La Chasse Galerie
Black night. The lake is a mirror
Of stars ensorcelled in glass.
Swaying on the bruised rim,
The moon is a lit lantern,
And the water, a quick-leap weave
Of brindled pickerel slipping away.
Long ago, the legend says,
Men in a canoe drowned here.
Sold their souls to the devil himself,
To see their families one more time.
What I wouldn’t give to do the same!
But though I wish and beg, no ghosts appear.
Only the salt-like patterns of fixed
Luminous points cluster my gaze,
As big dipper spills a toboggan of advice
On the serpentine wing of the cosmos.
Although I stand in a gorge of doubts
And griefs, nature sanctifies me,
Even as the icy scissor of winter
Cuts at my face, my toes, my bones.
Pain numbs. In the velour darkness
Of its’ gnathic clench, I yield to the holy.
*(La Chasse Galerie is a legend from Québec, Canada.)
City of Dreams
We skimmed the center of the city from a circular railway. On its golden radius, a dazzle of white light breathed from the pale-hued dwellings, mesmerizing our gaze. From liminal perimeters, the city glowed, a chandelier of candles on a pristine altar. Our locomotive rimmed the station’s threshold, braking slowly into alabaster, low-hanging clouds. Suitcase in hand, we stepped out of the train’s vapors into the milling crowd. Drawn by the city’s magic, we merged into its essence, each segment of our individual selves wading into the greater sea of the collective, claiming us citizen unto itself.