On earth there is no death. … No need to be afraid of death at seventeen nor yet at seventy. Reality and light exist, but neither death nor darkness. All of us are on the sea-shore now. And I am one of those who haul the nets when a shoal of immortality comes in. ~ Arseny Tarkovsky
1. To Bring Forth the Yew
The thought of jellied sperm, like a splash of egg whites
now hardened, now brushed with light, the Great
Cakemaker commands us but when does the soul
enter the body? Whitman said Sex contains all, bodies, souls,
meanings, proofs, purities. Impossible. I wandered
the stars until the call to return was so distant I forgot
its sound. In time I left the country of Silence
and opened the door. Desire drew me back
or was it loneliness? Isn’t birth the soul creating
the body into its mirror – its pains manifest
in the mangled hand, in the eyes that carry its caverns?
And beauty – that seducer of all Things, I wish
it be born in me. I bring forth the yew, the rivers
I was, trails I walked barefoot in the rain.
Now that I am, in body, some body, somehow
known again, I must stop cursing what brought me here.
Look, someone has turned the world upside down for me.
Stars are beneath my feet, a canopy of trees above.
Even the ocean is a migrating bird. Someone decided
which way was up before we knew that gravity is relative.
The grave I eschew because I no longer want the earth to hold me.
2. Time
These hours always ask for our forgiveness. O’ what can we tell them? …
The hours that dress you each day in iron. The end times will end.
I see the drowned child and ask “how long does suffering last?” God oh
god, or gods or woman, creator, beast. If man was made
in Your image did you look for pain to feel alive?
3. Bluedoll
The soul entered and the eyes opened. Skin shifted

like a daytime moon, pitted in its afterthoughts but alive

all the same. The eyes were made of robin-eggs, shaped

of water, both sinking and afloat. Lashes were thin brushes

of cobalt and the legs wiggled wide in their bow. A woman

gave her breast to it and it drank and drank. Lifetimes waiting

for a mother’s pool it could reflect in without drowning.

It touches its cheek to her sternum to feel the last of stone.
4. Photograph – Third Eye Recalls its Lives
A boy leans on a stump
             of granite, holds a branch
in his hand.
             It is a Hebraic candle,
a devil’s foot,
             two smoking fingers
and an opposable thumb.
             Temponaut, he is the one
who left them
             slumbering near the lilacs.
Left them rainless.
             He returns to the same field
where he died.
             Memories he is unsure are his.
The wooden door
             he squatted behind
when father came home.
             A bisque ribbon beneath
the bureau from a deceased wife.
             He wonders if his third eye
can be closed.
5. The Child In You Goes On
You were golden this time. A woman sings
Fais dodo, Colas, mon petit frère.
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo.
Maman est en haut
Qui fait du gâteau.
Papa est en bas
Qui fait du chocolat.
Fais dodo, Colas, mon petit frère.
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo.
Go to sleep, Colas my little brother
Go to sleep, you will have your milk
Mommy is upstairs
Making some cakes
Daddy is downstairs
Making hot cocoa
Go to sleep, Colas my little brother
Go to sleep, you will have your milk.
And the sunflowers fill your room
with their slow honey and dark eyes.
You peak through the crib bars
and see the last of the day setting
on the mountain. What you were
takes its shape in the clenching
of your small fist, the opening.
* Fais dodo, Colas, Cajun folk song.

LUZ – A piece of music


Picture by Dean Pasch

Poem by Lois P. Jones

Music by Mauricio Venegas-Astorga