Poetry from Brian Barbeito

in the time of shadows and light, or, waiting for the new hour 

The wildflowers gathered and saw the bright of the sun, cohorts and cousins, old fast friends they were, for they had found similarities and continuance through the years in their light and bright and hue. Someone had built a structure, long and wooden, dirt and handsome and sure, that juxtaposed the swaying stems and leaves and petals windswept against the stillness of the planks and large windows. at dusk the rains would begin and perhaps the nocturnal creatures would stay at such times inside their own abodes and from such dwellings say in their own way to one another, their own ancient way, Wait, just wait and see if this passes. It is bad out. Untoward. The world is full of wind and water and difficulty right now. Yes just wait and hopefully a new hour will change things.

My Old Lady or in the Time of Wild Eyed Prophets and Grocery Carts 

(For Tara)

Do you know when it is the middle of dusk and you are in the centre of a liminal time? People don’t talk about the middle of dusk, or not so much, eh. I was on the outskirts of a town where the dirt and sure manicured boulevards begin to meet the feral worlds. The last brick wall, literally, I was walking by, and on my way into a store. The wind tossed my old lady’s hair and her head moved to one side to let the wind move it out from her face. I saw her dimples and zygomatics, also the metal from an earring caught in the last of the late day light. Beyond her were the strange clouds, textured and they seemed to tell labyrinthine stories. I wanted to read them, to discern their mystic and esoteric messages. We turned a corner. A man appeared out of nowhere, and caught me off guard, I, who am pretty perceptive. He handed me a grocery cart and looked at my eyes. I don’t like the eyes of normalcy, the prosaic and judgemental, the untrustworthy eyes of the modern and mediocre suburban or city set, no. What have they to offer me? They are clones of one another and what’s more, they are happy about it! That’s not any kind of true happiness of course, so maybe one should say they are ‘satisfied’ with it. They are Plato’s cave members even outside the cave on sunny days. Nothing will change them. But the man. He and his eyes were different. Actually, Osho said in a discourse somewhere that those eyes, those eyes that are a bit separate from society as we know it, from someone who has fallen out of step with societal burdens, that those are the eyes you want. Well the man pointed to my old lady, a lady pure of heart, true and sagacious and beautiful. He said, ‘Take this cart and follow her. Every man has two mothers. Your first mother is gone, but this is your second mother and the one you are to obey now. Trust in her.’ I was a bit surprised at all this so just stared at him for a few long seconds. She stopped and looked back, wondering what was taking me so long. ‘Well go,’ he said, ‘and do as I say,’ and he went away and I took the cart and followed her. She began talking about something but I couldn’t hear for some reason. I looked back and saw only clouds where the man had been, clouds like long wondrous songs but from another language that had gone all the way down when nobody was looking. Yes they had traversed the firmament's length to the distant horizon line as if they were whispering some sacrosanct secret to the earth. 

the bird and the sea and me

once there was a bird on the promenade and I said it was a sign and they said that’s no sign it’s just a bird. and I went far away from them, and knew them to be course and base, w/out any sensibility or as the Christians say, involved in worldly things. and I followed the birds and the contour of the coastline then, and there was a storm coming, but I delayed going home because the atmosphere was charged w/a magnificent strange electricity and spirituality. the waters were salt waters, and they became turning over and and again, bird and birds loquacious and like spirits alive. I thought the whole populace would come to watch the wondrous natural world, real and also ephemeral-ethereal-mystical-visionary-dreamlike,- such as her eyes,- but nobody came, nobody cared- so I watched in satori the world out there- and even though it became dark there was a spiritual light, a light that was beyond any worldly light or all worldly lights combined- and it somehow twirled and swirled and enlightened and was part of forever. and the bird went past, and they had been wrong, for a bird was never just a bird, but nothing less than a miracle.

Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian poet and photographer. He is the author of the book of prose poems, Chalk Lines (Fowl Pox Press). Currently he is at work on the visual and written nature narrative, Mosaics, Journeys Through Landscapes Rural.