I sit in the soft breast
of a blue jay as it flutters
about, jumps, rests
in dry roses by the door.

A dusk of seasons has set
on those poor, never
watered roses, yet

they linger in death's antechambre,
the death of green things
cruel and patient as our own
to which our bloodbeat sings

obeisance while we sleep.
I nestle in the blue jay's breast
to hear its bloodsong's surge,
something no death may keep

Easter II

For Milton
 Christ had
set us
 free of

An empty
 boast: Death's
teeth were
 perhaps slightly

Small matter
 when a
soul is
 soft as

and thinner
 than the
tip of
 Death's long
Breath Erath flwowers,
the proscenity
of the equinox
sunshort threnody

pistil and stamen dance
antique roundelay
lounder the winged bees
wild winds of May

willows red essenine
so refulgently
echo the sanguine sun
in their heraldry

Roundels of sanguine else
clept in Turkish eye
on fields purpure or veld
a fess argent see

Now quick to the a->g 3,4,3,3 (ac#d gbdb ac#d gbd) play x4 then sing.  also it plays maybe 1.5 or 2 times faster
Quick! to the window dear, I
think that I've spotted the
hounds that all ran away from
Farmer McGillivray

If we can catch those mongrels,
oh! They will be so pleased
down at the McGillivray farm
out past the Cherry trees

Do you remember, dear, how
we used sneak out of
our homes under the moonlight
and meet beneath those trees

There in the cool dark we'd press
our faces together
twine together our hands and
whisper of fireflies

Now the 2,3,3,2 (df#,ceg,df#g,ce)
Eos brightens the
dusky vault of the
sky in search of her
old lover Tiphonus,

Cosmic cricket lost,
foundering in the
foss that girdles this
galaxy vaster than ...

Suppositions walk
garbed in our sinews
with their wretched grins
and their malevolence 

Now back to the a->g 3,4,3,3
Foundering in the foss that
girdles our galaxy
drowning like a leaf in a pond
but filled with ecstasy

Five Faces of Love


I was in
the burning of
love's error, in

the moon's blind
eye transfixed
unsubject to the dark

earth's indiscerptible
languid oceans

and chalky earth, girdled
star bemoaned
at the hour of gnats

love's withered fingers released me
love's wilted tongue despatched me
to the wind

dreaming of bitter
unripe olives and dusty fields
broiling Spanish mornings

unkissed by rain or
the benedictions
of grasshoppers

You, you, I must not always say
'you' sticks like a yellow plumb
between my teeth before


The sun was a blister my
head burned with fever I
longed for cool Autumn my

memories tore each other to shreds
like rabid dogs and thoughts
died stillborn

only ghostly echoes
ever returning,

I, returning, I longed
only to clasp your hand
in a thousand grasses

in shades of the sun
to pick apricots by the road
and not begrudge the creek's contented chattering


Does this a puncture

You weren't pink
  clouds at sunset

I wasn't high
  tide against pale cliffs

Pecans and almonds are
  our birthright

Do bees like almond
  blossoms do bees like cherry
do bees,
  do blossoms?


At night I fear a crumpled
body in the road has not
  less grace
    less grace

  than goodwill and kindness, shot
through with their
  tendrils of blank-eyed cruelty
icy cores of malice that
    spring from nowhere

let us, let us pray
    be good be good
  to one-another
in every waking moment
    let our lips
  hold the sign of the sun
    the heat of the sun
      sing benedictions
  to us, to all


  Cool cottonwoods and aspens
soon shall sing the changing season
  soon shall soothe chapped lips and
    breathe the winds
      down the valley

The wings of moths shall stir
  no more me from my slumbers

  the ghosts of dry gullies
the ghosts of tres orejas
shall love with the ghosts of pakistan
  shall revel in arroyos
    and spook the goats

The ghosts of many countries
  many lakes and streets and mountains
shall swarm in joy
  and then depart like
    rising stars over cities
and then the night will sigh.
Where once the fog of Hampton grouped
and tottering vagabonds would stoop
to pick pennies like peonies from the street,
where peddlers with clergymen would meet

The oldest

Coffman poem about pique

     of dusty
          in the

     the crumbling

     of the
Verse I

Hair red as the willow trees
that grow beside the river beds,
eyes bright like cygnets
'lighting on a lake.

Eyes that host the flashing
heraldry of laughter and of dread
Watch as they contend
in her sloped smile.

She arches an eyebrow as
She twirls down sunlit cooridoors
leaving motes of dust
dancing in her wake.

