Orchid

You remind me of my mother
who planted long rows of delicate flowers,
using only her hands and her coping mechanisms.
Every hole troweled with the fury of promises yet fulfilled
and seeds sown with deliberate, calloused hands.

She too could make anything grow.
No matter how hard the soil.
How acidic the water.
How unbalanced the bases.
She possessed an aspect of Gaia.
for she could bring new life to barren soil.

She had a greenhouse
lush with strange fauna
not fit for our respective climate.
She conserved an orchid.
Her mists fell like tears
and the stubborn bulbs flourished.

You remind of my mother
For you make me grow no matter what the climate
Even in the frigid months
When other flowers perish
I am shaped by your bell jar
Safe in possessive glass.

Potential

I plot my course by three stars:
Charlotte,
Edison,
and Alexandra.

Charlotte oscillates
With the energy of a frozen heaven.
Her hair, a weave of dust
Between my outstretched sextant fingers.
She slyly winks with a dark humour.

Edison is the sun.
His warmth creates worlds.
He bathes those who surround him
In compassion
And the wisdom of the gods.

Alexandra is the smallest,
but she sings an old song.
She may be hidden by her siblings' shine.
Yet, everyone hears her whisper.
She speaks softly to Cassiopeia.
She lightly strokes Lyra.
We all dance to her pulse.

All three form the constellation, Potential.
I look to the heavens and I see a future unrealised.
I see a distant possibility.
I want to pluck them from the heavens.
I want to cradle them in my arms.
In each one, I see an aspect of the universe -
The mother who birthed them.

Thoughts on a Fire

I pick my feet through the bones of my burned out house.
I step over a melted lamp, its fixture fused by the heat
As it juts from the wreckage like a survivor’s limb
The twisted metal vaguely resembles
A limp human hand.

I perilously walk across the untouched steel bar that reinforced the floor
I approach the island of surviving floorboards.
There’s a fiendish groan.
My foot cracks through a weak spot.

There is a pile of blackened rubble.
I lift each charred board.
I excavate the reams of smoked gypsum
I unearth a cracked throne
Still gleaming white beneath the soot.
It had fallen into the kitchen when the second floor collapsed.

I unearth the stone basement steps.
There’s exploded cans of stewed tomato,
Cooked onto the stone,
Like paint with plenty of texture.
I descend into what was supposed to be the family room
We were going to build it someday,
Have a lounge and a foosball table,
Maybe a bar and dartboard.
Whenever I had got around to finishing the basement.

In the corner, our trail bikes have melted together.
The water heater, an exploded cigar.
The unused exercise equipment, a jungle of fused metal.
All mutated mementos and refused requiems.

Everything is still wet.
From when the fire fighters perfunctorily
extinguished the smoking heap.
Long razed before they even got onto the scene.
By the time the alarms went off,
the home fires were burnt out.

I have learned many things.
Never live in the country if you want adequate fire coverage.
Always remember your wedding anniversary
Always buy her flowers
And never, ever marry a woman
With a history of arson.

Tulla

There is a flower that drives men mad.
She only grows on the rocky bluffs of Nothingness.
Only blooms once in a man’s lifetime.
Sprouting where Hakuin clapped his hand,
She remains hidden,
Only to be claimed by the intrepid.
She awaits the bold,
Blessed with strong fingers.
She grants a solitary wish,
To those willing to lose themselves.
In time, in mind, amidst the vined cliffs,
In the waterfalls that ring the Staircase of the Gods.

Colour of the most sanguine red.
Eight petals shaped like tired blades.
Each one curling to the Right.
Four slender pistils,
Sit in a shapely cup.
She’s beautiful,
Deadly.
She obliterates the Is.

I climbed to claim her.
But when I clutched her,
She withered.
When I freed her,
She flourished.
I meditated on her scent.
And heard thunder –
A muted Mu.