Psalms: Voyages on the Dan – P. Calvert Scearce
- River Song
What matters are finger tips—a press
of lips sipping skin along a curve of neck.
As in a willow branch ghosting water—
thus symphony palpates. Dear love, permit
me this reaching, up to a caption of sky
bursting for the air of you—forming flesh
as if speech wore its kiss. I have chosen
this word so much like psalms, I open
and cup you with speaking.
River begets nothing and nothing slips into
someone—this voyage on a river raft, an adagios
movement culling in arms. Where psalm—
a promise of praise birching like hinges of carpus
hold as this song clenches then abrades: an omen
of salvation—the amnia of stars. Dear Lord,
smooth me into song awhile and move slow
with your lyric—a note can play off
just an eyelid’s bending.
A robin’s breasting airy full of ripples, carried
within a stroke—twining of feather and wind. How
leaves expose themselves breathing. A voice excuses
a calm of me. To gaze past color and find absinthe
brooms the stream. Our bodies pollinate. Flights sail
into dawn—a horizon’s arch off to shore. Once
performed, a measure skims over to it.
tide with me awhile.
- going under
In waves, circles—disturbance, the clutter of
a river’s flow. Brown water, muddy flux—
our human mixture.
Lord, offer our thirsting.
Tongues beg, spoken only to gaze to ears as flutter.
Over-hanged, the bridge roars like an engine. Do cars
know our solitude underneath? Does driftwood,
garbage; does the moccasin slur from shade.
Bob the buoy under.
Watch does he pop?
Can we swim beneath the clay very long? The water is
the lung of God. The body can get caught in its dirty
inhale—the stomach cramps the stomach. Calve
muscles punch—the torrents of salvation
brings it under.
Lover, I’d like to remain…
Above the crib rafters rusting and the blue sky. Clouds
herd a destination—the palm of the Lord. This is baptism,
This ritual always by the river.
A life begun below the flow. Hands that press against
each other, press against the river. Hands that bend
in water, bend as they move toward
this miraculous Him.
iii. the dream only remembered as another’s dream
Besides honeysuckle, something says it’s June.
Maybe it is how mists levitate after the day’s
sun scours and our skin braids tight, crackled
dried against not each other but our
Nightly, the moon goes along our
drifting. We take darkness as a bird through
air—the cat-bird’s wing stroke is accurate
like the back of a hand settles on the cheek.
Dieu is our word as we cup together.
is confined, arms twisting torsos. The wild beds
turn—whirlpools among a universe’s flatter.
Asleep, our eyes resolve moonlight, ripples
down river, down to another town until
it’s dawn stretches us.
Love, I dream the scent
of your hair but I slip in another stream—
blue embryo of myself spun as if it worlds
midair. If I reach for myself there, I’m pulling
forward along with you.
Dear Lord, lead us to
dawn gently, touch us awake as we call ourselves
- a song from exile
Here where thunderstorms spatter streets I fail to recognize you. From the window
where you sit, I know that you too watch steam arise off asphalt. You too recognize
those ghosts of our tongues. Spirals cling to such circles, for its ascendence
bespeaks us to pray—to verify.
A tap on window. A cardinal there. And pigeon staggers fluffed
along in its sidewalk. What afterthoughts proceed shock? Terrible clang of car
horns, thunder strikes—the bounce of beats. Off a distance, dogwoods sway a lie. It’s
still hot even in here. Clammer the room where air has been shut inside. Calmly
exposures to between. Heaven. Hell. Here an angel swashing a dry deck. There.