Cellos

Wrap me in a shroud of cello music—

Let me pay my boatman with

Close and heathery melodies –

What sphere’s music exists that is so fine,

So wise and yet so impossibly human? –

Lay me to rest to the tree’s lullabies,

The music of plants, who remember

And do not speak.

 

Place me in the house of strings,

And let the chapel be hung with the low

And whole notes of a mournful instrument,

And speak only with bow-kissed strings,

Let the only tremor be in fingers

Pressed, calloused, along the smooth cords –

 

For if I am bound up to death like Persephone,

Let it be to the sound of wind

And moors, furred with lavender,

Feathered with this fairy music,

For then I will not perish in death,

But come again into myself –

Like a butterfly or a bear,

Awakening into daylight

Unblurred, undrowsy, unashamed of sleep.

 

©K Paige Medina 20 November 2017

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Poesy

Mosaic world,
Thief of my temperance,
Drifting sorcerer of the windswept
Places of my heart,
Return your cobbled, lighted being
Once more to my side.
Fill again these intimate cracks,
The fingers unruly around glass bottles,
Grasping like a child
In that uncareful way
At the delicate truths which live,
Which die,
In the small spaces of a morning.

Gilded mystery,
Breathe anew the unlit stories
Of the thousand whispered words you have
So generously,
So cruelly,
Bequeathed me.

Am I so different from
Those wiser poets, eyes of stars,
Mouths agape in the moment of ecstasy,
When time breached through the cool water of night
Another sunsplit morning?
Have I not the same breathless spirit encountered,
When, happening to look up from weary life,
I have been struck by a momentary lapse of presence
And been transported back
Back
Through sublimity, to that moment when all things
All poets
Speak the same language?

©K Paige Medina 09 May 2017

Before Rain

What is it about cloudy springtimes that prophesy some
tenuous complicity,
some unpardoned infliction?
Perhaps it is the flowers,
blooming silently in their waxy delicacy,
peering with expectation
at the watery gray delight of sky-borne promises.
Is it rather crows,
roaming the spaces between sky and earth,
calling primal, undignified,
the ugliness of their songs
like water filling porous rocks–
an erosion of sound,
an inkblot on the wind?

Is it trees, leafy, burdened with
green and bustling purpose,
fluttering noisily in northern breezes
and then, just before dusk,
are ominously,
expectantly,
silent?

 

Is it the nearness of faces,
awash in the crispness of gray light and thunder
yet unspoken,
bundled to eyes in black clothes,
walking hurriedly,
conspicuous eyes made of a curious haste,
darting every so often
toward the clouds?

©K Paige Medina 19 April 2017

The Silence of Flames

Watch out,
they might have said,
for the silence of flames–
crafty old dancers
carrying secrets they bought off the wind.

Sparks spread like pollen,
flowers alight with their own heat;
these plumed birds do not
understand the games of war.

Watch
for the flame within,
the nettle pinching in the throat.
Do not,
like those into whose eyes you look,
forget that no man plays the music
that moves flickering feet.

Mists that move in later
may mingle with the smoke
of these finished dances;
let them move—

Fire is no stranger to the cooling peace
of small mornings;
it only sleeps.

In its silence,
it can never be conquered.
Breathe, and
do not despair.

 

©K Paige Medina 25 February 2017

Window Light

It was a moment of walking when
the light changed,
glowed,
abolished all notion of chill from the wind
and
smiled out from windows like
gloves onto hands.

Fractured by the lines of
spindly branches,
leafless,
the light lifted the world into
a moment of fantasy,
a drifted painted world,
a world asleep in its vibrance,
a world patient in its anachronism.

Walking, we
witnessed this moment,
shuttered up in our coats and gloves like
seals in fat;
we basked briefly in the small sun
of that window-light

and walked on.

©K Paige Medina 24 February 2017

The Blood of Trees

Did you learn to lust for
the blood of trees,
sapped from blighted limbs,
the litheness of leaves still
falling
in the unhasty way that trees fall?
Did you let them grow
only to marvel more greatly
at the size of the force
needed to fell them,
or were the bared teeth of your saws
merely bad harmony
to the pathetic sound your fists made
against the trees that you wanted toppled?

Did you see them like spirits,
reaching with their skeletal fingers toward
an unflinching creator?

If they had skins, they might have
looked like dead elephants,

but they were trees,
silent and patient,
bleeding for the amusement and glory
of insignificant men.

©K Paige Medina 30 January 2017

The Wolves

Where do the wolves go
when their night feet have wandered
through dreams and through shadows,
spilled the milk of the moon into
pools of light on window sills?
Have they spoken their prayers,
their curses and sympathies
into the ears of wild children
before they are gone?
Whose wolf eyes water at
the coming of dawn;
some mournful sound lingering
to draw out the night
and to keep at bay the clamor of bells
the noise and the rustling of
so many human clothes?

I once had been known
to abandon my bed and I saw them,
their backs thin like shadows
or the air under snow,
and I think they have seen me
and recognized
for they have not returned–
my gaze must have caged them,
held them like sinners
beneath the bristling cold of their wiry moon.

©K Paige Medina 02 January 2017

The Illusion of Silence

Heat overtook the world
For a moment,
Bubbling its insistent movement into froth,
Jumping and excited,
Churning with the massive
sluggishness of magma,
Unapologetically leaving flames
Awoken momentarily into angry dancing
By a passing heat —
A scorched moment.

But then,
With the suddenness of nightfall,
The world cools
Briefly,
Water drifts into crystal shapes,
Time fractures,
White static hushes it all
Into the illusion of silence.

Peace on earth —
Snow on naked branches —
We must be silent
Before the world once more
remembers
The heat of its mouth.

© K Paige Medina 11/17/2016

Poison

It’s the poison smell of morning
In the hinterland of night
When my eyes are shot with spears
By the promise of daylight.
Will I ever dream of winter
Without feeling so alone?
Can I brave the heights of mountains
Without thinking once of home?

It’s the sharpened chill of wood
Edging deep into my heart
Like the words chained to my spirit,
“Let us never be apart.”

©Kaitlyn Medina [6/22/16]