From The Opiate magazine, “Dream Sketched from Memory” by David Leo Sirois

de-chirico2

Thanks a million to Genna Rivieccio & Malik Crumpler at The Opiate magazine! (New York City/Paris)

https://theopiatemagazine.com/2019/03/02/dream-sketched-from-memory-by-david-leo-sirois/

 

Dream Sketched from Memory

 

We wash our hands with coffee grounds & light,
& pulse still.

New water
reaches for our air
in your coffee/tea temple’s
constellation of plants.

Out-of-doors, Canada Road
hides under sharp snow,
shares forward-steps
& sideways triple-steps with us,
dances impromptu swing.

Brown-beige blanched
façades lost
in hollowed histories
this shortened sun-span,
before the inner Witness ~
spectator of sleep,
who records dream-scenes
to show us when we wake &
watch the mind chase its
favorite addiction, forgetfulness.

Metronomes motion us forward,
& questions we have to live raw ~
“Where do I come from?
Why am I born? Who am I?
What on Earth am I supposed to be doing?”

Soundtrack of sweet machine hum
(wise/blind driven cars)
as our mantras burn dross off
inner gold
til we’re left
with precious metal nerves,
raw honey color with no resistance ~
no impedance to electric currents
in the universe’s circuitry.

We exhibit
fluid blue movement,
as bootprints write
a rough draft script
across white-out sidewalks,
beside finely-etched souls
in this memorable detail
of a gigantic print ~
scene from a seagull’s free
360 degree
sky-sight.

One hundred footsteps from Wolastoq’s
calm flow, as she slips into
her patched coat of ice floes,
as crosshatched geometry
of the iron international bridge
bonds
Canada with the States ~
we share one chocolatine pause
before the salted sweetness
of our daily “À demain.”

Hour & minute hands
attempt to grasp us
by the ankle
if we are not watchful ~
thirst
to be There
though we’re Here.

Time takes forever
& never resolves ~
suspended chords’
endless progression.

In our timeless space,
I whisper “We don’t have to talk.”

We walk slowly, wordlessly watch
crystalline wind & birches’ bare limbs
wave inner water,
lean over the Saint John River
that forever murmurs
Keep going, keep going, keep going.

I remember wet canvas ~
floral palette of famous Fall hills,
soon denuded by blizzard winds.

Almost absent distant scent,
burnished gold & scarlet sheets
of time-turned leaves
pen endless letters
with webs of veins.

Now is the time
tenacious branches
encourage/urge us forward,
while our dovetailed
December fingers
warm one another.

Our wide indigo vision,
one Witness behind two minds,
two pairs of blue pearl eyes,
watches astonished at the whole show
appearing now at our Globe Theatre’s
precipitous cusp of winter.

You drop my jaw with
“What is this world?
It’s all…powder!”
I can’t argue with the truth, dear.

At 11:11 p.m. I sketch our silhouette
from memory ~
we appear here, wear
dark lines & circles
spread out upon a pale page,
our secret alphabet of waking up.

My words/this world ~
emptiness
outlined with pen & ink.

What seems to form a poem,
a person or two,
a universe’s “one turning” ~
frames for the same blank space.

This scene is half dream
sketched from memory
to murmur in images,
spotlight on past delights…
half spontaneous scribble
in an overcrowded figure-drawing class~
once upon an indigo
segue into winter-night.

We are always in transition.

 

Copyright 2019, David Leo Sirois

Written & revised 2011 – 2019

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“Luminous Nothingness” ~ poem by David Leo Sirois, to be published in The Bioptic Review (Paris) edited by Lucienne McKirdy…

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Luminous Nothingness

“The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things.”
~ Lao-Tzu

What are the roots that clutch,
what branches grow out of
this stony rubbish, starred
with semi-precious memories?

All the spirit’s detritus ~
pebbles valuable to some
who love us, know the lines
& circles of our signature
on sloughed-off skin ~
where clear quartz geodes
open unpolished cores.

Scarlet agate eons turn
into hardened heartflesh,
red sand held nearly forever
in time’s lost & found fingers.

Before the last, of course,
I grip gravel with curled
toes ~ but wish for what is
before the first.