In the spring when the clouds hasten,
joining and parting cross the sky
she'll look from her window
to the sea,

watching the play of light
upon the waves turn them to copper,
and I hope she'll spare a
thought for me.

Chorus A# F (G)G# cm

When I was still a young lad
We'd row in the summers
Out into the bay

And casting out the fish nets,
We'd trade tales and riddles
To while away the days

Or fall silent for hours
As the circling birds
Or the surf captured our gaze

Ensorcelled by the rythm of each crest
Breaking on the boat,
The sun sparkling in the waves

Ah to be young and idle,
In love with the sun
And the breeze over the sea

Ah to be young and idle,
Kindred to the clouds
Sailing swiftly and free

Verse II

For many years the sea we've roamed;
this narrow bow become my home;
The creaking wood's the
sweetest voice we ever hear.

Our souls turned leather like our skin,
blasted by sun and whipped by wind,
stung by salt then frozen
through the nights.

Watching the stars I think of home
and try to summon forth you features,
but I find the memories
growing dim.

Perhaps you've moved far from the coast
So that the wind won't carry your soft
voice the many miles
to my ears.

For oft I swear I heard you speak
as if you stood direct beside me,
as on those nights (years gone)
I stood a watch.

You must have married years ago
and settled down to raise a family.
I shouldn't dare imagine

And yet when still I picture you
you're young with all of life before you;
and time has not begun
to ask its tithes.

Chorus II

When I was still a young lad
We'd race down the strand,
Sea-spray blowing in our eyes

Or hunt amongst the tidepools;
What marvels we'd discover
Neath the water's placid guise!

Or hunt amongs the tidepools,
Discovering many marvels
left uncovered by the tides.

Ah to be young and idle,
In love with the sea
And the clouds lit by the sun.

Ah to be young and idle,
Borne aloft by the wind
When down the dunes we'd run.


Eyes springing like cygnets
from a wooded pond.

Before time has begun
To take it's toll
Overheard: Musings on the Soul

People say a soul is a bird.
A soul is more the space
the bird,

the space that lets
the bird
pass freely by.

People say the soul is a mango.
Yes. They are right.
They are exactly right.
The soul is a mango.

And if the soul is a mango
(which it is)
then it's also an avocado.
That's simply how the soul works.

My nephew thinks the soul is like
a salmon: pink and sparkling as it darts
through cold waters. I laugh
I tell him the soul could never be that

The soul is not round rocks
under the surf.
That would be nice,
but no.

There was some question,
several years ago,
about whether the soul
could be a cabinet full of china.
I can't remember what
the verdict was.

And some folks still
insist the soul is
a small pocket sewn into
a sleeve, a place
to hide a


Echo, voice, oh carry through this void whose
edge I desperate grasp; fly fast and far
before my fingers lose their grip and I
should fall out into nothing and be nought;
rebound and bring me back myself redoubled:
A hundred voices chorused in a paean,
joining in praise reverberant, granting strength
to vault me from this harrowing precipice,
back towards the center and to safety, free
my way to make then, never more to wander
out among these jagged limns where all does
sudden cease, a drop from darkness into
darkness darker, emptier still, resounding
silence thick as stone, a flowing syrup
that seeps between the sinews, coils itself
about the bones and freezes up their marrow.
To save me from this inverse maw whose airs,
whose vapours supplant the warmer blood in me,
weaken my will and ever weigh at me,
I'll sing me to myself, my circumstance
describe, declare with virile words, phrases
able to reach, to puncture through into
some idle, waiting mind, some fertile field
unsewn, thereon to strew their seeds, impregn
with burgeoning thoughts, to bloom and bear forth seeds
that scatter on the winds and propagate
a thousand other fields in divers climes
in disparate districts, scattered as these seeds
across most high Phenomi's wide demesne,
Phenomelä whose borders want no fence,
no foss, and need no warders on patrol,
being thus bounded by the endless chasm.
O'er fens and brakes, all desert spaces fly
my dimming voice, and sing these into life.
Make populous the barren lands and build,
oh catena of words, yourselves out of
yourselves, build up inside the breasts
to spring from every tongue into the air
and swirling like some wanton wraith,­-though yet
not carefree, of a dreadful aim possessed,
purposed to succor me in my foolish plight
where I peregrinating lost my way
and stumbled almost o'er the edge of all--
do you my will: I thus entrust, beseech,
command you, do as circumstance prescribes,
raise up whole races like to me, whole realms,
vast emperies gilt in artifice, glutted
in lavish splendor if these you beseem
propitious to increase, to promulgate,
but do not else the mean, the lowly way
disdain. To spread along the trammelled ground
like creeping vines or stretch toward the heavens
like towering pines atop far hills:
Either may fit our pressing end, to free
and to Phenomelä its Regent Queen
return, its sole inhabitant besides,
and spin me subjects, retinues of me
o'er which my sceptre sovereign might rule.
I long to step back from this edge, regain
my footing in the realms of Phenomi.


