Metal from the Sky

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The Problem – by Mark A. Harrison

Reminded of this one today, hiding with cats in the shade, out of the beautiful baking sun, April masquerading as July.

Metal from the sky
sun-blasted desert on all sides
distant smudge of hills on horizon
dusty roads straight on to eternity
until they melt into the heat
shimmering like water

everything is sweat and dirt
thirst in a parched throat
powerful as the need to breathe
you could walk for miles
before finding a well
yet farmers mist their fields every day
row upon row of sprinklers
a smear of green against the brown/yellow/grey
sucking water from high in the ills
from deep under ground

here one dreams not of opulence and riches
but of a long cold shower
clean sheets not caked with dust
clothes not soaked with sweat
and endless pool of water to drink from
popsicles, ice-cream, fresh fruit, towering trees
a wind that doesn’t sting your eyes.

Metal came from the sky
it might have been a dream, or an hallucination
brought on by loss of blood, dehydration
it might be a meteorite, hurtling from heaven
a car flying off a bridge, to the dry river bed below
a helicopter, against a white sun, in a clear blue sky
or it may be none of these things

it is not always clear
when you meet the man in black
whether he is friend or foe
demon or saviour, killer or healer

maybe he is all of these things
and then, maybe he is just a man
climbing out of his car
scrambling down the side of the ditch
to pull you free from the metal
that surrounds you, crumpled, broken, bleeding
the engine leaking black oil into the sand

You cannot feel the ground beneath you
as he drags you up the hill
lays your head down on the gravel shoulder
you watch, together, as the metal burns
black smoke climbing into the sky.

– T.H. (2008)

Prophet

BeeOnDandelion

Photo by Mark A. Harrison

prophet

the bees are gathering
in the honey kitchen
up on the roof
the buzzing hum of it
fills her ears like sand
she shudders in her sleep
dreams of drowning in sweetness

meanwhile, in Elysium,
snow-covered streets
claim the ocean floor
a submerged amber flash

they are coming
cutting through snowdrifts
scattering nests and tiny bones

pink skeins twine
around her outstretched fingers
cognizant only
of what the future holds
the present forgotten
subsumed
in the elephant’s graveyard

some say she waits for
the end of the world
but I know she waits only
for you

-T.H.

This is where the world bleeds through

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Sometimes Rain by Mark A. Harrison

this is where
the world bleeds through
soaking into
the parched vellum
its thirst unquenchable
it will bleed you dry
until black ink
drips from your veins

there is a crack in the wall
where the light seeps through
like liquid oxygen
or raw maple sap
gold shot honey
culled from clover bees
people keep secrets there
tuck them in at night
when no one is watching

– T.H. (2010)

Listen

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Silhouette by Mark A. Harrison

I.

listen
the books are singing
dead leaves humming
chords struck from sunset’s last light
follow the sound
you’ll find me
transcribing lines in the sand
transposing the ocean’s waves
fingers plucking strings of air
listen
the dead leaves whisper
sighs plucked from secret fountains
the rain’s heart thumping
in time with the pheasant’s feet
drumming against the deadwood fence

II.

she places eggshells
in the bowl like
flower petals
interpreting
the jagged edges
with bitter fingers
it is snowing outside
the crocuses scream
purple against white
she cannot hear them
in her mind there is only
an endless beach, curving
into the morning fog
footprints leading
to the ocean’s fickle edge
licked clean by the water’s
greedy tongue
she’d cut its jealous heart out
if she could

III.

after the overture
(a sampling of themes
once tasted, you must
spit them out lest they
make you tipsy)
he finds her
in the interim
strumming absently
the admiration of
the talentless
he wonders where
she went, the girl
that he once knew
who blew across
empty bottles,
blades of grass
the girl who
played spring
like every note
was a surprise

– T.H. (2009)

Fifteen degrees of March

Stretching poetry muscles stiff from months of hibernation.

emerging-spring

When the first breath of spring
catches you up, teases your
heart with false promises,
blushing green peeking from
fresh damp earth, emerging
islands amidst the fast
melting snow; when even
discarded skins of chocolate
bars and dollar store bags
seem to herald new beginnings:
life from destruction, devouring
the old bones, bleeding
ice from the river’s edge.

Even the birds are deceived,
filling the air with distracted chatter,
while free roaming dogs and
preschool children run madly through
the squelching mud, feeling the shift;
and yet, the cynical voice reminds
you that it’s far too soon, winter
won’t let us go that easily.

To hell, you say, with rationality,
and walk faster, as if by
sheer defiance you can escape
the warning howl of the cold
grey clouds, wind pushing you
back into the inevitable grip
of winter.

T.H.