Virginia

If I could reach back into the ages
and touch you
and place into you some amount
of the peace I have mustered
that I was armed to fight for
in a way unavailable to you then
If I could match your pulse
to mine
and through the cracks of that building wall,
bring you out of the sickness
we both know too well
–But time does not move in reverse
and I can only ask you
to stand guard with me
against this river of my own
and watch from your past vantage
that I, too, do not sink
in my swimming.

3-28-17
A.Ault

Bottega

We spent years in the bottega
Only to paint sidewalks with chalk
The sides of trains, in the lifetimes that followed

I took you to the street
And we danced in colors
Threw back our heads at broken rules
Left marks only memories might remember

What did our masters know
But how to forget a craft
Teaching more from the secrets not hidden

We became flickers of attention
At once known, and completely forgotten
Unable to escape the creation
Etched deep in our souls.

We are each twist of this unending wheel
Our strokes becoming the magnus opus
Of Saṃsāra.

Movement in the Deep

Is it an underwater explosion?
A tsunami, slow to build after days, or weeks, of small movements
cracks behind the exterior of normalcy
the facade of “keeping it together”
of knowing it will be “okay”
and feeling the the mantle itself crumble
shifting so deep within
the echos take hours to be heard
under caverns locked up so tightly
buried so quickly with a god-hand
brushed over with whatever Time had available
Cities, maybe. Trees, brush, hopes and promises
Tremors give warning
bubbling quietly to the surface
A gulping or fainting
But not strong enough to concern the onlookers
When it starts, is it already too late?
Would erupting do any more harm?
But the tsunami builds higher and stronger
pushing past the deep layers
rising higher to the surface
demolishing gates barred between and along the way
until it is here
it is too late
and all is washed away
There is no hour, no time, no reference point among so much water
Perspective is gone
and whatever isn’t quite swept away
after the wave that now was
holds together loosely
floating on the surface of a mind
I no longer know.

Yoga

I am not in love with the muscle of yoga
though I find it beautiful
the vitality pushed forth through daily dedication
bodies growing stronger, enduring longer
circling tightly, moving steadily
it is their form of beginning

I am not in love with the ritual of yoga
though I find it comforting
my ego and my truth desire no more repetition
than raising my arms to the sun
however many times it rises
my exhalation of silence the only chant
I need to focus

I am only in love with the invisibility of yoga
the magic building through vein,
tissue and breath
the awareness that lifts up, out, and deeply
inside of both body and neither mind
that becomes the union and dissolution
of what has never been but always will be
accessible, eternal, aware

I am in love with the meditation that is yoga
the letting go that holds on
even when the practice has passed.

Read Them Goodnight

Would I warn them?
in the stories I could write
Paint pictures of the pain
they will feel
Explain with sunsets the loss that awaits
Create characters of the confusion
that lies before them
Or would that book
that tome of future preparation
created in warning
only introduce them to an experience
they already know?

 

A.Ault

Looping Miles Between Us

What a gift it is
to hold you
the softness leaving no space
between us
Grateful presence
becoming backs of wrists
curving sounds
and drifting moment to moment
Each step, conversation
in sunlight
leading wherever it is
we’re going
however many miles loop
between us

You have stretched
the blink before the cold
and filled coming storms with the possibility
of warmer nights ahead.

The Mountain Ahead

There was a mountain ahead
I must have passed it
Maybe I got turned around
spun wild in this wind
but I know I am heading north
There is sky above me
sunlight twinkling with nighttime
specks peering out from dark blue

Maybe I am on the mountain
the slope low, moss cushioning
dusty rocks
In this shadow of the moon
I cannot tell
but the air is clearer
the sky, wider
the silence filled with sounds of life

Maybe more mountains are ahead
I cannot see them
I can only feel gravity moving
time pulling
and that between ground, air and I
there is nothing

Maybe I am the mountain tonight.

Paris Is Not For Lovers

Paris is not for lovers
I have ever been there alone
the streets are beauty, bustling
Eyes up and weaving through
no room to grasp a hand
Home of wandering, watching
How else could art so bloom?
Lonely souls, feet rolling over and over the same streets
quiet in the same corners
It’s the Seine of dreaming
What could manifest,
that would leave and remain the same?
Only the fog of feelings past and possible
rise above a horizon like home
Only moments alone
give the city its breath.

Love may take me to Paris
but a lover never will.

I Carved Out Stars From the Sky

I carved out stars from the sky
that melted in my hands
flung buckets into the waves
to hold all the salt
Planted rocks between grasses
trees on top of mountains
I buried every cloud that slept
The sun caught me sleeping
until I built shelter with books
and then even the moon came to drink
at my table.
Stars became weary watching the horizon
mop up the night
I sent up satellites to entertain them
but the moon left me to count
blinking lights
So here the sun and I stand
jealously awaiting the moon
Sharing a desert that burns
as it cools.