Approximate sonnets, approximately cycled — for sun and ash etc.
Soon blooming sea and downy chalk will rise
as fine explosive dust, and hazy dawn rose
Fingered will surely take another; widen now
great gyre. Ten thousand years of song abound
In every single burning shroud that coats
This arborescent ground; ash to dirt,
Chalk to earth and misting ocean water:
I saw one, then another. In the clamour
Looking down behold that perfect broken
Sound, human angels flurry dancing skyward
Like a sword defying, yes arising, coming to
— I saw one then another, yes, I saw
Before arriving, in the mist still storming
Faintly calling out: widen now great gyre.
And widen now vast crowd, widen now to
Meet me: a body is entering the dance.
A spirit fleets and twirls, now torpor slinks
Away like winter snow. Meltwater, drifting in
And out of tune, coming to, like morning
Coffee — here we are having a lot of it
In bed, together, or alone, or online,
And the analog, and the digital, yes
My digits now, in a phone, on a card,
On you, or with you. Strangers to visit,
And old friends, and new friends, relations
To trace out and rewrite, or rebuild, until
We find all things made new. Somewhere,
By an old chair, I lost a bag, or Volta.
That’s what I said to her I said that I
Would surely know I’m burning up;
Made of wax I am and always I can
See one then another every part like
Two great seas but now the church is
Tolling three and I will be the next
to break across those rolling waters!
Scrappy seas are enough for me: I cannot
Stand the rending, the fracturus embrace.
This place is cut in half; we all are cut in
Half and put together. Ten thousand bound
To one another, and when the ringing stops
A mutual silence. I saw one as an other then,
As surely I am likewise always seen.
Axe upon wood, like a world-wounder then,
And time burns up: we are fire. Boreal north,
Home to you — home to the arborescent,
Where I am bound up; for surely I am caught,
But imperfectly. Branch to trunk and trunk
To earth and ashen dirt with chalk. I do
Not want to be a branch. I want to be
A gnarled root: a clutching root in
Tangled rubble. I am the daughter of
Many men: so many men in years that
Stretch forever. Did they also want to
Clutch, and burn a waxen whole?
Would dissipation save her — save us,
Save all of us, a single brilliant fire?
Signals, all up and down the coast,
And waves. Listening post, wires crossed:
Operator fever, half fugue and half sickness.
Insomnia and plague, deft skill at the dial,
All night casting out, fishermen in a little
Glowing world. We are one circuit, we are
One line, all clinging to the frequency,
All clinging to the storm surge. Calling
All stations! All stations this is haven’s
Grace. Human angels cling; they fall and rise.
Strike keenly now, electric sword! I am in such
Awful shape, and awful time, in cycles
All harmonic. Together, hand-fastened,
We chart a perfect course all haven-bound
Mumbling then, at last we’re breaking
Down, our frequency disjointed, our pitiful
Faltering sound is not enough to tend the
Line, and yet the song still resonates; great
halls and lovely evening chimes, and paltry
Little evening rhymes. Crowds abound,
And blossoms drift — from overture,
To symphony, another quiet crash. Now:
Can you hear the church-bell in the square?
Can you hear the calling, or see the signal flare?
A million little fires standing stalwart in the dark,
Aligned in rows on the far down, on the chalk hill,
Together in the burning weave and weft:
A cascade, then a clang, then a crest.
Widen now, great seething coast, for landing
Ships accost you: they sputter out upon you.
We throw ourselves into the fractured breach,
Our swords all iron-cast, conductive now,
We are stumbling back. Pale hours pass
So quickly, and in the absent light: every
Tower is one place, every grove a single
Time, every man a signal flare, every word
A broken rhyme. Every bleeding body
Shall converge upon the heart, artfully for
Heresy, and for our missing star. All the
Angels drifting now out to a farther sea,
A dawning sea, a gyre in the sun: let
These electric angels take us home.