“Look, & it can’t be seen.
Listen, & it can’t be heard.
Reach, & it can’t be grasped…”
the eternal boy warned.

81 poems about Nothing,
the boundless Tao te Ching.
A book I can grasp in hand ~
blue eyes clutch at the land.

Tell me what you cannot say,
whisper to me when you’ve quit
this Earth, alert me the moment
you fall asleep, allow me
where I cannot follow.

Failed beginnings, all unfinished
stories form a garland of unsung
words, unuttered prophecies ~
a book of nightmares &
lit-from-within recurring dreams,
open to all beings’ interpretation.

Confronted by a sudden mirror,
I glimpse my own inevitable end
behind anxiety’s wrinkled eyes.

I hold 11 weightless angels
in the heart pocket
of my poet costume’s
showy suit jacket,
stroll over cobblestones &
wear a grin of misguided pride.

Fool with a peacock feather
flared behind my ear,
I act as if nothing comes to an end.

But one blow
from the inescapable ticket-taker
will arrest all my laughter
in an instant.

Don’t ask me why I forget
why I am here ~
I am not yet aware.
Why are you here?

The leaves of appalled birches
attempt to point me where
the direct path’s no longer lost.

More than pure sin
or pure awakening ~
midway in this journey
of mixed moods…

Am I sick of my sacred duty to this
long-awaited sun, warm mouth
of a winded horse?

Sweet medicine
of efforts to unfold the silver foil
wrapped around each incident ~
taste the sweet blood-orange
at the heart of all experience.

Back in my prison, window-shaken
dust, bright enumerations
of scared & sacred seconds…

There is a weight to this white ceiling,
which presses upon the mind
until I no longer notice.

Better to wander
all undying night
knit streets of Montmartre
(famous for being itself)
til sun-up, drink freshly-made
salted winds, & sing
my secret aubade ~

“Ah, but I was so much older then.
I’m younger than that now.”

Let us go then,
break sunrise’s bread ~
nothing can mute
luminous silence.

The walker of the Middle Way,
when his soul snuffed out, said ~
“I am enlightened with all beings…
the Earth is my witness.”
& touched weightless
fingertips to soil.

 

-David Leo Sirois,

Written & edited 2017-2019,

Paris, France & Madawaska, Maine

“Dream Sketched from Memory” ~ new poem by David Leo Sirois. Edited & expanded 2011-2019, from Paris to Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada to Madawaska, Maine. :)

friendship, by egon schiele

“Friendship” by Egon Schiele, painting above

“Song of Ether’ by Iana Sophia, future book cover (banner painting)

 

Dream Sketched from Memory

 

“The sacred water is inside you;

it will cleanse you.”

~Baba Muktananda

 

We wash our hands with coffee grounds & light,

& pulse still.

 

New water

in your coffee & tea temple’s

constellation of plants

stretches toward our air.

 

Out-of-doors, Canada Road

floats under sharp snow,

shares forward-steps

& sideways triple-steps with us,

dances impromptu swing.

 

Brown tan beige

buildings lost

in hollowed histories,

unravel limited-time stories

before the inner Witness

of this shorter sun-span,

spectator of sleep,

who records the scenes of dreams

to show us when we wake

& watch the mind chase

its persistent addiction, forgetfulness.

 

Metronomes motion us forward,

& questions we have to live raw ~

“Where do I come from?

Why am I born? What am I?

What on Earth am I supposed to be doing?”

 

To a soundtrack of sweet machine hum

(wise & blind driven cars)

our mantras burn dross

off of inner gold

til we are left with

precious metal nerves,

raw honey color with no resistance ~

no impedance to electric currents

in the universe’s circuitry.

 

Yes, as the sonnet said,

let us not admit impediments

to the marriage of true minds.

 

Fluid blue movement

we walk dance float

over sidewalks

alongside finely-etched souls

in this memorable detail

of a gigantic print ~

scene from a seagull’s

free 360-degree

skysight.

