Monday, March 13, 2017


©  Steve King 2017
All rights reserved


upthrust stones appear in the dark earth
sudden reds and umbers
in the highest trees
rivers yield to bedrock
floral splash retreats
from dry roadsides
sheltering waves ebb
mud creatures die before the sun
mountains whither and recede
while others intrude into empty sky
the earth shakes  and graves unseal
stormclouds gather on far hills
everywhere are signs it seems
the moonlight and the darkness
and the lightning
and the winds that sing
in my dream they heave to view
and in these echoes I must find
the word to say old things anew


searching ancient holds
sifting through the sands
looking for the stars
for the ancient source
rooting for the hidden caves
and the shades of prophets
gone at last to ground
forgotten gone now
far from miracles
and sundry excitations
all are silent now
yes even prophets
silent now who onetime spoke
as from the very gods


and in my books
strange marks appear
to dance the empty page
waiting for that word to come
for surer sense to settle ‘round
the strange newness of them all
a word
a harmony
to all the other words
sung in strange communion
to all that have been spoke to me
and all that I have heard
and all that yet await my meaning
any meaning

the one sound that gathers all
shouts that I may understand
this word that has eluded
the word inscribed alike
on those vagrant sands
and on the far strung stars
a word within surrounding silence
distance and old emptiness
since before the sands were sands
and stars were stars
when sands were stars
and stars sand
before even another sound to echo
before the advent of questions
before any answer
or an explanation
or an equivocation
or assertion
or apology
or a taking back
or a shouting
or a false whisper
or a clamor to end contemplation
or a witness
or even before the idea of silence
which must itself aspire to clamor
or spring from one
if it shall be truly known


this thing I am that waits in dreams
first word
then picture
then story
all the legends to retell
there must be story
must there not
a story in those markings
that my dreaming has begot


awakening as light itself
arising from behind hard horizons
hidden only for the time of dreaming
a sorcery unfolds
and I speak in tongues
the way a ghost
condemned to drift among the quick
might strain for words
walking live streets
but in that long silence
mouthing empty moans
at transient shapes
eager for the night
even as the morning comes
lingering near familiar shadows
come to trim the meaning of their day


as the sun reveals
I would see
as the sun reveals
the ring of dawn embracing
every ready world
rolling like the tides
that would paint a captive sea
revealing all to me
settling ‘round again
to cure the mind of dreams
when all new things may come alive
and spirits teem
new myths to spring
while strains of ancient songs
sweating dreams
and visitations
might soon be well forgot.

An edge of darkness
for a moment that is not a moment
but a life begun
rewound again
and tempering the margins
of each exultation with the breath
of all those old cares


Still the memories of dreams
might reach from their firm seat
might tantalize and so destroy belief
in tangibility to come
the very marks
and strange devices
left upon the page
all the sweet tranquility
that I would have
before another life begins
but still the book
and curious marks
older by another day
unchanged and so familiar
in their unfamiliar way