Monday, November 3, 2014

Dream Sing

If I could speak a thousand languages
which would I choose sing my dreams to you?
Would I use the elegant language of touch,
the dialect of soft caress
perhaps speaking in tongues
what words would my tongue speak?
Gently following the line of your body
what words would I breathe into your skin?
what words lie waiting to be born?

-Kevin Slick

A Fair Range of Colors

I can see a patch of trees
That offers a fair range of autumn colors
And that’s okay
I don’t need the most brilliant display of colors I can imagine
I can imagine.
Autumn lives in my imagination as much as on the calendar.
The sight of a few golden leaves on their way down
Riding gravity’s pull with a deep green backdrop
is quite enough
To open the door to every autumn in my mind.
A thousand colors, a million cold mornings and fallen leaves
All alive in my mind
And I can see it clearly
As clearly as anything outside today.

-Kevin Slick


Flat rough field
Flat enough,
Just barely flat enough
To run without too much trouble
Wheeling around the base paths or chasing
Wild hop grounders
That danced with infield rocks.
Flat rough field
Full of heroes
Fifteen or so legends
In fifteen or so minds
Whose sandlot deeds became mythic
With endless re-telling from imaginary broadcasters.
Flat rough field
Sweat covered midmornings
And dusty late afternoons
Sweltering days
Frozen in time
Rippling heat figures and late day shadows
With eyes forever on the ball
Bats dented and splintered swinging through the slow summer air
Powered by late afternoon weary arms
Held by hands still stinging from last inning’s line drive
Late dusty shadows
Called by distant voices to dinner
Drifting in lines that are rarely ever straight for home.

February 11

February 11, 1999
Out in the woods there are tangles of leaves and branches.  Leaves and twigs and bits of bark and dried arching vines.  Under the dry, crispy top, the leaves are moldy and deep brown.  Below that, they fade into the dirt.  There is a layer below that crispy surface where leaf and earth meet.  Where the leaf, formerly moving high in the breeze fades, drifts, absorbs, changes, gives itself to the earth.  And the solid ground becomes a wild array of small particles- dirt, mold, decaying matter, the earth opens up to receive the air and the riders of the air. 
The first greens of the season are here- creepers that don’t know February from March, they only know warm and cold.  This sunny early spring day just happened to come in winter.  Up above me a bird is making a scratching whining noise, now breaking into something of a cheeping, clucking sound.  The breeze is rattling the small green plants that have pushed up through the leaf packed surface and it brings enough of a chill to say “winter” but then it grows weary and rests.  The eternal sun is waiting and breathing
Long fallen branches are fading away.  Crumbling wood that flakes off into the ground and it soon indistinguishable from decaying leaves, moldy, beautiful dirt.  All around these woods dying and birthing, one fading into the next. 
These tangled woods and deep underbrush are so beautiful.
This twisted laurel will always live in my heart.

Blessed Dust

Blessed dust
Blessed street, gravel and lamp post
Blessed noise from the dust in your heart
Blessed is the heart of dust
Clinging to your footsteps
Perfect, fine dust that gathered and waited between the sections of sidewalk
Of home.

Green roads leading home
Time travels into my heart
Blessed dust rattles through the wind
The wind of November
Wind at night
Torn sideways like a fragile corn plant
Formless air in the midday heat
Air that begins to ripple
Convulsing with beauty

Flickering light
Out on the fields of home
The dance of a thousand grey shadows
On the floor of the forest
The dance of a thousand eyes
Touching the beautiful sky
Touching the beautiful screen

A photographed undeveloped
She is blessed
With dust on her hands and feet
Blessed dust that falls gently from her eyes
And welcomes me home.

-Kevin Slick

This Bright Wind

This bright wind,
that’s how it is.
This  quick, cold air
yes,  that’s how it is.
As if that small patch of trees
might grow out of my memories
and fill the world around me,
that’s how it is.
Pennsylvania brown, grey-green
thin winter branches
a universe in their arms
that’s the way
just like that.
And I would be forever
walking quietly through those woods
mysterious walker through the trees
where no one can hear me
as I am invisible
that’s how it is
yes, it’s just that way
as the bright wind weaves itself into
grey cloudy forests deep in the afternoon
as that bright grey wind follows me in the forever afternoon
and I find myself searching for this forever afternoon
in that stillness between day and night
In between time
when I practiced walking
quiet and invisible

-Kevin Slick

This Afternoon

This afternoon
sunlight crawls through the air
anyway it can,
knowing that winter will hide it’s glow for a season.
Sunlight sinks deep
and I believe I can see trees
pulling the warmth into their bark
and into their branches
as if
to hold it
all winter long.

