Lionel Kearns


These lines jump from the tips of my stiff fingers 
to explore the circled universe of memory. 
They follow the outlines of distant mountains, 
the edges of leaves in the sunlight, the jagged 
fractures of crystalline thought. They snap 
to the vague silhouette of the horizon 
as it recedes from your grasp. They follow 
the troubled routes of angels who dispense 
wispy messages of hope to the afflicted, appearing 
in the evening sky as luminous vapour trails 
dispersing gradually like clouds of spent desire. 
At daybreak these nebulous lines gather again 
to illuminate the edge of a coastline that grows 
longer as you measure it. They are the weft 
of history flying through the warp of time 
as every living thing renews itself 
in the next generation. These threads 
are straws in the biblical mortar, grass 
in the swallows' nest under the eaves, mossy 
paths that lead from here to then, thin 
precarious wires strung through the forest 
between now and there. 

And when this circuitry is complete, 
when each point on the grid is joined 
to its corresponding opposite number, 
when the last ones and zeroes have fallen into place, 
and the unobtrusive hum of background radiation 
moves into prominence as a slow symphony 
of cosmic bliss, these tangles of intent 
will resolve quietly into simple links 
of love. And on that designated night 
when the north wind moans, and a gnarled 
cedar branch rubs against the thin pane 
of your bedroom window, these lines will touch 
the delicate skin of your moist palm. 

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