Open horizon [eyes] wide

Daniel Thompson



riverrun under isthmus bridge

width of hips, gibbous

moon near the end of her term,

waits to conceive

at neap tide

a week of sundays

rising; late winter/ early spring

the world turning

a turtle on an alligator’s back

what’s its smile like?

more of a grin

teeth strung with weeds and sticks

ossuary at the end of the stream


Talking rock between the stones

a bottom row of teeth

trees ranked on either side

winding a snake path

past Adam and Eve’s

leafy speafy

raft of ribs

plotting a presents’ path

snake with its tail in its mouth


Raven naming places

through the ritual

reclamation of sacred


as literal as

‘land facing the sea’

‘place of shoaling waters’

eye in the sky and one in the lake

its changing features and face

don’t change while you’re looking at them

so in a way they’re the exact same thing

me and myself (past, present and future)


old land and for all we know

we’re not alone,

that there was something here before us

before clovis, Kennewick, klee wyck feet

anticipating their long-

prolonged return



No Man’s Land of neither land nor sea

nor strand, coughing up islets

insular and instant

a girl down there what’s she selling?

seashells, steady supply and demand.


Through the forest is a cliff

a trip, of three sets of three times

three steps each:

all ways lead down


I set up my tripod,

feet: one in the air, one on the ground and one in the sea

Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle

Sea capital—floating city, Queen Mary

trees blown back in the shape of the wind

torn sheet written in waves

blank verse


A string along the shore—

the line spread unaccountably out,

one unit of light atop each peak

risen above the flat surface of the page

perpetually arriving,

in our ears and in our eyes

random as atoms’ stochastic dance—

binary of chance


sunset Seurat

pointillist, predictable

splitting the interval

from green to gray

a conspiracy of sight and motion (light and shade)

convene on the surface of things

disgorged into units

of one wave preceded by another;

the thing and the word

relieved of speech

as when we enter the water,

disrupting the flow of dilatory waves

that throw themselves at our feet



the waxing—

verso half of the year,

that ends where the forest begins

at the edge of a black winter festival

and the vestibule of spring



the mariner

Daniel Thompson


half moon pendant

swinging below its everpresent

morning star,


throws a net of lights across

its face, spinning yarns as long

as ocean currents,


hauled in, dripping with fish

sweat of brine

interrogation mark?

casting doubt over ocean sway

sidereal glances into the empty empyrean

everywhere a way in


ten o’clock gradient climbing towards zenith peak

midnight, resisting the whole

tug of history and tides


all shorelines are like seashells are alike

sun says ‘nothing that is known to man is unknown to me,

no foreign land’.


soul oil lighting the way

catching sleep between the swells

keeping one eye open for land

while the continents move farther apart.


Usually one can say

that the land stays in the same place

but for him, an island of a man


it’s not always that way.

Out of a desultory nod

the tide deposits him somewhere

along the new shoreline



life boat, fisher king, lost at sea

seaspit spindrift

run up the mast


wood creaking

like an old man

getting up from a chair

cracks in his face

beneath five days’ growth of beard


thirsty amoungst all this water

dead and don’t know it

mistaking the mountains for a cloud

the white above indistinguishable from the white below


catching up with them

the beast who drank up all the waters,

just to make sure they were caught


eye for an eye on sea or land

blinding Poseidon’s son

while he lay, sprawled, half asleep


concertina waves

crashing against the hull

in one direction to the future,

in the other to the past


brought down the fated craft

these few moments of contemplation,

their last…



Marching To the beat of ‘I’

Dan Thompson


the line already in progress

before the eye swoops, in

poised to catch

in medias res

the hand in mid-swipe

across the grid of the page

cut to lines of breath

ragged enjambment


Anticipate beats

tied in knots

of two to twelve bars each

irregular, until you step on it

dragged thru the red

mud of my drum,


rush of blood to the arm

err the rhythm automatic

and one erratic


but, not ‘I’

wetting, warm, worn harmonies (hormonies)

the split lip buzz of bees

gorged on honey blood




Daniel Thompson


Been out of contact for a while…

Upon re-entry of Earth’s atmosphere

I was misaligned, and almost burned up


From micro to              Macro

in descending order

of magnitude upon

coming into

the world

in a moment


surgical distance from earth

squeezed between cold vacuum

and warm, bright descent

refracting solar glare in predawn haze


Momma mountains split flat face in half

eyes roll back

final rays of sunlight slide

under the knife,

across the first

few layers

of dermis.


leaning into the evening’s

leading edge

tread lightly:

the selvage of leading

lady’s evening dress

eastern night music

moon and stars


shaded down to

slow photosynthesis vibration;

silvery blades pulled out

leaving deep holes

spouting cold air


hostile to sight

blood/ oil shadows

too thick to soak up

even with Selene’s sanitary napkin


concentrated in valleys and veins

clandestine burial beneath the leaves

feedback from worlds less than a mm away


trees at the edge of the forest

waiting to be felled by an

ambuscade of winter days


feet prick green needles

anaphylactic rash

flushing endorphins into

an aquarium of awareness


proceed in predictable rhythms

decisive steps

constantly questioning one’s competence

and clarity in the dark

rote messages sent

from one sensory department to the next

which sense is most expendable

in the dark?