 

A hundred footsteps from Wolastoq’s

soft flow, as she slips into

her patched coat of ice floes,

under crosshatched geometry

of the iron international

bridge that bonds

Canada with the States,

we share one chocolatine pause

before the salted sweetness

of our daily “A demain.”

 

Pursued by hour & minute hands…

 

Time takes forever

to never resolve ~

endless progression of

suspended chords.

 

In our timeless space,

I whisper “We don’t have to talk.”

 

We walk slowly, wordlessly watch

crystalline wind & birches’ bare limbs

wave their inner water,

lean over the river

that forever murmurs

Keep going, keep going, keep going.   

 

I remember the wet canvas ~

floral palette of famous Fall hills,

soon denuded by blizzard winds.

 

Distant scent, almost absent,

burnished gold & scarlet sheets

of timeturned leaves

pen endless letters

with their webs of veins…

 

Now is the time

tenacious branches

urge & encourage us forward ~

our dovetailed December fingers

warm one other.

 

Our wide indigo vision,

one Witness behind two minds,

two pairs of blue pearl eyes ~

watches astonished by the whole show,

appearing now at our Globe Theatre’s

precipitous cusp of winter.

 

At 11:11pm I sketch our silhouettes

from memory ~

we appear here, wear

dark lines & circles

spread out upon a pale page,

our secret alphabet of waking up.

 

My words/this world ~

emptiness

outlined with pen-&-ink.

 

What seems to form a poem,

one person or two, a universe

named after its “one turning” ~

frames for the same blank space.

 

This vista, kaleidoscopic panorama ~

the unfoldment of inner light.

 

Beloved Bleu, this scene is half

dream sketched from memory

to murmur in images,

a spotlight on past delight…

 

Half spontaneous scribble

in a master-class on figure drawing

on the set of one universal play ~

once upon an indigo

shift into winternight.

 

We are always in transition.

_____________________________

-David Leo Sirois, 2019

“lost @ sleep” ~ new poem by David Leo Sirois, to be published in The Bioptic Review (wonderful Parisian online magazine) edited by Lucienne McKirdy

img_20181214_175530509

 

lost @ sleep

Now is the time to become strong,
& laugh along with the wild gods
who walk upon our ocean crests & deserts
each nuit blanche, all sunlight long…

Forever feeling a little lost,
couldn’t see where these feet floated.
Turned my head wide,
new snowy owl tuft & still ~
never glimpsed the man who looked,
never arrived at where I lived.

Authentic friends & open secret loves
caught the boy at his hide-&-seek.
A new prescription for eyeglasses
revised a grown man.

When almost young I sculpted
out of breathless clay
a bust of this machine
that is to me a David,
flawed ‘belovèd’
w/ tragicomic allergy to dust ~
everywhere a sincere stranger
who my Other Mother
(dream visitor since Kindergarten)
named Madhava, “The Sweet One.”

Well, ‘madhu’ means honey ~
only food that never perishes.

What do I mean?
More than a mixture of my Dad
(the would-be Father Leo Rosario,
blood laced with wine & Roman time)
& Mom, whose Mother Superior shared with her
“should be another kind of mother.”

Skin perfumed with song & longing,
I studied the depths of a mirror,
mom’s long-ago-lost photographs,
& felt this face’s paper landscape ~
can I shape from grey matter
an inner renaissance?

A better maker made his way
past the atélier
in night’s silkiest silence,
& confessed the next day
my clay eyes would not
let go of him.

A generation later,
the coast of my mortality
came into view
near a lighthouse
ribs attempted to clutch ~
touch last year’s man,
the future’s elusive illusory wife,
drenched in a blood-red
supposed cure for pain.

I tumbled down onto Metro tracks
a minute before the train ~
a sign not hard to read.

Lost at sleep
below a pine-green bench ~
a matched set
w/ the bottle by
my pillow that drank
33-degree dawn rain
on rue des Saules
(Weeping Willow Road, no joke)
I was blinded by my thickest blanket.

6 moons grown & gone
since my sisters plucked me out
from that Parisian sea of empty thirst…

A dream-walk through dark woods,
direct path lost to me,
I follow your quick ballerina feet,
Medicine Woman, humble Shaman.

