May 4, 2016

Three Poems By Damien Irwin: "Learning to Meditate", "He Knew No Haste", "Ars Poetica After You"

Damien Irwin currently resides in Fort Smith AR. He is a native of Eastern Oklahoma who grew up in the foothills of the Ozarks. His poetry and fiction have been published in Applause.

Learning to Meditate

He can’t help but believe
Bernadette wants him inside
her sky heart; her OM’s nest.
Bernadette dances between
the earth bands; between the curves  
of universe meeting his spine.
She whispers a holy sigh-OM
in their unconscious unity,
All things reach for another.
Bernadette is the mind’s eye,
another dimension: the flesh
upon spirit, one rubber mat.   
All distinctions fall away
in a mind without distance.  
Bernadette patchouli sweat
escape. Into the inmost
haven above the blind earth,
man and woman are millions
of indistinguishable emblems.
Bernadette is the other side
illuminating his transparency.
He tries to leave the senses,
trade flesh for clouds of love, but
blue diamond Bernadette comes
when he closes his hard eyes
as the shruti box drone melts
in her cosmic ocean.
He is one moment, drowning.

He Knew No Haste

because we could not stop for death
a red car follows a road on the forest hill
our child belted to the back seat
looking out the window to the passing world
wide eyes running away with red trees  
reaching for the vaulted sky
where the labor of night ends
in the first freedom of a red heart
who wants to be the sunrise
heading west as far as west goes    
no-one who knows him going ahead
knowing that we are all
a valley of lights returning
all eyes of the invisible all
the wind moving between the pines
all returning with all
where our child is going
between the rain drops
where we can’t see
only the hushed lake in our back yard
the quiet gospel of a beaver
the bronze light on wet fur on the work bent back
who will speak to us in the night
there are only ghosts
sleeping in the shadows of the lake
returning to the sun  
where the crowded oaks are
carved by invisible teeth
sharpening spears on the shore
taking him where nothing makes
a sound where there is 

Ars Poetica After You

I smelled poetry’s history
in the sweat on your neck
and I think that’s a poem
or poems. Poems are

looking to the sun-scraped ideal
when our clouds are cold before
the sun’s warmth appearing

and your goose-skin
my willingness to listen
extends the aching elbow in my gut.

A poem is after God
or there is no God or

God sleeps                    in white space
and religion                   is the alphabet.

There is love in poetry’s spirit
or reasonably spirituals only spark in the brain
but a materialist loves dead matter
if you use the word universe.

~Damien Irwin

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