Night Fires

Night Fires

We gathered in smoke rooms
spoke in loud voices
and hushed whisper asides
Music was our universe
a collective endeavor
the blending of chord and discord
the madman shrieking and crooning
laughing at death when it entered the room
Opium wars sustain us
They are the philosophy of emperors
and the coinage of thieves

At three o’clock on a summer afternoon
of his life, she came to him
with her hungry lips and sparkling eyes
His hands made circles
found pleasure in the flaws of her flesh
She was the woman of his danse
the promised creature of his See
Their lives exploded on the mattress
Ecstasy is a mean judgment
in its power to diminish
all other moments to little consequence

When the tiny bird flew from his hand
his heart cried that it would go
Even so, his Spirit thrilled
at its magnificence a-wing
in total acceptance of its freedom
Joined by others of its kind
the tiny bird was lost to him
in a cloud of feather dust
The cage of his owning, empty
he set reverently on the trash heap
stared sadly at his naked hands

The yardsticks of our lives
are a measure what is lost
Out ability to survive
is a matter of acceptance
the complicated courage required
to simply learn to let go
All we have is what we don’t
Children of the Earth are we
only what we learn to be
and choices, damned and blessed
in a human maelstrom of choices

Each sinew of the woman
the excitement of her desire
are an essence hard-wired
welded to his super-consciousness
Spine tingling and nerve-wracking
the brain bowl shudders
Fingers and toes reach to hold
Heat, heat, and losing his grip
What if she doesn’t; what if she does
The room is hazy, aflutter
He drops his mind on the floor
Never mind she doesn’t because she does

Trains pounding down the rails
are backbeats of centuries
uncertain and chaotic rhythm
whistles howling through the crossroads
graffiti from Billings and Spokane
adorning iron packages, announcing
We got coal mountains, we got
Counting cars, one hundred and thirteen
remembering the clang, dropp stick down
What if I just don’t stop
counting cars, one hundred and thirteen

We gathered ‘round the stone circle
Children running and chasing
trails of new breath on the chill night
awaiting the Keeper of the Flame
Gatherers filled the stone circle
with offerings from our Tree Friends
The Keeper arrived with his magick
The Seer told us her stories
Children laid their heads on our breasts
They slept and we made love
tending our night fires, awaiting dawn

© 2006 Tom (WordWulf) SternerHowe

by Tom (WordWulf) SternerHowe

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