by Michael Burns


The white dog stops…
we breathe in for a minute and take in the universal breath.

It is dark out here…
it’s black and darkly cold, out here.

The wind cuts the image from my eyes,
and I watch it fall frozen and split like glass into the snow.

This deep and unwritten thing — waiting on edge,
for a free life to write it,
too large to see it all
deep back in there beyond my visions reach.

The starry dingle…I begin, and

now I see it,

I raise my head to take in all this…

Scattered diamond dust on the top of Iron sky table
and shards and grainy rubies, sapphire blues split through the black

Glitter… and, the stuttering glitter

Betelgeuse drags Orion higher…the father bears the weight of his children.

And there about it all, those sparks from all the little fires.

The white dog stops, and looks back green-eyed glowy still, on me and my little light.

All that loud shining sound above his head.

I stare back and he blinks…his closed eyes lose him in all that…

The immortal knowledge fills me again

Spirit moves in peace and…I surrender to it

On and on — cold frigid and wind blows snaps out like open jaws
on the backside of this frozen northern slough.

Looking back distantly behind me,
a town asleep in glowing embers of its progression,

and echoed detachment from all that real that surrounds it.

Blue box light shines in every distant window,
the faithful at their prayer in a strange religion.

Dog after an owl — looking for a mouse between frozen cattail.

Thick ice I trust beneath my boot steps and water neath that too — I hear a great wealth of life down there…dozing in and out of lengthy sleep and waiting for the new green.

The dog calls me on and not to stop — round the edge we go, on slippery legs and further into that void.

Jagged long-dead willow gnarled in dark twisted sketching lines and feckly shadows… cast from a tiny light, and things look back and he and I look forward.

I turn my lamp off and trusting, let the night swallow me whole.

Black cold embrace, it gently lifts.

I hear the deep thrust into the trusting place of a wing, and smell of feathery memory as the hunter is headed home.

Walk on not knowing were the ground is, and feel my legs lose their weight…

Roll around embraced of that eternity, and remember that I have always been,

Remembered and recalled from times in another place… another thing,

and white dog pulls me back and reminds me we are on a mission here
to find the best spot.

And I am blind to all but that above my head and the direction of a dog’s nose.

White dog and the stars are my master now.


All images and writing are the copyright of Michael Burns.