Over the green hills the conquerors
I see their fires burning, smoke over the trees,
it won’t be long now. I lie on the grass, flower-open,
Come fast, welcome invaders,
you are welcome and welcome
waiting for music to take me over,
blue melodic insanity.
and the night comes.
There are cats in the night.
First the black forms are shadows,
blending into the hemlock trees,
away from corners,
sliding footless into grey space of moonlight,
blending still at feet tips and tails.
And when they turn,
consciousness explodes from their eyes,
their souls beam out with the force of wind,
a billion years
of speechlessness forced through green, silent
portholes of glass,
singing inside, bright inside
with music. It sings out from behind the eyes
but can’t break free.
I could chip around the glass,
pop it out, reach a thumb through,
but the song would fly back
to the tail-tip and stay,
twitching, leaping, captive still.
How does it feel to hold that inside,
how does it feel?
The eyes look away,
the light is gone.
Blackness under the trees absorbs
leaves no dent or interruption.
I could stay white and awake like the stars
or I could sleep.
And down inside, the lungs are working,
rhythm, rhythm, like wings beating.
in the middle of body-whispers and drum beats,
and deep where the blood, sticky-thick,
up to the island, the beach where my feet catch on the sand
in my soul.
Pull up, dripping,
and close my eyes lest I see anything
- that would be death, might be Hell –
feel across the floor to find
the other, outer
edge of ledge, stand straight,
lean over shaking, raise both hands,
fall to my knees and call
the music home.
come back dully,
and water sounds.
I heard a mother call her child at dusk;
across the woods I heard the dogs called in;
on a hilltop a man in grey
lifted his voice to the steam-covered cows;
and if I call the music
it is sure to come.
Stretch and watch the sky. Wait.
It is sure to come.
It is sure to come.
it is waist-deep in mist.
All down the stone street the lamps are on,
fuzzy circles, glowing,
sconces lighting the passage way, and he
I stand on the corner under a light.
(What will he sound like when he comes?)
Away so long, his horse may not know
There will be a harmonica
and the horse hooves from under the mist,
hollow and vibrant,
sweeter than trumpets.
They will be breathing hard.
The horse’s mane may sound like brushing of leaves,
but before that sound,
harmonica and hooves, beating a time –
that is what to listen for.
Morning is grass-pealing,
wide, wonder-eyed, wistful dew,
edible air, and, west,
the sun’s reflection.
away west – wait –
Horse’s hooves and harmonica down
the street where it curves
into the trees.
Oh, this way, this way!
Twirl round the cool lamp post,
the music is coming,
the music is coming!
Open my mouth to take it in,
fingers out, questioning
(Why were you so long? I waited!) and