Before proceeding, this I must describe:
As fruit of seeds planted in sundry climes
take on the aspect of the place so they
may better serve as supp those dwelling there,
thus this song's myriad syllables and words,
abundant phrases, bearing fruit will match
the temper of the region, of the time,
so in a thousand forms, one for each tract,
for every county of Phenomelä
phrases and syllables will bloom distinct,
images fitting to the field its soil,
the song transmute itself to fit the vessel
and from the vessel be distilled like spirits
aged in the local style, ripe to share
amongst the kindred of that place. So as
the song ages, more congruous in tune
and harmony to local trills it will
become, discordant though it was in those
first unripe sips before it could ferment.
As sunlight through a coloured pane assumes
its shade upon the sanctum's plastered walls,
alights the curling palls of censer smoke,
so shall these words take form behind the eyes,
as sense from unsense blossoming in the gloom.
Now let me speed my song, propel my tale
at last, echo my words unto the void.
I launched out from a spot I'd deemed a centre
abaft a coracle of woven thoughts,
cast out with oars upon dark waters still
as stillness that I'd found inside of me.
From that sure spot, that certain, central shore
I rowed my craft in longing and in search
of waters more swift and novel airs more brisk,
to rouse me from my endless languidness,
my torpid listlessness and slumbering.
So little and ill do I recall of aught
before my setting out; I scarce recall
the spinning, the careful weaving of my thoughts,
persisting with deft fingers o'er those stiff,
those sluggish thoughts that seldom deigned to stir
until at last the work stood sculpted on
the shore, all of a piece, a congeries
of dream and idle fancy calcified
into the craft that bore me on my way
through distances vast, through calms and savage storms.
Less light then air, though lighter than the dusk
of water over which I rowed in calms
and later sailed in gusting winds that craft
has proved, whose gunwales were my dreams, whose keel
was my desire, whose every beam was born
of me, from bow to stern, from port to star,
from hull up to the mast, even the sail
sewn from my ken, my old imaginings,
the sparks of light that in awareness flicker
and currents form coursing all of their own,
though parallel to those surrounding waters.
In dark I rowed, in dimness and in murk
I raised the sail and trimmed it constantly
in those capricious winds, those swirling airs
that sped me where they would, them trusting since
I had no certain course nor sure design
except to heel before the wind, to glide
o'er waters obsidian and find myself
other and else than I had hereto been.


After some unknown span of time a light,
a faint star far ahead illumed the dusk
I had not prior known burdened the air.
A light it was, though then I knew it not
and lay confused and awed inside my skiff
as I drew nearer and it brighter burned
and flickered inside my eyes, my starlit gaze.
It grew until it compassed sky and waves;
until my boat, myself, swiftly enveloped
and frozen still I stood, girdled in warmth,
suffusing warmth whose touch I had not dreamt
and blazing light no eyes ever beheld.
The winds died off without that lambent sphere,
their strength repelled, inside the center of
that place leaving me calmed and raimented 
in cloths of brazen air, glistering garb
the like of something in myself now heard
anew, ringing, resounding with the air
in timbre sweet, in mellifluous tones.
Beyond the sphere where never light was known
nor shadows e'er had grown was now become
adumbrated and dim, and saddened me.
Loth then I was to leave this radiant space,
cast out again upon adumbral waters,
surrender trust to the capricious winds
wanting for star, compass, or other light
to seek, bound ever to peregrinate
over the featureless water's glossy sheen.
My craft whose woven thoughts were aureate gilt,
whose every beam lustred and from whose mast
the sail draped down in thin--spun argent folds,
my wondrous craft would become dim as those
surrounding watery wastes, so I surmised.
I looked about. I could not here remain.
With new resolve from nowhere sprung, I then
purposed to leave and yet not leave the light,
to means devise to bear the light with me
wither I went. Myself resolved, the rest
could not but follow. I reached out from my craft
and drew it, fragile as a flowerbud,
up off the water's sheen into my hands.
Its surface shone and from intricate curls
droplets of water ran like dew o'er petals.
A spot was ready made within the bow
and there I rested it, secure from harm,
fixed so to blazon forth and light my course.
Now, finally, the world would not be dim.
I'd sat in emptiness, floated in void
for ages long. I'd lost and senseless lain 
while gathering up my strength and all my words
then wove them into wings to bear myself
wither I would upon the limpid airs
of that desert and formless place.
Ere long I'd sailed a pinprick broke the void
and towards it's novel gleam I'd steered.  It was
the first one, mostly vacant of those rich
and various marvels wherewith many isles
of light later were lavishly embued.
This one, this weightless, purely gleaming thing
I set upon my brow, I wore it as
a stone set in a diadem, delighting
in the rays it cast before me through the dusk.
Even this light I've lost. But like my wings,
my coracle, it served me faithfully.


