Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Somewhere Beyond the Wheel

A Haibun

The sound of the hawk’s talons as they click against the cement floor is sharp and crisp. The raptor moves carefully, head ducking, hard eyes scanning the empty and leaf-ridden floor of the abandoned factory floor. She studies the rusting press machine that once stamped steel into shape, her barred feathers shivering then going smooth. So effortless while in flight, she is tentative and shy upon the ground, hopping over the remainder of box end wrench. She hears the rustle of a rodent in the dark corner of the arching metal-sided structure, her whole body galvanized, her beak swinging unerringly toward the sound.

Exploding into the dim vault of the superstructure, the pounding of her wings echoes across the silent remnant of the production line. She dips, hearing the last, interrupted squeak of her quarry as her talons pierce it, crushing it to her smooth belly and bearing it aloft. The long, bright aperture of the loading dock door allows her to burst back into nature, into the tentative resurgence of sapling trees and brambles as they tear their slow holes in the broken pavement. The far treeline at the edge of the untraveled road allows her to disappear, to find a high, safe place above the ground. She holds the rodent against a tree limb, her beak partially open, her breath coming across a thin, pink tongue as she prepares to duck her head for the meal. There are no more white, crossing lines in the sky, no more strange drones and humming. The raptor doesn’t think about this, doesn’t reckon it. She simply is, the tip of her beak red now with blood.

Echoing empty
Ghosts of manufactured things
A song long finished

All the timid things
Called back from far horizons
After titans fall

All these mighty works
Just scars upon the darkened
Immortal beast’s flank

Where travels the wind?
What use, these songs, long ended?
Words, with none to read?

Patrick M. Tracy


Monday, June 19, 2017

From the Screaming of the Gears

The null space behind
what we thought was going
to be our lives, those
strange and dusty storage rooms
outside of time and distance
where we wander for years,
half lost and wondering what
door we went through to get
to such a place,

And there are no mirrors
there to see yourself, what
you have become and how it has
diverged from your dreams,
how you have become a stranger
to yourself, a ragged wanderer
with far-off eyes and a nervous
twitch, ears ringing in the
constant tone of seared nerves
from the screaming of the
gears of the machine we
have driven down into deep
holes in the night

And we walk out into the
dusty last gasp of daylight after
eons in darkness, pallid oddities
unknown and believed to be extinct,
living fossils to those we once knew,
squinting into the sky
we'd half forgotten in our
time as troglodytes, our time
as prisoners in the subterranean
corridors between where we
aspired to be and where we

We, the sinners not yet damned

We, broken but not quite ruined

We, who have survived somehow and come
through the other side of the storm, still
almost us, still almost okay.

Patrick M. Tracy

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Bottom Edge of the Clouds

This ringing silence
this house, once filled
a place of voices now
gone silent, a place that
once echoed with the laughter
of the fallen, shifted beneath
the steps of those who
no longer walk this world

The strange and willful
business of the day, the
loading of the dishwasher
the clearing away of the
trash, the small task we
throw ourselves into as
if it had some meaning,
some purpose greater than
to nullify the strange
empty in the wake of
all these souls, now
gone beyond the veil

These long days when we
are fueled upon the fires
we light within ourselves,
seeking anything, any way
to expel the thousand
screams building forever
at the back of our throats
to exhaust ourselves so that
we have no more energy to
rip at our own breast in
the grief we will not let
ourselves feel

The grand and useless angers
we find within ourselves,
bonfires of our own souls as
we rail against the trivialities
of the moment, hiding behind them
so that the oncoming dark cannot
catch us for a time.

But the night draws ever darker
around our faces, and there are
no stars, but only the purple
light of the city reflected against
the bottom edge of the clouds,
and there is no escape for us,
we who live to rail against the
silence and know our own frailty
against the hands of fate.

Patrick M. Tracy


Somewhere Beyond the Wheel

A Haibun The sound of the hawk’s talons as they click against the cement floor is sharp and crisp. The raptor moves carefully, head duc...