Art and poetry on page and stage



Ish Klein

Circular Runes

It knew it was a fortune and initial-
only itself, for all that came before
was not this fortune.

It tended to become big with baloney
though it would walk often watching
its feet- the fact that it had meat
made of this an ox who drew lines in the earth.

Take to this a hammer. Or if nature made a branch
nearby to a rock and if in the ox's line
it so happens the branch come across
a rock and if this makes an impression
on the ox- a thorn is born. A hand is born-

And some would say a man is born but he isn't man-like yet.
Taking elements and shaping them together Birthing
is born, the brain is born, he who makes
is born. He finds a branch then finds what made this-
he finds a tree
and builds with this his reach-

A chariot conveys this way.
Before we knew each other but we didn't
know who or what 'who' had to be
necessarily. Moving- yes. He can write,
he can move it from his hand
to your head. He can mark wood
with a word. He can make you see incompletely

and so starts the world burning
incompletely- the outer rags written.
They said to burn them. Torch each word.
This world had six elements
and fragmentation.
There was suspicion- they said, 'kill him'.
He hid in his hat.
His hat began to burn.

And in burning he was lifted
being above it he was saved
The body went away
a gift remained. It moved
under ash like a bump in a landscape.
This gift had him come back
for it was something he could not conceive.
It was a new

And because it could not speak at first
it was joy. A return to pre-word
was the world-joy unapart.
He would hold this to be whole.
He would heat it and feed it
and take to it what of earth
he could find and he would hide
it from beasts when he needed to leave it alone.
Beasts sensed this
and resented it.

Stones of ice fell from the sky.
He with joy cannot hide
from those in need.
He is pursued, he is chased
and forced to reveal his life-gift.
He is frightened for it.
That is should be battered
or become perpetually in need
like those beings who would pull it
to pieces. He fights until exhausted.
His life-gift he buries and land grows over it at a madcap rate.

Enter the ice.
Hiding moving,
hiding time.
So, separated, the life-gift stopped
while he climbed.
he left
many words
to the life-gift.
The year was silent.

You will see I have grown smaller than a bead,
though my feet are big as stars and my hair
can fill the universe. As a small drop
of water flows into a tree.
From the ice I have come to moving again
choosing a corridor from the forest floor.
I am drunk by one Yew tree.
Thee tree who did not crash
took me
from ice
though by ash sown
the seed
saved like he from the fire.

As by fire they were pured
so by water I am pured.
Knowing holding
having been held.
Knowing going I went
to a memory preserve.
A strange communication
form the north as leaves
seem to return mirth- a consolation.
Happy to have shown you
needed a green spark
to show you
something else grows
inside an earthen bowl.

From the forest comes an elk
and on his branches sky-feeling
and in his eyes
come hunters
and for a fawn
remote instinct
as from need grows some ability.
This will not live indoors
nor be well made
for machines.
You can accept his strength
is more than equal to yours.
You will eat
his flesh after
draining his blood.

Such is what the sun does
coming to the surface.
Blood being the current and course
of your life through time.
Your life comes up
to meet the sun.
You like
rare heat.
A hot spring.
The sun has hidden
too in the center
an energy store.
Only words could make
possible an instant
still place
in the forest.

Above all this
a construction holds the sky
in place. A birch tree
sees to silver- a sense
takes sticks,
puts words there
to burn the words.
The birched word conjured
to be purged.
My life looks at this work
with fear. It can
never really
be part of anything
nor is it ever out of the way.
The name is stated.
He is called to claim me;
to put me in a form further out..

He does not show caring.
I do not show caring.
I act the fire cycle:
In my dream, I fight a horse child
for a prestigious prize while
a large shark eats some of me
unseen. I perceive and see nothing.
Then he comes back. Appearing
on water. A numinous float,
a mail barge, the letter says,
"There's no beating the oven.
You can leave with your one life.
That is, if you will have life.
A basket on a river.
Ice and downhill motion.
Attached, unattached. No one
is permanently frozen."
So my time keeping ends this way.

The clay and indentation earth folds to a new day.
What can be taken will be taken home finally.