You murmur in my ear
a soft & strong poetic letter ~
not that firefly word “Blessings!”
which my first dream Teacher
& Other Mother
whispered firmly
after 9 pregnant moons,
the hour before I moved out of her
rooms of Blue Pearl incense,
filled with gods & echoes
of sacred Sanskrit names,
words of infinite resonance…

Your role charged with the subtle power
to delicately deliver
her hardest message ~
diamond so dense with Knowing
you break each hammer that falls.

No apocalyptic trumpet,
no alarms to startle me,
your breath warms my dream ~

“This is the year of the Key.
Do not romanticize that season
of slow Montmartre mist.
Mornings came to consciousness
with faint stale smells of fermented grapes.
Snowdrop & crocus
could have claimed your form.
You must change your life
or die, David.
Wear your Other Mother’s fuller Name,
honey steeped in plain green tea.
Come to poetry, come to me.
Go to music, go to me.”

 

 

4 poems to pigeons, plus “Abstract Photograph” ~ Vignettes & Postcards from Paris (Shakespeare and Company, anthology edited by Erin Byrne & Anna Pook, 2nd ed., 2016). Photo by Sabine Dundure…

1524674901428_top hatted spoken word poets

Photo © Sabine Dundure, 2016 ~ SpokenWord Paris, @ Au Chat Noir

(More on the book, & to purchase: https://www.bookpassage.com/book/9780985267209)

“Swing”

I am the famous black pigeon of Square du Clos Feuquières
gently flecked with white ~

something called style
I am no blackbird   wouldn’t want to be
Crow definitively not ~

better brand of bird than these
Beak forward    one foot back
My signature swing-dancing
I surround myself with buds ~
we quibble over crumbs
Blessèd life of hand-to-mouth
Patrons fund my stomach    & my song
while trees offer   greyed green shelter
All said   the days go by
& I remain

 

Dear Mirror

Comes a time in a pigeonette’s life
when even silver & gold
could be sold for my dear eau-de-toilette Self-Pity
It’s like, um, trendier than broken bits of blueberry muffin
I’m tempted to stare into sorry mirrors of sidewalk pools
No grinning Narcissus but an Echo of one soulful hopeless note
“You, You, You…”   w/ counterpoint of “Who am I?”
& “To whom I belong?”

When strangers stare
(the spectrum runs from mild disapproval to utter disgust)
I can absorb the poisoned sting/   continue to sing

 

Looking

This handsome pigeon

Looking smart
in his silver-grey suit frequents singles sites
embellishing his height

& the growing group
books he possesses

gigs he has played
& all the starry hands

he has shaken & taken
The description of his interestingness

continues to lengthen
Like any other singer

he awaits that Big Break
almost patient about cooing into

a dear bird’s ear
His personal profile is clear ~
Sensitive   gifted   Oh-so-humble gentleman  with wings

 

Pigeon Convention

After the state of automatic temperature regulation in select European marketplaces conference
there happened a much-anticipated conference feathers flared their welcome
Whole baguettes blessed sidewalks
Never again would birdsong be the same
in this metropolitain wonderland man-made parks & wild concrete
Porte de Versailles convention organizers & catering corps
complained these birds could be so finicky refused fresh Madeleines
The air was filled with continuous coooool
Beak-to-beak encounters Small discussion clusters
The air was all a-chatter & pavement a-patter
Nothing mattered more than fallen crumbs

 

Abstract Photograph

I walk along rue de la Convention
9 o’clock at night
on a Thursday this 18th day of April 2013

I may never comprehend this
silver-colored abstract photograph

its long uncomplicated electrified rail
1900 anno domini silver dollar moon’s blank stare follows citizens of the city

Time is tracking me down
whether I sit stand or walk

Hold the beat that moves the unsaid drum
to count myself out
to act & not to act

How to unwrap the real

Timeless tireless invisible music
enters the senses without resistance

The inevitable leaf
Yellow gold red astronomical clocks the size of a my own hand

How do I learn how to surrender
Rigid branch & brittle leaf
bristling fingers rattling air
speak to my sentient spine

Wide wide libraries of things I don’t understand

What time is this that makes me question
motions of our measurer
who celebrates perpetual remembrance

I come unhinged grip raw seconds
enter the underworld roots of the wild violet

You the river that rolls through the eye of a needle
You the stone partition keep me from the water

You are seven-story dwellings that keep us trapped
in boxes eating sandwiches

The sound of profound drums pound
August heat back of my neck pulses

Wind chimes fill voids inside night Resound

The sound arises ice-encrusted snow underfoot

Green buds hover
where gold rain filled the forsythia

How should I proceed in this web of wrought-iron railings?