-Kevin Slick

Young God

Young primitive god
Maker of rock
Heated light
Some young primitive god
Made this land
Joyful and wild

These colors, green
Orange and
All alone they are
Bound together they are
Smooth strings tied

-Kevin Slick

This is the Moment

There were at least a thousand different moments that day
August 13th 1971, my thirteenth birthday.
It’s not the long line of baseball fans
on a hot afternoon
winding their way up the ramps
circling Three Rivers Stadium like a python preparing for dinner.
It’s not the grey concrete walkway
speckled and spattered with
chewing gum
cigarette butts
beer stains
and something that might have been food.
Not even the sudden rush of fans pushing together
as the clubhouse door swung open
and like baseball cards come to life,
two Pirates emerged to sign autographs.
It might have been the face
of Roberto Clemente
granite features
with blazing eyes that met my own for an eternal moment
but then
maybe not even that.
It was, however,
the feeling of my feet leaving the floor
and my father’s hands
as he lifted me above the crowd
and his voice
younger than I had ever heard
“There he is!, the great one!”
That was the moment.
That is the moment.

- Kevin Slick

The Ink is Fading

Still There

The ink is fading
after years in the light
but it’s
still there
still visible
still “Mateo Alou”
ball point pen on baseball
and I am
still there
hanging onto the side of the team bus,
looking through the window
still there
my father holding me up for a better view
of my hero signing my birthday baseball
still there
in the brilliant August sunlight
never fading

-Kevin Slick

Solstice Moon

My heartbeat moves along following by breath
the sound of the train on the rails
the rattle and hum of steel on steel.
And there to the left is a full moon
rising over the Alps
on this solstice night.
Full moon solstice
once in a hundred years they say.
Blue, grey warm evening
as the light climbs the mountains
I only know that she is next to me
only her breath
only her heartbeat
the moon
the mountains
the rhythm of the train
and only her heartbeat,
her heartbeat is all there is
all I know
all I need tonight.
 -Kevin Slick

Portland Afternoon

sharp bluffs packed with tall pines
the long, flat expanse
the endless rolling roar of waves
and wind
fine, grey, powder sand
raked by wind
constant wind
kites dancing
beach wanderers
and ocean spray
brave swimmers gallop into the water
and my face feels the ocean
I can taste the ocean through my skin.
-Kevin Slick

Patti at the Troc 12/6

Winter warm air, rain that should be snow wanders along Arch Street gathering light and laying it across the pavement/  Slow breathing, vibrating air filling the cavern space.  Gathering moving swirling, the air wraps a slow dance around a heartbeat.
Many hearts
one heartbeat.
Gathering darkness, look inside.  Stillness erupts into life.  Spirits called, spirits answer and gather themselves inside us, dancing to the heartbeat, slow enough to wander lonesome.
Lonesome cry, the blessed dust rising from ancient radios.  One foot forward, balanced on the bridge, this bridge we cross tonight.  Strong enough? Invisible bridge, crossing spirits, gathering passion, sonic harvest, the fields are heavy as wind brings release.
spirits, we shall live again!
Holy ghost sweating, breathing hard
call on those holy fighting ghosts
revolutionary dreamers
dancing barefoot to the slow rising wave
one wave
a million waves
rise and fall
night and day
and lovers gripped by slow burning, consuming lust, hot fire, sonic lust, the sound of life
the hot pulse of night passion
quick torrent
split second passion burn
Catch me now!
Take me now!
Look fast! A million brilliant stars calling home the storm
holding the hurricane in your arms
air surrounding
air inside us
moving us together
fountains rising
lightning storms from the desert flash the city
walking in the footsteps of revolution
The gospel ship sets sail
and we whirl and dance in our power
amazed at the visions
amazed at the power we create and share
and then,
breathe again
into the night
the warm December air, a million streetlights like stars all along Arch Street.

-Kevin Slick

October, Massachusetts Trees

There is no good way to explain the colors
of these trees today.
You can only say beautiful
so many ways.
You can only repeat the word
and still you haven’t spoken the light
the sky between branches
the touch of autumn
as it breathes on your face
the fluttering breeze
and falling leaves
falling leaves.

October Light

October light
warm light
October sunlight
reflecting like a million mirrors
yellow, red, orange
but not only these,
a million shades of green also
and brown
and a million colors of the sun.
Autumn is dry and sweet spice
dry leaves fluttering
and stacked crispy
like a jagged carpet
crackling underfoot.
Sweet, the taste of apples
hickory spiced air
the deep, rich smell of decay
the earth receiving and
preparing to be born again

-Kevin Slick 


The opening of a river
One stone sends circles to the ocean
One word goes tumbling across the space
And all these words
Look like lines on paper
All these words
Look like thoughts I think

-Kevin Slick


In the shadow of a pine
I rest my eyes,
rest my soul
inside you
where you may save my soul
like a treasure.

In the sparkle of light
in winter
like lace
draped upon pines
I wander
and follow the pattern
to the brilliant grey, white overhead
where the black ink branches fade
and disappear.

Stand for a moment
stand for a dreaming moment to feel the earth
to make the earth solid
beneath me
around me
to surround me.

-Kevin Slick

The Wind Howl

Hear the wind howl
long, long howling stretching sound
that sings through the trees
till it whistles through our veins.

Hear the wind slide
roll, slip and spread itself
over the landscape.

On this evening of the storm
I think of well known fields
and see myself
walking there
with stories in hand.

I hear the rain outside
remembering a heartbeat
the soft, warm candlelight
the soft, warm night
gathers me
inside to tell of tomorrow.
To talk of where the daylight will break,
where the sun will rise
what fields I will walk through
where I will harvest words
and what will be the sound of the wind.


