Poetry from Brian Michael Barbeito

impressions, times, atmospheres 

do you ever remember the spring or summer sun, the rains that make the wildflowers to blossom and the wooden and metal bridges that lead across the marsh water and creeks? do you recall the hawk and his friends high in the skies near the lakes, or the northern bald eagle way out there agile and like a dream? oh the countenance of the lands- loams and trees old their bark and branches wild shapes that sometimes look like spirits and tell all kinds of stories and make you think of poems and songs. the summit and valley, and oriole and blue jay, a coy deer and a running fox, porcupine in a tree, buzzing working bee, little spider and ant, the moth has its own beauty and the butterflies definitely so don’t you know? think of the grace of the wild orchids that live down the way off the trail, and the hundreds of yellow buttercups that receive the afternoon sun. path journey and scenery. do you remember such sights as those? maybe they can keep our spirit warm somehow, against reason and logic, in the winter air, the solemn dusk, the long night lonesome and witching hour gloomy. oh April-May the promissory notes for a better day. ah sand or June under blue sky, and July’s dawn river washed stones. yes August petals and the world in bright colour. calm let us be. waiting. waiting on light and warmth. waiting for a new dream dreamed by the universe. waiting for love. 

storms baptisms worlds 

there was a long corridor made of the deepest green painted cement. it was far south, and the off season, w/nobody around. I went along it and noticed that it had begun to rain. yet the rain was warm and soothing and made sounds as it went off metal railings and stucco walls. at the end were steps and the walls had openings so that one could see where they were going on their journey. outside of the dark stairways was seen the sea. even though a storm was half-arrived, you could see the sea, discern the whitecaps boasting up, then dissolving, rising again, and disappearing. to the right a far way was a pier, not seen then. to the left just as far, a lighthouse. I wonder why we always went right and not left, though right was beautiful. if I go back maybe I will travel by foot left instead, to see the lighthouse. but with nobody then, sibling or peer, I was on my own. those were the same storms the pirates experienced. and the first settlers. and the people indigenous to the lands. those storms carried some ancient message that was beyond literature, philosophy, or science. they were mystic storms. I waited in the rains, under the warm sky-water. I looked up so that the water would touch my eyes. I had been borne w/a double crown. I put my head straight again and the water landed on the double crown. I baptized myself in the strange feral storm world before returning to the earth that was normal, orthodox, prosaic. 

beyond the forest and near the loam-

there was a large forest and beside it a winding valley. the valley was mysterious beyond belief and the farmer who owned the land was afraid to go there but would not exactly admit it. you could read it in his body language and in his speech when he spoke about the valley. and you could just sense it. but I therefore went deep not the valley alone and walked it’s complete length. and yes it was strange and weird. but i didn’t mind. stop and out from it was an open field. a series of  three large fields. in the summers…moth butterfly agate chaga ant insect flower vine chaparral stone leaf abandoned tractor sandpit tree stone wooden fence blue sky and white cloud. in the winter…ice and snow and grey and mystery and loneliness pronounced and actualized. you and yourself and the vexatious winds. and there was at the purlieu a strange beginning to a farmland where feed corn was grown. I stood there sometimes and in the distance could make out the farmer’s house and barn. a solitary hawk sometimes flew. I breathed deeply. I felt I knew something other people didn’t know,- being there so alone, having hiked all that way. but I didn’t know anything. well nothing if words and mind perhaps. and then it would be time to turn and begin the long walk back. step by step by step. sometimes my feet were warm and sometimes cold, but I loved it anyhow,- against odds and reason I loved the winter overcast w/its dark skies and frightening valley. I would overcome it all or it would overcome me. I continued. I carried on. I was courageous and went further than the few others that even went that far. sky sky sky, woods woods woods. season enthral, trees full and tall…….

there are wolves in sky and, during the waltz of the hidden, epistolary episodic belles lettres to the shoreline unknown ~

the past is a long while away, when there was the dream of an orange city and the night, and another and me caught in fright, trying to make our way. or the great and grand cathedrals north. I told the woman, ‘there used to be a church under the ground, and I went there and it was beautiful and old and functional,’ and the woman surprised me by saying first, ‘I know,’ and secondly, ‘it is gone now…’ and I thought about all that and there were wolves in the firmament one two three maybe more. and I listened to so many things, hundreds of things, and read until my eyes couldn’t function, but in the end I closed my eyes and tried to listen to the rainstorms. Mata once read The Thorn Birds near southern balconies whilst I watched the skies over the sea. and one day, someday, I will live in the skies over the sea. why do you long for much? opulence. fashion. power. fame. money. food. the new. the gauche. the decadent. more. more. more. why, if you were different, you could live in the sky ov’r the sea. w/me. we could live there forever. w/the wolves. I will be there anyhow. you should stop by. oh one time I went down there after a long strange dream and walked the coastline at dawn. joggers. yoga people. walkers. the world. but I was always a stranger. I only looked up in the end and yearned for home, longed to live again in the air, w/out a care, where the astral wolves sway by the thousand fold lair.

shadows near dawn, letters home to a soul unknown ~

and the lake is a paramour, a mistress, much loved but not the essential. because I recalled something else forgotten. i remembered suddenly that I had gone out and seen the sea, and it was dawn, and everything was contained there yet bursting out in light. parapets stucco. old catamaran to sit upon. the darkness and shadow slowly being warmed and lit as if from a paced and deliberate spiritual fire. the mind far away, the heart speaking to this hearth, a hearth from and source unknown. and I could hear the waves lapping and thought of all the souls that passed through there during those years, and maybe the years before I knew if it. the whole and existence had brought me there…karmas, providence, fate and fortune, circumstance. and I knew where the sandbank was and the pier that went out and out,- oh all the things. and I had gone alone the path, the sand path framed by verdant palm leaves in humid breeze, yes trees that spoke still a little to the moon and even to me, shadows near dawn, telling the most marvellous and intriguing of secrets that you ever heard.

the other world songs 

after the dawn and it’s mist, was the day, prosaic and normal, clear and neither good or bad, and then the strange dusk where shapes melt away and night afterwards overtakes streams and estuary, inlet and lake, boulevard and rural road and city street. that is when the angels used to arrive, or be heard, finally heard. they sang songs together, actual angels, and the songs were melancholic and rueful, crestfallen and lamenting something. I wondered why they sang. I wondered for years and years and years as I listened to them. they didn’t bother me, or comfort me too much. they were on the side of good and not bad. but why were they always sad? oh how deep and intense they were, w/their songs. but now they are long gone and sometimes how I miss them so. oh angels, come back and sing your songs. astral tunes. limbo lyrics. other world whines. complaints from eternity. what would or could a mystic orphan lost soul do in a suburban place surrounded by mediocrity, ambition, modernity? nothing, that’s what. but I miss the songs. please sing a song old friends, just once, somewhere sometime somehow. perhaps in the deep and still witching hour when the wind whistles wild unencumbered through the distant reeds on the edges of towns hardly known, when one is all alone, near lonesome loam, far and far and far my friend, so very far from anything like home. 

Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian poet and photographer. Recent work appears at The Notre Dame Review.

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