The sound arises Appalachian mountain dulcimer whispers
shapes so many moods the endless turning time alone

The sound devises myriad methods
to pierce the heart

The sound alive & interested
in finding what I seek
I see the sound at twilight

Walk delicately along the edge of this bridge
How small I am toothpick bones

How wide the opened souls
My whole head in flames unseen

A silver shiver shakes my spine
Silence waits for its chosen time

David Leo Sirois

From The Bioptic Review, new literary/arts magazine: “The Clock is Out of Step.” New poem, here with photo by the brilliant Julie K. Daigle…

1523067034473_Ant drinking water

Photo © 2016, Julie K. Daigle. On Instagram, “yoginigal” ~ https://www.instagram.com/p/BIp5UnggWhh/?taken-by=yoginigal)

The Bioptic Review is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Bioptic-Review-Lucienne-Mc-Kirdy-ebook/dp/B07C8M6F3F/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1521937792&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bioptic+review)

Huge Thank You’s to The Bioptic Review’s creator/editor Lucienne McKirdy, photographer/writer Julie K. Daigle, & to my dedicated editor Lindsay A. Gordon… Also in this issue, “Song for a Seeker of Eden” (from the anthology Becoming Fire: Spiritual Writing from Rising Generations, 2006), “Rest works wonders.” (from The Opiate magazine, 2017) & “The Wanton Blush of Pomegranates,” co-written with Lucienne McKirdy)

The Clock is Out of Step

“The time is out of joint–O cursèd spite!
That ever I was born to set it right!”
-Shakespeare, Hamlet

Rue Lamarck paces underneath staccato steps.
Head bowed to rhythms that ward off sleep,
this pulse of gravel is my guide.

A little night music as I explore &
stumble into my ultimate
insignificance.

These eyes, flat stones that skip
over the sidewalk’s surface.

My teacher’s teacher told me:
“Take a broom & sweep your heart.”
But my heart’s eye
stares outside at this time,
brushes the streets for evidence ~
is there life on Earth?

One sign: brown penny left to rest
on the pavement to
contemplate somber clouds.

Do join me here.
Don’t worry about getting
lost ~ I will find you.

Among dense charcoal drawings of tall façades,
darker year by year ~
stone armor human passions wear.

This asphalt once a garland of
green red yellow white lights.

Time-bared trees clung
to pedestrians’ breath.

Now November night wind’s varied voices,
from bass to soprano tones,
form a pre-dawn chorus
with no crowds to witness.

Daylight & night share one
soul between them.

The moment hovers over
the slow approach &
disappearance of silence,
as all blackbirds drop
into the deeps of leafy sleep.

Withdrawal of the senses,
then their renaissance…

Any rounded corner of Earth,
whether Denmark or another ~
is it a prison?

“I could be bounded in a nutshell &
count myself a king
of infinite space.”

There is a certain gravity
to knowing any thing,
& an electric upsurge
to pure confusion.

Pure? Salt water, sugar
water, shit water.
“The sacred water is inside you;
it will cleanse you,”
assured my other father,
teacher’s teacher.

Do my own words stain the clear air?

In this supposed paradise
(of sighs)
there are pearls in every eye.

Exquisite faces, lit from within,
on bus shelter posters, still ~
they invite the Art Brut of want
with rich welcomes of
coal-turned-diamond eyes.

Soon, near & distant drums
of car doors,
clack of pots in café kitchens.

Soon, ancient melodies follow behind
merchants of every kind.

Streets follow tedious arguments,
lead to innumerable conclusions,
choices wrapped in foil choices ~
puzzled into sense
by laughing gods alone
who monitor activity
in this human experiment
(limited-time project).

