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In my tent I hear Coyotes gathering near Kootenay Lake - 1 a.m.


here's an

altogether new


less than fear

though I suspect something vastly more,

at this dark commotion

I'd much rather hear

from behind a locked door.


I guess all the concrete in the world

they pour

to shut such nightwildness


though that same thirst

lies nestled

in the urbanest

human heart

Spleen Campo de' Fiori
(or to one who has been long in city pent)

today the air in this town
feels like, smells like
when you stick your head
under the hood of a car
just after someone
has turned the engine off,
the radiator fan blowing hot
pungent wind at your forehead.
is there any place here we can call

is there a sky here ?
the streets feel like the hallways
in my mother's apartment
no matter how much you walk

and there are people here who have spent their lives like this,
gangrenous branches whose sap stopped running years ago
and what are they living on I ask
with each day that passes,
aging now and beyond remedy
farther and farther away from their own answer
and I swear I can smell the bones festering
beneath the foundations
because even bones rot.
and it's starting to feel like one of those dreams
where you know you're dreaming
and that means you could do anything and get away with it
like jump down a banister of stairs,
or moon the mayor,
tweak a mafia chieftain on the nose
because you know

though a moment later
it's there too, that other feeling,
that something's bound to come through in the end,
just give it a little longer.
that's why you're here isn't it ?
your senses can't be wrong,
your sensuality can't be wrong.
and waiting's no problem
as long as you don't think about it

but today,

for some reason
I AM thinking about it,
and about incongruous, forbidden things like
Douglas fir and lung lichen
and the cougar Wendy Harlock
saw in her vegetable garden
(these thoughts are like a taste in my mouth.)

and I'm hearing Hasty Creek,
during a late afternoon barbecue on Red Mountain Road
with a land breeze blowing up from

the big lake
and the summer mountains awash in the mystery of light

and I'm thinking : can there really be another place
on the surface of the planet
so utterly different

from this ?

and with a wince
I remember the air,
the air,
for Christ's sake,
the AIR !


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nature & wilderness
- books & reviews - drum rhythms
- alternative literature - alternative spirituality


Nowick Gray - email