Pleiades, The Bear

Pleiades. The Bear.


Photo: (c) astronomer Hakon Dahle. Oslo, Norway

we lay
on our backs
in the night fields
in the sweet grass
And spied on the Pleiades. The Bear.

And of course broad Orion
in the Southernmost sky

Arm straight,
Leg back, tense.
Pulling taut the sprawling starry fabric of the Almost-dawn
With the steady draw of his single bowstring

Once also there was a shower of stars
that fell silently
over the mint fields
And the grass seed fields
Far Across,
the purple streaked beginnings of our Dawn.

But summer rolled suddenly to her side
Pulling the comforter with her

And in the haste of her departing
kicked up a Deadening

hiding Me from You

And so you would travel
Alone your long hidden way
to the northern cities

And I would wander the midnight country
After a kind of a Ghost

of what


The Seal

words (c) 2012  Benjamin J Spencer

photos (c) 2007 Benjamin J Spencer

The Seal

He tries to stop doing this thing.
Reinventing himself.

But he is in the tide now floating out

They say you pick one life and stay within its borders
Its mannerisms and memories
Its committed parameters
Its field of options.

In this way you can find

He floats facedown now past the breakers,
staring into his future
Toward bottom.

He supposes he must learn to breathe in what is down there
In that cool expanse below
And let it calcify him
He will stick with the scuttling crayfish
And let their curling tails drag across his face
And watch his sides slicken with algaes
And let the gravel nibble his surface to chalk

In time he will be a smooth, wise head
They would call him teacher…
Master, maybe

But who to revel?
His sainted mother GodRestHerSoul? No.
Better to float.

How many have offered him poles? Ropes and Preservers?
His preferred state is submersion,
They couldn’t have known.

Long ago at the shore
a riptide tugged at him
and his feet dragged free from flat sand
He saw them rise in front
His toes surmounting the rolling swells
Which made of his body a mere bauble rising and falling on the sea

He expelled from his lungs all of the oxygen
Every last bit.
and sank under.
In the second before blackness
Fear and attachment
kicked his nearly-dead weight up to the air

Why he tested his mortality in this way he could not say.
Only he believed that part of him
still tied to the land and the air
To be already dead

And it distressed him to need them so.
All of them
All of those scrabbling people
Fucking and killing and fucking and killing upon little scraps of

While he
A Seal

Sealed in self-nourishing layers
of Fat
and skin

Snout and whiskers to navigate

Now abreast in cold wild waters,
Now hovering off of golden shorelines

A myth that the world only half-believes in.

For Benji