I looked outside my window
November sunrise
sharply painting the air
clear and bright.
The wind walks,
doesn’t run through the yard.
It opens and folds itself into the growing forest.
There are more leaves on the ground
than on the trees
and so that fluttering dance is rare
each one is spotlighted in the autumn air
a dried soul dance
riding the faint touch of wind
into eternity
joining the song of the earth
the slow dreaming song of decay
and merging
to melt into the ground
to spin inside the earth
speaking the language of ground
the dreaming of oceans
wrapping around the earth
and one leaf merging into the earth
one leaf
one earth
the same.
It was eighty five years ago today
that Joe Hill died
killed by his brothers
murdered by his country.
His ashes floated
on a slight autumn breeze
through most
every country
in the world
and every state in the union
save one
(Where no man should be found dead, said he)
One man
merging with the good earth
and sky of a thousand countries
of a million dreams
one earth
one man
the same
his words moving beyond the ashes of his used up form
growing, now planted
solid and slow
in the endless circle of life
born and reborn
one leaf, endless
one dream, slowly growing always
Joe Hill
planted on the wind
that covers the earth
His eyes looking back from a million fellow travelers.

-Kevin Slick

Maker of Rock

Young primitive god
First steps
Still bold
Hand moves across the sky
Joyful and wild
Maker of rock
Filled with orange heated light
Young primitive god
Wild footfalls
Dancing across the horizon
Footprint canyons
Wild paint splashes called horizon
Young primitive god
Left the secret of creation planted in this land
Where I can breathe it

-Kevin Slick

There Was This Sound

There was this sound
and I don’t know if you heard it
but it came from somewhere close by
and it sounded like the voice of a friend
and yet there was something new
and different
and strange
strange enough to make you stop
strange enough to make me stop
and listen
and the sound was awake
or perhaps the sound of awakening
and I don’t know if you heard it,
but I’m telling you this
because I want to remember
that sound
and I want breathe that sound
because my heartbeat has found a partner
in that sound.

-Kevin Slick


There is a slow thick sky today
a slow
dark grey light
on Thanksgiving morning
I came home to watch the silken sky
open around trees kept company by a few stubborn leaves, now rich brown like old leather.  I came home for this slow moving daylight that will wait outside my window
quietly lighting the room with a grey light, a slow light, a dream light.  And in that soft light I’ll take down books from the shelves and read words I’ve read a million times and want to read a million more.  And in the evening the sharp black lines of trees will begin to sink into the sky as it looses it’s day color and fades away.  The woods will be swallowed in steps too small to measure and the trees in the front yard will disappear and someone will say “Another day gone” and that’s why I came home, for another day.
For time passing
for slow thick skies 
that move through branches on trees
I’ve seen a million times
and want to see a million more.

-Kevin Slick

Morning Mountains

The morning mountains
lifting soft shadows
to the sky
as sunrise
pulls back the cover of darkness
and what is
ever changing
and what is
and what is
newly born
and what seems to be
is waiting
is changing
is forever
and I
remember and
what is
ever changing
and what is
and what is
newly born
and what is
and what is
and what is
now and forever
and what I am

-Kevin Slick

Desert Song

Desert song
The notes are so slow
they enter in dreams only
and I listen through my fingers
The rhythm of the ground
sifting between my hands
I am listening with my skin
to the cool touch of shadow in a deep canyon
Desert song
like waves of sound
riding the stone ridge of the San Rafael Swell
Desert song
an echo
a counter rhythm for my heartbeat
in that place where my footprints disappear
I listen for the harmony
I taste the melody in the air
In this place I hear my sound join the slow, ancient sound
I am one string on a violin
In that moment I am one note in a symphony
In that moment I am the most important sound in the universe
In that moment I am one sound in a thousand others
merging, invisible, in a slowly changing chord
a wave like any other
so beautiful on the sea
Desert song

-Kevin Slick

A Quick Sparkling

A quick sparkling of colors in the wind
A thousand
waiting in the moment of change
filling themselves with the energy of change
the moment of forgotten time

-Kevin Slick

Southern Utah Journal

This is my cathedral
This is my dream land
visited by spirit gods long gone
and yet to be
There is no time
No passing of time
There is only a sound
and no sound
in this land, silence is a sound
in this land there is stillness and power
in this land the patterns of sky and rock are joined
My eyes walk high ridges
cutting through ageless stone
my eyes walk with the older spirits
and we follow the same patterns
of rising stars
of rock edges against sky
My cathedral
god mountains rising
saints and angles towering
My cathedral
beyond dreams
only in dreams
There is no time
time has been laid aside
forgotten by these solid living gods
who spread dreams across the ages
one slow life dream
one slow word spoken

-Kevin Slick

Turning to Sunlight

A few leaves come dancing down to the desert floor
Mirrors of the cottonwood leaves still above
Still airborne
Still clinging to the tree
In the constant breath of the canyon
Where the water ripples,
Pushes and rumbles
The leaves lay a soft noise on top of it all
Each one turning to the sunlight
To dark
To light
To shadow
Two sides in constant motion

-Kevin Slick