Day: February 25, 2021

golden Chinese lion dog head

“Yang” by Helen Doremus

It is awake in the chill morning air, dripping cold rainwater off of its snout to the cement below. It sees the stretch of parked cars, the fence ringing The Building which breaks only to force visitors past its stony paws, the sway of trees in the distance — all of this is discernible within its fixed focus, its hundred yard stare of perpetual vigilance. Its mouth is cracked open, a permanent smile full of teeth, tasting the world as it blows by. The ball, the trapped orb, below its foot warns all that they too might find themselves so pressed down if they threaten The Building and what lies within.  At the corner — the very furthest pocket — of its gaze, is its partner, its mate, its equal and opposite, the one who stands guard at the other side of the break in the fence. The shape of this mate is suggestion only, transfixed curve and sinew, open lips with soundless roar, equal and opposite forepaw raised. But here a change — beneath …

line art of two people facing one another in elaborate robes and plain robes respectively

“Death Ruins It” by Caley O’Dwyer

I face myself, the thing convincing  as a face can be, although it breaks where it should mend in laughter.  Do you believe in me though you  should believe in nothing,  where it hurts a little, that time of life that stuns  into you, so you see the future, where you stand guard, eager to accept you? Everything I’ve known, little  is more uncertain. It is like  a glow, difficult to speak of. So did we age, we as we are in the comic paternity left us by our beachcomber friends who found in their time words all around them gleaming.  It stuck and I was me, some  fraction of the truth, which  more than anything was addition.  The face is there, for a time present, then it goes into the earth, having seen through the vast prism. Sight is circles and cycles.  The face changes what it wears but always the eyes,  silent and alone, holding course  while everything that ever happened is added up then forgotten.  Quiet trench in the sea, years find …

photo of a blue night sky with treetops at the bottom and the pleiades constellation overhead

“Night Polo” by Caley O’Dwyer

Does time make us crazy  or is it something else?  I see myself but back away.  I want to know what life is, but only gain the subtle topping, cosmic merengue dissolving  on the tongue. Something  catches in the sieve. There is a carefulness I can’t shake. As though I could check and turn away  from pain. But life puts its hands inside our bodies and leaves us blinking,  reforming. Terror enlightens, but so does doubt, the tenderness of it. Strong pain can kill, and I know I’m looking it in the face when I get down on myself.  Isn’t there a nicer way to be? It’s hard to take shape all the time. Beyond the sovereign July  I came to life in,  I’m playing polo in a dark field.  The Pleiades shimmer down, ticking off Orion’s shield. On what can I depend? Telescopic laughter sounds far away where gravitation rends.  The sky tilts  its head to hear  whatever signal night can send.  The clouds are all ears. Wayward, I listen as they bend,      drifting …