The chameleon brought death

 

 

They say the chameleon is a messenger

whose passage to the heavens

could have prevented our death

 

But with its strange feet, it burst

and spoiled our offering before

it reached a number known as god

 

Others believe the chameleon

is still inching from the old world, seeping

 

forward towards us, camouflaged

and crawling; its slowness – warning us

 

that for all our haste

and all our tricks and games,

we can never outrun nor be missed

by its capacious gaze

 

we cannot delay and evade

its inevitable reckoning

 

where we come from we come

to rest, perpetual

and impermanent, the body

is but a journey

to our former self

 

Flinch from me, run from me, do

not touch me –

wherever you are – be aware

I could fall

and claw onto your head,

 

make you forget and fall

under my curse

 

 

Do I believe it? not really

I like to stare into its wandering eyes

pick it up and let it walk over me

skin tickled, gripped: sensitive,

both of us unmasked, still-

living

 

But a myth begins somewhere

as a joke bears some inner truth

 

and once a year

chameleons come here to mate

atop these two loquat trees

that a dog I lost beneath

has given leaf

 

Reason, and the world today

tells me this is mere coincidence

but I am never convinced, it seems

too convenient; our petty dismissal

of the mysterious

 

I will always prefer the myth

Inspiration

 

On a dugout drifting down a lonely creek

evening is neither leaving nor becoming,

the sun merely sunning

its draft of light

 

Along the shore, the turrids lie broken;

washed up sounds still

speak of water

 

Spirals uncoil, dormant voices call

join land to ocean, lost in the rise

and fall: hope and bits of polyp

toss

and yearn, turned

by the tide, that lungs

and lips, corals

and branches—

 

Collapses

and fills

the inner ear

of the urchin orb

 

Giant clams

slowly open

and close, mouth

tranquil flow

 

Beached veins of the blue-

bottle jellyfish still drift,

stinging there is

                life after all this

 

The shale and shingle sits

and shifts, split by itself—it comes

and goes, suns

and sings of one motion

 

Water draws in

and out, lifts and lulls,

rolls onwards

and uncurls like rhythm

building breaking con-

tinuing this landscape

and language

of breath

Sitting on the outer-most ring of existence

I seem to have gone missing

 

I sing and sing

but no one hears me

 

Maybe

this is the problem

 

I’ve traded my body

for all I see

 

To ocean I lose sense

and forget my self

 

to remember

and be held by the universe

 

Tempting

but foolish, isn’t it

 

When one breath

tranquilly tells me

I am no different

 

 

Eclipsed by fears and dreams, I thin

and brittle, seep into mist and tears,

treetops and rivers, soak channels through land

and valleys through mountains, wet ashes

to animates, stir seasons and rhythms,

breathing, beating, fluid

as an anemone, I am

stranded in transience, swept

by stillness

 

liminal, if I lead myself

to believe it

 

 

So I point my finger

 

and there I begin, I blink

 

and inhabit the other side

of what I know, dangling stubborn

all along the hidden horizon

 

a voice lilting in the distance

so too speaks inside my own

 

we are no different