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Thursday, November 21, 2013


 McClelland Barkeley

Atkinson Grimshaw 1836-1893

Here is a poem from my forthcoming book from Crisis Chronicles Press, Cleveland Ohio. The cover and interior artwork is by Gozion.  It should be out soon.  About  66 pages.


There is certain majesty
That lives still in the
Highest places where
There remain the palaces
And magic lands of story
Books.  Birds of light,
Even golden light and
Clouds of many colors
Piled up against each other.
The whole place seems a
Stage for fairy tales
And diadems. Oh single
Rose, oh song of the day
Is true and of fair
Maidens and spells and
The best of manners
These things grew.
We were sitting on the edge
Of the meadow just 
Where it begins to lift
Toward the high lakes and
The stoney outcroppings and
Small woods and copses.

A certain crystalline glaze of colors
Was left wandering across the
Best of evening.  I was
Going to chase it but found myself
Full of a sadness
That may have been of the season
But probably had thicker roots.
Something prompted by the color
Of the day? What the breeze had said?

(A flush of quail showing pure gold
And amethyst with silver beaks, ruby eyes.)

The sky a million doors
Opening and closing constantly.
All is revealed.  All is concealed.
Even the continents moved
Beneath our feet.

O trees, oh grace of
The dream revealed.

We walk among you as you
Do among us,  The brink
Shines upon us every minute.
The light moving.  Oh, its
Jagged lines across the
Edge of the horizon,
Just above the ground.

These trees move.  They are
Not stone.  I have seen
Them migrate through
The tongues of sailor songs
Touching the edges of the clouds
At night.

And when they thought,
They thought in trance
And could not be harmed,
For the grace of protection
Kept them safe from all danger.
In this state they could
Travel and rule without
Being seen to have moved.
Such was the gift of trancing.

It was rain, or it was fog.
It was lifting from the streets.
It was lifting from the fields.
I could stand here all night
And talk to you about
Which roads came down
From the mountains,
Which ones led to the cities
Or the sea, where we were
Required to be blind and
At what moment we must
Open both our eyes to sea.
And you shall be golden in the morning.

And the light will pour down on you.
And there will be millions 
Of drops of water in the air.
And they may or may not
Have come from tears.
Or they may or may not
Just have blown here 
By some wind.

Just as we may or may
Not have been where we
Woke this morning and
Saw the fog or the rain
Or the tears of an entire

Nation as we sat without moving. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013



There, right where the clouds are
Coming apart, see, it’s blue, a perfect
Blue like drowning or almost drowning,
When the stillness comes upon one believing
You have made a wish, trying to convince
You that it really has something here,
Something you will want.  It will teach 
You to remember, so it says, so it says.

I trail my fingers in the river as the boat
Moves down the river.  See, just up ahead
The night is putting that cloud in our way
So we think that it is dressing.  You point
Out the stars and we do not notice that
The sky has turned completely black.

I start to weep but you tell me there will be more
Stars shortly and perhaps a moon.  Swarms
Of insects fly around the lantern you have lit.
“Don’t worry.”, you say, “They will not bite you.
They have only come to see the light.  Soon
They will fly to the stars.”  I don’t believe you,
Deciding that this is all a mirror and I am on
One side of it and you are on the other. 

Finally, nothing is reflected.  I believe I can
Hear you breathing and gaze hard at the glass.
It is like we have been cut in half and no one
Has noticed this, least of all ourselves.
I begin to sing you a song.  It is very beautiful
But we do not even speak the same language
And you are unable to know what is being said.

The moon is about to rise.  You hold my hand,
Point to the dark at the tops of the trees
Where it is just coming into view.  The clouds
Make it look red for awhile, then an intense yellow. 
Right then: We decide we both have been dreaming.