The chameleon brought death



They say the chameleon is a messenger

whose passage to the heavens

could have prevented our death


But with its strange feet, it burst

and spoiled our offering before

it reached a number known as god


Others believe the chameleon

is still inching from the old world, seeping


forward towards us, camouflaged

and crawling; its slowness – warning us


that for all our haste

and all our tricks and games,

we can never outrun nor be missed

by its capacious gaze


we cannot delay and evade

its inevitable reckoning


where we come from we come

to rest, perpetual

and impermanent, the body

is but a journey

to our former self


Flinch from me, run from me, do

not touch me –

wherever you are – be aware

I could fall

and claw onto your head,


make you forget and fall

under my curse



Do I believe it? not really

I like to stare into its wandering eyes

pick it up and let it walk over me

skin tickled, gripped: sensitive,

both of us unmasked, still-



But a myth begins somewhere

as a joke bears some inner truth


and once a year

chameleons come here to mate

atop these two loquat trees

that a dog I lost beneath

has given leaf


Reason, and the world today

tells me this is mere coincidence

but I am never convinced, it seems

too convenient; our petty dismissal

of the mysterious


I will always prefer the myth



On a dugout drifting down a lonely creek

evening is neither leaving nor becoming,

the sun merely sunning

its draft of light


Along the shore, the turrids lie broken;

washed up sounds still

speak of water


Spirals uncoil, dormant voices call

join land to ocean, lost in the rise

and fall: hope and bits of polyp


and yearn, turned

by the tide, that lungs

and lips, corals

and branches—



and fills

the inner ear

of the urchin orb


Giant clams

slowly open

and close, mouth

tranquil flow


Beached veins of the blue-

bottle jellyfish still drift,

stinging there is

                life after all this


The shale and shingle sits

and shifts, split by itself—it comes

and goes, suns

and sings of one motion


Water draws in

and out, lifts and lulls,

rolls onwards

and uncurls like rhythm

building breaking con-

tinuing this landscape

and language

of breath

Sitting on the outer-most ring of existence

I seem to have gone missing


I sing and sing

but no one hears me



this is the problem


I’ve traded my body

for all I see


To ocean I lose sense

and forget my self


to remember

and be held by the universe



but foolish, isn’t it


When one breath

tranquilly tells me

I am no different



Eclipsed by fears and dreams, I thin

and brittle, seep into mist and tears,

treetops and rivers, soak channels through land

and valleys through mountains, wet ashes

to animates, stir seasons and rhythms,

breathing, beating, fluid

as an anemone, I am

stranded in transience, swept

by stillness


liminal, if I lead myself

to believe it



So I point my finger


and there I begin, I blink


and inhabit the other side

of what I know, dangling stubborn

all along the hidden horizon


a voice lilting in the distance

so too speaks inside my own


we are no different