“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” (W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM)

Friday, January 13, 2012

more collaboration...

This is another piece done by myself and my brother Chad Austin. My favorite that we have done together.

Brothers in Arms

Sitting in the fading afternoon sun,
warm breeze carrying
my thoughts away, I look over
a reticulation of high-ridged
moraines and drumlin hills, gently rippling.

The stippled light reveals
a bird in flight, caught
in time lapse motion. Slowed wings
beating inaudible rhythms, captured
 inside my tympanic chest
while perched here in this hillside copse.

Ice dammed lakes give way 
to kettles, conjuring childhood memories
of playing a fox-holed soldier, fallen
limb for a rifle, prepared to ambush
any "foe" caught unaware. We were
brothers in arms, him and I.

These days time does the assailing
and each hour carries boyish dreams off 
to settle in some new child's head. 

Memories of climbing
immense sand dunes fall away.
My brother running ahead,
the delicate patterns in the sand turning
to wrinkles at the corners of my eyes. 
Deep furrows in my hands mirror
the landscape stretched out below.

His head disappearing
on the down-slopes, taking longer
each time to reappear.
Still I struggle to catch up. 
Sand kicked up by blistering wind
temporarily blinding.

Lost from sight now,
these recollections sting
like those wind-whipped grains
on youthful cheeks. Scars remain,
with the glacial passage of time.

His face in the knotted bark
of an elm tree, his voice whispering
in rustling leaves, telling tales of chasing 
deer and quail and each other
through these woods- easier prey
than our demons and shadows. 

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