Cause & consequence
draw a blur
in the heads of all
who attempt to remember.

Soon, streets will fill
with serious workers &
ecstatic travelers ~
all caught in crazed
blizzards of wayward thoughts.

Beneath each sidereal roof,
so many citizens of space
(residence on Earth)
always dance in place
wearing clumsy crowns
of unmet resolutions ~
countless passages
to needed or desired destinations,
forever a round trip…

Scent of wet dead leaves & gasoline.

I pull down hard
on the heavens,
drag them down to me.

Let the sky let down its curtains
over the mind’s roiled mud,
in accord with the principle of miracle ~
thread that connects all beads.

Our eyes survive the dark.

We apparitions dance
across the faces of clocks,
as time grows old ~
true alchemists attempt
to turn flesh into gold.

Let us share a single sky,
with all its dramatic moods.
The clock is out of step
with you & I ~
O cursèd spite!
Everyone was born
to set it right.

 

(Montmartre, fall 2017)

“Luminous Nothingness” ~ poem by David Leo Sirois (revised, 2017-’18). Artwork by the brilliant Iana Sophia…

“Morning Impression” by Iana Sophia. (Above ~ oil on canvas. Banner book-cover painting, “Song of Ether”).

 

Luminous Nothingness

“The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things.”

~ Lao-Tzu

 

What are the roots that clutch,

what branches grow out of

this stony rubbish, starred

with semi-precious memories?

 

All the spirit’s detritus ~

pebbles valuable to some

who love us, know the lines

& circles of our signature

on sloughed-off skin ~

where clear quartz geodes

open unpolished cores.

 

Scarlet agate eons turn

into hardened heartflesh,

red sand held nearly forever

in time’s lost & found fingers.

 

Before the last, of course,

I grip gravel with curled

toes ~ but wish for what is

before the first.

 

“Look, & it can’t be seen.

Listen, & it can’t be heard.

Reach, & it can’t be grasped…”

the eternal boy warned.

 

81 poems about Nothing,

the boundless Tao te Ching.

A book I can grasp in hand ~

blue eyes clutch at the land.

 

Tell me what you cannot say,

whisper to me when you’ve quit

this Earth, alert me the moment

you fall asleep, allow me

where I cannot follow.

 

Failed beginnings, all unfinished

stories form a garland of unsung

words, unuttered prophecies ~

a book of nightmares &

lit-from-within recurring dreams,

open to all beings’ interpretation.

 

Confronted by a sudden mirror,

I glimpse my own inevitable end

behind anxiety’s wrinkled eyes.

 

I hold 11 weightless angels

in the heart pocket

of my poet costume’s

showy suit jacket,

stroll over cobblestones &

wear a grin of misguided pride.

 

Fool with a peacock feather

flared behind my ear,

I act as if nothing comes to an end.

 

But one blow

from the inescapable ticket-taker

will arrest all my laughter

in an instant.

 

Don’t ask my why I forget

why I am here ~

I am not yet aware.

Why are you here?

 

The leaves of appalled birches

attempt to point me where

the direct path’s no longer lost.

 

More than pure sin.

Midway in this journey

of mixed moods…

 

Am I sick of my sacred duty to this

long-awaited sun, warm mouth

of a winded horse?

 

Sweet medicine

of efforts to unfold the silver foil

wrapped around each incident ~

taste the sweet blood-orange

at the heart of all experience.

 

Back in my prison, window-shaken

dust, bright enumerations

of scared & sacred seconds…

 

There is a weight to this ceiling,

which presses upon the mind

until I no longer notice.

 

Better to wander

all undying night

knit streets of Montmartre

(famous for being itself)

til sun-up, drink freshly-made

savory winds, & sing

a secret aubade ~

 

“Ah, but I was so much older then.

I’m younger than that now.”

 

Let us go then,

break sunrise’s bread ~

nothing can hold down

our hands’ shining silence.

 

The walker of the Middle Way,

when his soul snuffed out, said ~

“I am enlightened with all beings…

the Earth is my witness.”

& touched weightless

fingertips to soil.