Home

There are many names for home.
Safety is one of them, into which we lock ourselves,
or simply the place of all slipping away.

The flowers fading on the table
don’t know they’ve been cut,
affirming only being where they belong.

At home there is always a clock
that no one has wound, compelled
to tick by the steady unwinding of hope.

I have meat ye know not of, Christ said,
meaning a kind of home. Many mansions,
brighter than time and far beyond.

So God is another name for home,
and time because everything here
is a memory, mind returning to another world.

J. Kyle Kimberlin

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Waiting

I have been waiting here, it seems like years.
The tides rise and fall. Old Luna, battered
and pale, barely shines for me at all.
The house is tired now and moans
to lay down its walls like limbs, like fallen
logs across a steam.

What are you waiting for? she cries.
For love, I say. For people to stay
or the courage of one oak on a hill
in tall grass, or the strength to give up.
Waiting is easier.

The house is aligned with the stars
where they’ve fallen, somewhere
in the east. Tonight, there is half a moon
to give me hope. I look up and watch,
waiting for these muses to decide.

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

“The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange.”

– G.K. Chesterton

DEEP BREATHING

I breathe Time in and breathe it out.
Draw in a day and the hours
rush out like a breeze over dandelions.
One dog after another rises
from her sleep in a blaze of light,
turns to sigh and lie back down.
So, it must be better not to take
such large gulps of Time; just a little,
like this moment of my pencil
growing dull, or the next in which
you are reading this. Inhaling just
these few poor words,
exhaling forgiveness into the stillness
of some future room, so brightly lit.   

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

Conversation With The Dog


I have some questions for Brookie
who knows what to do
when I go to the couch.
She runs, jumps, climbs
to my chest.
I ask about her day.

Did you have time in the yard
in the sun? And did you see
the squirrels on the wire overhead?
Did you drink your water
and chase the birds to make them
scatter to the sky?

Was there an hour for a nap,
where the sunlight falls
short and slanted to your chair?
And did you, will you, can we
play with your toys? The sun
is setting hard and fast and I
have been too much alone.


J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

Fleeting Matters

Speeding arrow, sharp and narrow
What a lot of fleeting matters you have spurned. [1]

We arrive at the time and place
that we think is most real,
most bright and keen,
most worthy of outrage
in all the long distance
that the Earth has come.

Surely these terrors
will matter to history
and our angst will ring
through the years.

We’ve been deceived.
Vision only goes so far and all
that matters must remain.
The soul stirs behind a curtain
in conversation with the dead.
The spirit moves upon the waters
where we sleep.

J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed


[1] St Stephen, The Grateful Dead

Whitecaps

Someday I will think about you
for the last time.
It might be the last time I think
about anything, or it might be
sooner than that.
It’s hard to calculate the curve,
to plot the diminishing rate
of remembering your hair,
your hugs, the smallness
of your shoulders as you
receded into memory,
upon the obscure arc
of my remaining life.
But I know the point
is out there somewhere,
like the luminescence
of whitecaps in moonlight
on a night of dying wind.

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

To Build a Lighthouse

We have no rocks, no deadly reef,
no need to warn the ships away
but this town needs a lighthouse.
Let’s build one at the base of the pier.

We have a good beach which
should have been named Eternity,
for the way it curves in and out
of Time, and because beyond

these bluffs everything ends or it doesn’t.
It goes on forever, deeper and darker,
or not. No one here can say because
none of us can swim. But seals come here

winter into spring, to show us how. Coyotes
in the hills make a cry of regret. Blue herons
at sundown say everything is going home.
So we should build the light to watch the sea.

Nothing so deep can be trusted at night.
Let’s make it tall and pearl white
like the end of Time and cast its blue
beams out over the currents of dread.

 

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

I Wonder

Is it better to leave a legacy —

a solid house,

a cleared field,

a stack of debts,

a recipe for pie,

a gentle child,

a good story,

a jar of buttons —

or to be swept away with the infinite

anonymous and cast into the stars?

 

 

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

Old Hawks

The red-tailed turns on a thermal
above the wild brushy ground
and cries.

There is nothing you need.
Nothing is precious but time.
Nothing is worth dying for but love.
Nothing is worth living for but peace.
Nothing belongs to you but now.

I have wondered something
for so many years:

Where do old hawks go to die?

 

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

 

Event Horizon

Scan-023b_back_yard_delano (Medium)

 

I spend my life looking

for the beginnings of the ends of things.

I watch clocks and listen to breathing.

I take notes about the evidence of pain

and pull at the loose threads of heartbreak.

My greatest fear is the great alone;

the event horizon of deep sorrow.

 

– J. Kyle Kimberlin
8.25.2018

Creative Commons Licensed

The Elements

In the forest you belong to the trees
and the trees will behold you
as you come and go.
In the desert you belong to the rocks,
the hard earth, and the sun.
The shadows in the long valley
have shadows and the lights
from the houses reflect
from the asphalt if it rains.

I don’t know which element
we belong to here.
Is it the ocean, or the mountains,
or the broad curves of sand?
To which do we retire when it’s time?
Now there is only the celebrating sky
or the dull overcast of coastal air.
No help for the soul to find its way.
I think that we will have to wait and see.

1230081651
Another in what seems to be a series of poems exploring the concept of place as spiritual corollary. I think it’s interesting that over the years I’ve repeatedly postulated that the place where I live, though beautiful, is less intrinsically spiritual than other places I’ve been. That has to be because I’m used to living here, that I don’t see what I want to find here, beyond the visual. There must be a reason why a vision quest traditionally involves going out, away from the place where the spiritual seeker lives. A vision quest in my own hometown isn’t easy.

 

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed