Ariel Dawn

As If Tomorrow

As if tomorrow promised guests, illness, disaster, I drag sofa to glass doors, rails and horizon. Tower books around bed: Tolkien, Carroll, Dickens, Joyce. Set bureau for tea. Remember Nana’s house near the airport: green gutter a moat and lamplight in fog of windows, cousins behind the curtains, three red-headed brothers with wives and silver goblets of wine, and Nana in orange dress and cameo. Holidays died with her, and her house torn down; Beth and I returned to see the naked earth. Yesterday I took the stairs as far as they go: northeast room with broken door, laughter and a man baking some sort of pie, shepherd’s maybe. I stayed forever, listening for airplanes, eve of the holiday.

Knight of Wands

He builds a house with pins, furniture arms, bedclothes tied to handles and caught in openings; moonlight turns the east wall emerald. With wine and oil we draw on each other and imagine what it is by how it feels: roses, stars, a cauldron. In the Tarot he’s the Knight of Wands, he will change everything. Our house dances in the wind. He plays guitar and cats appear on the terrace, birds around the rails, neighbours at the front door, calling from the other side, above, below, wanting weed and blackberry wine. The symphony our lives fall through, the spell; long before the moon was full we turned to each other. Now we dream of disappearing from the tower: Sunday’s bells will ring and boys will lie on Heaven’s terrace while we fly away with gold and blood leaves. 

City of Murals

From the grey woods and water, the good people see us. We live by a painting of a steam train, and a house of vines and gypsy women. Rhys works all day for a lady in a hydroponics store. I read and sleep in a cloud, belly a moon, mind a river that pulls me under the world. They see me and don’t believe I could raise a child. The sky turns black. Rhys returns with groceries and flowers and a merry half-light blooms. The gypsies whisper across the garden, barefoot, long dresses and scarves, holding out gifts for the unborn: dream-catchers from the branches of our willow. They laugh, eat, drink and smoke while Rhys plays guitar. They dance, leap around the room, dresses catching and tearing, as Stella, the mother, sighs and joins them in laughter; so they seem painted, water colour, and the wind in the red velvet curtains, and his green eyes.

They Are Waiting

In his room at the Emerald Hotel, bed by faded rose drapes, boughs of cedar, cypress, ivy, a holiday, for Victoria dreams in the snow, and under cluster-lights Government Street a glamour of blue salt and ice, horse-drawn carriages, distant music. We lie below the window. Kiss so borders blur, lines; and veils raised, fly to the river where we are shadows, clouds, before a storm. Along the river’s edge ancestors prepare for a gathering, white bedsheets over the dark grass, baskets of grapes, oranges, gingerbread and wine. They are waiting, he says. He dreams. In the silver light I twist myrtle, mugwort, rose oil and ivy into his auburn curls, I whisper songs to bind us.

Ariel Dawn’s prose poetry recently appears or is forthcoming in ink sweat & tears, Guest (a journal of guest editors), Train: a journal of prose poems, and dusie: the tuesday poem. She writes with Tarot cards and oracles and lives in Victoria, British Columbia.