Cathexis Northwest Press
By: HR. Harper
We wait in the greenest bowers
made from borrowed water
with no need to return the favors
from a world where everything changes every hour.
The world here where Santana winds
make mud dust, and turn the day inside out.
We wait for nothing.
Nothing is in our blood.
In a den of thieves and strangers with no strings,
the cosmetic replaces the cosmic, with eternity
as Plan B.
Pick up the replacements fallen from the orange sky.
Smoke too falls out of the blue on ragged ranges and shores
and on the valley of placeholders; instead of rain
blossoms drop the ball. A net appears when the game
if done. The numbing vegetation of theme and variation
is borrowed too. A culture of sly flourishing only hungers for more
We were tired at birth, nothing but temples, tabernacles,
tents and gymnasiums in the transplanted eucalyptus.
Nothing but a sketch of progress, a hint of jasmine
in wounded summers and rosemary in the perfect autumns
of the land with no seasons. Tired in the middle
of what was unplanned. The body exhausted
the days the Lord hath made, and runs up a bill.
No debt was recorded. No root needed the doubt
rejoicing for air at the surface,
in beauty immune from scarcity,
immune from drought,
from sleeping on the beach and under the stars.
Tired hands only, only from too much play, a mission
to salute the reality of no history.
They brought the relief
of no history, of bones stripped and ready for lies.
The fabulous respite of no narrative but the waves
crashing just the way they did for the Chumash
and will, when, choked with plastic molecules
they roll on the empty beach when our wait is done.
Of bones dressed to kill. We came to be killed.
We took the drugs to make the kill count.
And now, waiting for the score, we breathe deeply
as the scent of oranges spends itself on our skin.
The night opens the flower to its borrowed conclusions.
To the sweetest imitation of fruit and its ripening.
The line between paradise and rot was never clear.
We took the drugs to hide our uncertainty
and hoped the line crossed
was because the path of least resistance
took us home.
Where we would never tire of beauty again.
HR. Harper, a poet living in the redwoods above Santa Cruz CA, was a creative writing major at UCLA and studied in the English Ph.D. program there. He worked as an educator in central city schools for years. Writing poetry and fiction over decades, he only began to publish in 2021 and has published in several print and online journals since. https://brusheswiththedarklaw.blogspot.com/