Charles Bane, Jr.
Hunting With Masai
Dawn is spear and
shield and gun recklessly
left behind. We move in a
single line. Last night
they chased away a
missionary and we lay.
Mine is the god of the Hebrews
I explained, mountain born
like N'gai. He is not desirous
of you and only one
of mine has seen his face.
His mountain had boiled gravely
and he built a vessel of lava
rock for a climber overcome
to voyage fire home.
When Masai Raise Their Spearheads
When Masai raise
spearheads to Ngai
at his falling wordless
leave, they mirror unsheathed
swords of city heights, wavering
in the breath of the unseen.
All mystery is powerless
before the respiratory fate
of light as you wash your
face, your back to me.
It is time to admit, as
I brush sand from
your feet, the odds
that a universe dimmed
will draw you in again for release.
You will be lost as four hundred
planets at first count are waterless,
or put in safekeeping of molecular cloud.
Somewhere distant, I will be noble
gas or fleeting charge. We will
meet, but incorporeal as gods.
Oh they were alive
and playing cards
in an eight foot trench
that was covered like
Eve and I had point
alone on our Italian beach.
The Germans had artillery
so reaching that grunts robbed
of rest - all of them-
might disappear unclaimed
for weeks. I caught a private
and brought him back at dawn.
The captain said, take him there
behind those trees and hurry back.
To kill like that. I marched
behind the bastard and he knew
and wept. I was seeing things
from lack of sleep. I saw my father standing
on the platform by my returning train,
the haunted question of him; I saw
stars on collars finally unpinned
and the manual of arms above our
barn filled with grain. The German
knelt and light specked him unfed
and leather hooved. There were leaves
and I was dappled too.
My father took me to the park
where an old man was walking
a dog. I rushed to the dog and
asked his owner what breed he
was. His speech came slurred,
from stroke, and my father made
up a reply. My father said the owner
was saying he was a fine dog, ever faithful
and that owner and dog were
the best of friends.
Flash forward to my father's last
appearance publicly at a meeting
of Englishmen. He'd forgotten where
we were or what was required. I spoke
of caravels bearing reason to outposts
beyond reach of sun. That a ship had borne him
where he formed a bond to the
Island People undimmed and standing
now. I said my father believed the only
surety in a storm was the fastness of
common law and for this knowledge his
gratitude could not be expressed. There was an
ovation and I stepped back.
I wanna be wich you. By the chain
link fence on the corner we
walked past (where I kissed
u when u stopped and looked at me
and went, Dude) There was a street lamp
shining through the fence
onto a skip of oil
and something turned around.
Then I came home,
now thinking about u.
U stepping into day. On Sunday,
when even the Korean people
are a little nice. When the cooking
smells are horns. Hey, you know
that red like the truck outside
Schwartz’s on flower day? That’s
the red I wanna see u in and you
know and hey, that smell
when we were close, you buy
that at the store?
I saw your Mom there
and I go, Miz Hernandez , lemme
carry those and we walked
to your place and I look up
and your Mom goes,
love, it’s like guava
Come, Beloved ☊
I am hungry; come soon. I looked
tonight at flames like you upon
the west and jewels winging
home. I hold you in my eyes
when I see what cannot
be stamped again. All the earth
is of a kind but for the rarities
that clamber unknowing of their
gifts on vales of purest light,
and look at the common life
of us in shade. Come beloved,
Isn't It Amusing
Isn’t it amusing that they think
we’re too old for...and don’t see
when our passion stirs?
They don’t notice your hand
reaching over to arrange my letters
in the middle of the game.
Do you know I love those hands
most tenderly when they’re making
tea? And then, again, in the middle
of the night when you touch my arm
and, wordless, ask me to begin a ballet.
You know, I think making love to you
starts in the music of steps in snow
or your look into your purse for a lozenge
when my mouth is dry. Yes, that’s the flag,
that’s the pointing daystar.
In the Hotel
In the hotel, unlocking
doors of time and space,
I knew we were met when
each was newly made. I knew
the laws were dust like dying
stars and worshipers lifting scrolls,
jeweled and dressed, are blind.
My love, I follow until the expiration
of the sun; my grail lays sleeping
far away and turns her head
alone; but an arc of burning dreams
hurries hours away and lashes
the horses of our wait.
At the Observatory
At the observatory, I can
watch all the water mills
of galaxies. I deny every
injury in me and long to see
not backward but to forward
cliffs. I think the consequence
of you is written into the structures
we cannot know but by candles
in our room. Do you unfurl for
me? No, rather it is starry in your
eyes naturally and I want you
to order all the murdering
unstained from paper histories.
I deny sacredness
not born of your womb,
your hair the thousand
gestures of lovingness that
fall in gravity.
It defies logic so
Beautifully, this love.
.Fall my love and I will
Rake the leaves.
You a Certain Chord
You a certain chord or
movement of a dance as
you crash in a tide and spill
like music or drugs into blood
and we down onto sheets,
your hair in kapok roots and
I think: what bird is this, with
wings outspread, crying under
For My Son
I will not waiver or protest
that the wait is hard to bear;
The parent-to-be is patient
for the child he cannot see, knowing
that eternity is rounding unknown
seas to fishing nets. My
beloved, I wait. I stand upon
the beach, my arms are wide, you
must swim to the sound of me
and lights undreamed. We shall be
coins of sides alike and sleep together
in the shade. You are the growing
length of me that lays
upon a floor of leaves
and says, there is no end to light
or closing of the day. There are only
clarions that pierce the dark
with mirror songs like these.