Alternating — Elan Mudrow Photography

Mt. Tabor, Portland Oregon, February, 2018

via Alternating — Elan Mudrow Photography


Voices On A Screen

There are Other voices, which you are part of, yet separate

Those Other voices are filled within you, with their weight of coarse speech and their calluses that form upon your whispers, where empathy is a gesture gained and lost at the tip of fingers. Forgiveness is a motion of the air.

Those voices have years rubbed into you, your stripped throat rests for breath, transcriptions of your representation are tumbles, veering, slips of the tongue, loose like clay, then formed, dried, solid.

Those Other voices are differing tones of speech, a music, singing is flesh. They dance in the dissonance of tomorrow’s word search. Key words twist. Fonts waltz in the shape of the living. You are printed, faxed, fallen, risen within voices, as you chant, now, in front of me.

They move, they are moved, they have been moving, we become consonant



Falling In



Initial warmth travelled

Between our new bodies

A prelude to a spark

Igniting a wick

Softening the wax, now

Circulating as reddened lava

Through my body.

We have lit a flicker

The pilot light of us


Your voice is a fire

And your skin’s temperature

A soft friction of sparks

Memorized and ablaze

Upon my spirit, as

My bones yield to

Become kindling

For the hearth

Of our impassioned house

The Forest Across The Road


We have looked at the embers

Found where the trail

Used to wind through

The forest , still warm.

You with that bright

Fever on your cheek

Me, dull, a copy

Of another fire you had

claimed as yours…. or

So you thought…,I know

Things are brightest

When burning…yet

There is a path flames take

When pavement bars it

From jumping across

A road to other trees.

One forest burnt, another preserved.

A relationship of nature and asphalt.


The burnt is reported to

A general public, in amounts.

Acres, ridges, houses, towns

As if the larger the area scorched

The bigger the desire.

I can remember one reporter

Asking me where the rain forest was

I motioned to everywhere

He asked me why I fought fire

I looked at you, still on the trail

Ash on your nose, smiling.


Coldness is measured in wind strength.

Inches of snow or rain.

I came across the road

To help you with the flames

Quelling the overall fear

With my calmness, while

Your inner heart searched

for a fire to overcome you

And when things were smoldering

I lost you…………., others

Found my charcoal shell,

Applied what they knew

To my appearance.

(Fire changes people)

I am now built of similes.

I am like the spring water

And cannot feel like a flame

The fire resembles you


All who look at me

Apply apocryphal images

Upon my cold, cold smile

They love the dystopian burning

Asking questions, only during

The catastrophe of transformed acres

Keeping distance from the spring

Which saves their lives.

A spring I cupped my hands in

Bringing it to our fire.


My desire is misconstrued

It was my mistake

Thinking we all could live together

Even though we already do

And always have.


I can remember the time

When we sat above

Valleys scraped of their trees

Waiting for the next blaze

Looking at a photograph taken

From space, the lights of cities

Were a ring of fire.

You were convinced the world

Was on fire, then as now.

You were kissing inflamed lips

Were they mine?

I have only the taste of spit

Rolling around a granule of ash

Between my tongue and teeth

Good enough for a memory.


I have always been a passionate

Wanderer of recovered trails

Through burnt timber

Even while I forever

Remain a water sign

Waving to you from

The forest across the road