Dark of Five


in the dark of five in the afternoon

I have no fear of death

just a fear that putting it in words

becomes an invocation

to what needs no invitation



duende knows no time

no clock no light

nothing is needed

nothing is sacred

diversion is sacramental worship

as long as there is no need to focus

there is no need to fear

there is nothing to push away

the duende brings its own ripe red bite

the edges are crisp clear

you are just wretched rat shit

hoping that you have a way out

there is no need to escape

there no where to go

where the black ribbon won’t tie you

cannot define you but will end you

no need for need

all will be hidden revealed discarded



my fear is that only in death

will I be discovered

that the vast treasure I contain

will only spill forth

like gold nuggets hidden under my skin

when death slices that thin membrane

to send them raining ringing like love



in the dark of five

do I dare invoke duende

while I sit at my window

the fade of an ice etched day

the mortal cold of that snap grip

dances between dust flashes

the empty air ghost filled



I call upon the balsam east

rising hope’s dream language

to assuage pain it can never cure


I call upon the spruce south

the scald of blooded lusts

words tossed to defend portents

all that has passed and will come


I call upon the Douglas west

a sense of past to build on

recall the many who have stood here

to evoke from you a shared memory

our separate histories that

understand pine but see a different box


I call upon the evergreen north

the clarity of moon on brittle snow

the gash of revenge regret atonement

join with the strength from below


the earth that holds divines the future

it has the silence of the sky above

the sun to reflect on us

who count on words to illuminate

what turns out not to be seeable

in the dark of five in the afternoon

Several people have asked me about this piece. I thinks it’s a good one to end the year of Wednesday’s with. We are in a time when it is the Dark of Five O’Clock. As well this is the ‘dead’ of winter and the piece deals with death. It is an older piece written with the clear influence of Federico García Lorca. Ive read bios, have a fat collected works – fat with English on side & Spanish on the other. I read it every other year.

The title comes form one his better known pieces “Five in the Afternoon” His line goes: It was five of a dark afternoon! The line was more a prompt which took me in many directions as opposed to an homage to Lorca but something in which I tried to capture his poetic essence. It started as a series of random images – not in the order here. I wrote them over a couple of weeks as well.

Some of it is a contemplation on the nature of fame, creativity & mortality. Lorca was well-respected in his time but not financial successful. His sexuality & the culture pressures around otherness shaped much of his voice, though at least one biographer call it his “tragic flaw.’ Fuck – it was his culture’s (& many other culture’s) response to otherness that is the tragic flaw.

There is also a reflection on the notion of ‘as ye think, so shall it be’ So to think of death is to invite it? to rush it? To write about makes those thoughts more concrete. My fear isn’t of death but that writing about will cause it 🙂

I love some of use of language & images in this & when I perform it speaking lines like ‘ripe red bite’ ‘the black ribbon won’t tie you’ “raining ringing like love’ give me great pleasure. They show some of the Dylan Thomas influence on my writing. As I edited it for flow I broke it into sections then titled the sections. The Consternation section, for me, is magical in the clearness of the image & the power of the subtext.

Lorca often wrote about his cultural folk lore so the final section is pure Canadiana. I have participated in various ceremonies that call on the power of the directions . a ceremony that runs through Native North American & South American tribes, as does appear in Wiccan traditions as well. After I was done I did some research on the trees for each direction, the assignment is mine though. Then I wrap it up with the image that started the piece.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice-cream in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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