch the sky.
Remember fire, how the flames dance for joy
or anger – how they burn or refine, licking
air and wood, flesh and bone:
crucibles sculpted with lightning
Remember the earth, how soil feels in your hands:
fists-full that fill your heart, calm your thoughts
and hum with you as you lean close, closer.
Bees surge through zinnias,
silver skippers drifting past.
August haze heats the streets,
asphalt after storm – steaming.
We wait for the light, we wait
for the wind: all we ever do.
Collect the nectar, the pollen now –
when will we pass this way again?
Ravens linger in the branches, note our heart-
beats while we consider the dark
clouds on the horizon, a flawless
blue over our heads. Always.
And when we come to the end,
as we will, the song and the silence
will have been enough.
KB Ballentine loves to travel and practice sword fighting and Irish step dancing: those Scottish and Irish roots run deep! When not tucked in a corner reading or writing, she makes daily classroom appearances to her students. Learn more at www.kbballentine.com.
Anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you."
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