after Lyra by Beth Moon & “Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas to Heaven...” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
tonight my bones are filled with wonder.
You have bled out
the sky & filled its corpse
Tonight the ceiling is on fire,
you have stolen all that is quiet
& tender in the dark.
You have chewed on diamonds
& spilled them across the table
a procession of brilliant crumbs.
these hands, they are hungry.
I have lifted them up into the black
all broken, a dozen fingers on each.
They are hungry to be swallowed whole,
to be carried into the air
to grow into your embrace,
to break their cores against the fishbowl sky,
picking at stars like lyre strings
wondering which will be the first to snap.
you have made a meal of the nights
& I am lifting myself up to you
slender wooden fists
all my tumbling bones.
I have lifted my entire body
as a prayer.
My skin is an open mouth.
Feed me your light.
after Beth Moon's "Ara" from Diamond Nights
A reverence for baobabs makes sense.
Apart from fruit, there's size and age, a shape
beyond human writ large, writ long. And here,
beneath Ara, the star altar that tells
a tale of unity among the gods,
these trees, roots intertwined, star-struck branches
enmeshed, mirror community, signal
a place of sustenance, shelter, water.
This grove oasis, made sacred by need,
humble altar of thanks made so by all
who amble through its shade, enjoy its fruit,
gnaw, famished, through its bark to softer wood.
Crossroads of wild things, of stones and stars,
its trees sentries of centuries. Amen.
thoughts on Beth Moon's "Volans"
deep run our roots
into the sanded plains
seeking, piercing the veins
the arteries of earth
pulsing with hydration
solid as rock our bodies
from thinnest infant sapling
to massive wooden mammaries
that nurture each year's
unmoved by wind
but in the night, what dreams!
branches morph to wings
as drunk with starlight
we rise from earth to moon
beyond, if dawn delays
Diamonds of the Night
This tree looks like a woman trying to hold up the sky.
Nature is above our head like a disco ball tilting forward and back.
Like an everlasting dance illuminating our stories through eternity.
Response to Beth Moon’s Diamond Nights “Andromeda”
Your thoughts are long
stored in root and cell.
They begin before there were cities
before the earliest
of our many kings.
You have seen the stars move
in their slow procession
through the houses of the sky.
You wear them netted
in your branches like a crown.
You pull me into your silence
where there is room enough
to spin out all the dreams
and tell all the stories
of our small lives,
to remember those first dreamers,
who came with visions of fire
and brash ambitions,
laying stone on stone
to rebuild the world
in the image of desire.
You did not build.
root and branch
a library of living cells
the tides of life responding
to the pull of distant galaxies,
the languages of light and gravity
spelled in the patterns
of your secret heart.
We live too fast to see
your slow waltz
your finest branches reaching out
like a web of nerves,
sensitive as the fingertips
of the blind,
written in the light
of distant galaxies.
We are like children
drowsing beneath the hum
of grown ups’ conversation,
knowing only something more
than we can apprehend
sings between the maze of roots
and the spill of starlight
through your limbs.
And so we stand suspended,
incidental to the long dance
whose rhythms we can barely sense
as you turn with the earth
in the starry arms of Andromeda.
Oh no, we are not too old, my love.
Dance with me beneath the night sky—
our arms abandoned to the music
of a million stars. Our hair riotous and untamed
as in our youth, the tendrils entangled
with evening dew. Press against me
as if we were saplings—supple once more—
our limbs free to touch, enfold, then pull away,
not this rigid girth set so firmly aground.
We are ancient. These roots we share go deep.
But oh, our wild, wild branches!