We Burn Daylight

My friend Kathleen Bryson and I co-wrote and co-directed (and co-starred in) a filmpoem with the editing wizardry of Kimmo Moykky and the cinematographic skills of Ollie Drackford.

Poem words below the video. The text of the poem is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License so feel free to do with it what you will (as far the license allows…).


We Burn Daylight from Kathleen Bryson on Vimeo.

We Burn Daylight

I heard the foxes mate last night, full sting,
all coil and pleasure crawl, all bitter pierce and tuft.

I made you into a hedgehog instead,
tied twigs in your hair, and you let me laugh;
no shaman blossomed by berry blood,
serious with stag horns and pinebranch shadows.
You are at the very least a tolerant man.

I’ll sing like foxes sing, I think,
orange wounds and sultry bites;
you’re tied to twigs that might not scratch you, or they might
not cut you, or they might.

The foxes with their tails scooped from fires
The foxes with their red hair and their cauls
The foxes with their teeth now hidden axes
You tried not to think of them at all.

I do not care if they call me home.
I must have time to pick away your twigs
and count your freckles, scratch your hands by chance.
I want you to hear the foxes sing.

. . .

What will it come to mean, the mournful sting
of pollen on the breeze, the twilight
shivers through his hair?

No man could have been a man,
who chose this creature, vulpine
on her haunches, her thick brow
sheltering her flowstone eyes,
belly ripened, juicy with life.

She tends his body in this shallow pit.
Stubby fingers paw at yarrow and lay grape
hyacinth on his collapsed temple.

Here is the first grave, bedded with groundsel,
flecked with the shadows of Shanidar Cave.

Nobody knows what it meant – a burnt ochre
bouquet, tousled breaths, this first act
of devotion – an explosion
into humanity, into lives
full of unfossilised moments.

There is no word yet for the kick of her
almost-human child, no word for why
she soothes his hair from the taunts of the wind.

She opens her mouth, as if to sing.