The first reverberations of my song
returning back I think to now make out
though still far off and faint, piteously faint.
They stir in me new thoughts and words, pictures
refleshed, remembered from my peregrines
through endless realms of light, through storms of sound,
through void, through heat, through fragrance blossoming
and hues cascading, shimmering in falls
in soaring seas, in thunderous arcs that burn
the gaze, bursting from pits of syrupy night,
demesnes of pure sensation where there was
no need to go in flesh, only to drift
as floating self and soak its substance up.
These worlds, these regions of Phenomelä
I next shall sing, and singing honor them.
The Bee

Once when riding in the hills
a bee flew in her ear
and spun in her head
a honey of golden thoughts
The Birds

In Autumn small yellow birds peck at the rotting plums strewn in the mud
outside the window while raindrops fall lazily out of the heavens.
The wind that's been travelling south breifly howls down the road then is still
and the birds are untroubled, they carry on pecking the yellow plums.

These fragile creatures with their yellow breasts and their miniscule wings
belie the bleak landscape, as out of place as ripe plums pressed in cold mud.
Too friendly, these birds, they don't flee when I near them; I worry for them,
and realize I don't know the lifespans of wild birds, ones such as these.

Wild to think of the finches and sparrows, the titmouses, robbins,
and other such birds as descendants of creatures that, ages ago,
would flit among branches, alight on a limb near an overripe fruit,
primordial fruit of the trees of an unruly orchard, the fruit
of unpeopled wilderness, bearing no name but the ones that the birds
bestowed with their chirrups long ages before first our voices were heard.

Unhinge the sound of whirring unhinge
it unset the sound of mapleing leaves of leaves
of leaving and unleaving unwhirr the were of sounding
unsound unsound the fathoms exfathomed unsanguine excising
the sillibant elems the elems were element eleming
what, what, to the scent the scentence the of-dust the to-dust
to the serpent head heading-off prophesing rapt wrapped
the undove the dovelight the baptisming johnhands
and lords of clearwater and waiting of upto and fathomless
sunshimmers pond-rippled rifening redfruit the grapefruited
lasses untethersome mooringscut cut from the easyspeaks
greenergrass unrainwashed of sowhishedfor forests of wide hazy vistas
the longvalleyed oldpaths those glacierghosts many so many
unsettle your glasshanded comprimse comprimose moisting
each trebleleaved hollyhock hildermere meres tarns and meadowlarks
hoarfrosting winterbreath decking the columbine rams in the morningmist
clouds gorged on mountaining gorge ripping openplains cliffribs
and whistlelungs witteling wonderspawn if then the aspenlimbed
maidens whose moonglow eyes risen rove copse to dale hill to cove
corpse of the cockcrow the ravenstaste ribbonstate lungred and rivetted.
These visions of a lady
who rides the cemetaries
on a horse, binding the fresh dead
with her silvern tongue...

On her wrists gold bracelets
catch the light of the gas lamps
and her eyes, on certain nights
reflect the moon's.

Through the red hills
Toward the rusty sea,
There lay the longboats
Waiting us merrilyyyy
yyyy D 11th or whatever
Waiting Merrilyyyy
To bear us to sea-yyyy

Oh she is motherlike and sweet
binding with grave-dirt each, their feet,
wrapped in oils, for them to tread
whilst trimming the sails.*

"Moon over the yardarm",
She whispers and pulls from her cloak
thick libations stoppered in crystal,
the blood of the moon.

Through the red reefs,
On, out to sea,
my bones are borne before her
In their lead ossuary.  (a-f-a)

Amaj + gd

Fmaj + gd
D#maj + gd


(C) 2019-2020 Tucker Whitney. Please don't use without first contacting me at tw@hersephoria.com