A Grand Illusion

everything is a grand illusion:
the sunset, clouds,
the night’s long-dead stars,

the way you smiled at me.

how the trees touch the sky
and my breathing
— in, out, in, out.

metronomic existence
timed to expire
when the game is done.

trick of the eye, this life…
like your love
bad roll of the dice
random happenstance
slick hands you had
and
words as concrete
as the tide,

that always detracts more than adds
when it pulls away,
subsides.

leaving worn rocks…
deceptive in their strength
erodible in time, like

the strongest hearts.

if we close our eyes,
does nothing exist?

when we open them
what
can we trust?

~ Emily C.

8.14.17

Crisp

I had forgotten how the rain sounds

when it falls on leaves, stiffened

in windless weeks, smoked

to a crisp. Portentous orangeness

clung like viscous ghost, hanging

‘round horizon; in heavy robe, haunting

us. Goading us. With every growing sun

light darkened in a lifeless sky. We

breathed in short breaths, lungs coated

with grime. Time slowed, each second

choked. No where to hide, we froze.

And burned.

Waiting…

It broke. And blue view spoke,

‘tween clouds pockmarking heavens

we forgot existed. Oasis of air,

freed by westerlies — onshore breeze,

blew life into our lungs

once again. Wet. Clean. Free.

 

~ Emily C.

 

8.13.17

Wildfire Moon

Wildfire moon, orange in night sky
witness to the burn, reflector of fire

night is a hot oven, skin melts puddles
not a fresh breath, nor window open

smoke on tongues, 
numb tingles ripple
lethargy death grip, otherworldly rogue


escape, no option, water, only hope
bunker in basement, hiding to cope


horizon designed, devoid of detail
mountains hide, water invisible

red sun sets, ruby in dead sky
hell on earth, no end in sight


~ Emily C.

8.3.17

***

Things are not good in Seattle and Vancouver and much of the northwest. Hundreds of wildfires in British Columbia have been sending smoke all over including smothering Seattle. We are also having a heat wave in the 90s to near 100 this week with no signs of letting up this coming week. This is day 3 of suffocating haze and smoke smell. It looks like a foggy Christmas Eve around here. Can’t see the city skyline, the mountains have disappeared and the streetlights look out of a dark London alley. We do not have clouds so everything in these pics are smoke. Can’t open windows because of the unhealthy air quality which means the house is ridiculously hot and muggy. Some respite in basement but it’s got moldy smell like basements do…so the choices aren’t pleasant either way. Hoping al are safe in BC. Sounds like at least a few fires have been determined arson. Terrible. The sun has been otherworldly in its redness, and he moon in its orangeness…makes for eerie pictures.

Not looking forward to the next several days.

(All pictures are mine except the red sun and ferry picture by Sigma Shreedharan.)

The haze around the Space Needle is smoke, with orange moon above


Red sun through the trees

(There is supposed to be an ocean and a huge mountain range there…)

The Watchers

Russian, on the trails.
In the fields, Spanish
To my right. German
To my left. Somewhere
Else, unintelligible due
To distance and the wind
Distorting vowels
And consonants into rolling
Rumbles. My ears
Receive it all, like
Symphonic speech,
Punctuated
By

A baby’s wail,

The Universal language
Of all humanity.
An immigrant carries
A backpack cooler
To a family picnic,
It is covered in
Stars and Stripes.

None of us are American.

The train carrying mysteries
To the Canadian border,
Rumbles under the pedestrian
Bridge. It blows its horn
Like a wave hello
To the watchers. They stand
Peering through the chain link
Holes, like fish coming up
For air, lips pushing through
Fence, eyes keenly zeroing.
The rush.
Then gone.
Back to beach. To rocks.
To shells buried, cracked,
Dead, still alive.
Mountains watch us,
Their peaks sentries. Guarded.
Guarding the open sea, a
Partition between our hearts
And the vastness they know
Our limited consciousness
May not be able to see.
See but not see.
None of us are what
The other believes.

We are each other.
English now. Italian.

Human.

Emily C.

7.30.17

Summer’s Chill

winter took my mind
away when summer came
dark where light had shined
mind took form of snow

twisted nooks and crannies
matter dusted cobweb ice
summoning spring in silence
still meditation dictates

whether conscious or distracted
whether forward or back
(how much can I feel
if I hold my breath?)

winter took my mind
frosted smiles in jackfrost ferns
shaped in frozen fronds of time
captured sunny summer spells

lip corners curled
perpetual outer shell
confuse the outer world
won’t figure my seasons out

winter took my mind
out to play today
wormhole field trip, I
will gladly slide away

(how much can I feel
if I hold my breath?)
wait for winter winds
summer’s chill
to thaw

 

~ Emily C.

6.19.17

Under Aching Bough of Pine

daisies leaning toward the sun
late on summer’s eve
my toes in grass curling plead
for ever longer days

shadow shapes evolve
into geometric sundials,
to shift in setting light, I might
easily lose track of time

left etched by patterned memories
making tangrams out of thoughts
overhead swirling sky turns
indigo, a bed to dancing stars

restless heart wanders
under aching bough of pine
climbing high to precipice
till moonlight night is mine

looking for where I left you
where you left me to be
searchlight spies land nigh
to find earth dreaming empty

save for daisies — upright now,
closed to evening sight,
I take their cue, seal my petals
alone to dark ground, I slide

will morrow bring new light?
will it see your face?
on barren turf I toss…
till sleep decides this fate

 

~ Emily C.

6.6.17

 

Finale

Standing on Emerald city’s edge
rainbow curtain above my head
taking long breaths in…
I lose my balance
I have forgotten my ground
my toes grip granite in vain

your voice my invisible net
saves me from inevitable death
— your voice, oh, that voice
heard now in the call of the gull
the whisper of a sail
echoing on the wings of wind
that tickles my skin deep to spirit

swaying, I flail
failing to trust in life, in love
but there you are again
catching me at sunset
rocking me still
singing me filled

there you are one more time
catching me in song
until the stars light the sky
like clockwork revealing
your diamond soul etched high

the night won’t say goodbye
even if you are only
as tangible as rolling tide
as graspable as fleeting air
as permanent as a passing cloud
flirting at the firmament

Saved by your song,
I’ll be here all night
to witness your flight
your last soundcheck
your final finale:
behind the rainbow
you bow

the city will applaud
in the wake of the bay

forever

~ Emily C.

6.30.17

 

*Friday’s sunset in Seattle. Photography by Sigma Sreedharan Photography.