Messages From The Other Side Of Light




Poems by

Russell Rosander

2016 – 2018




Table of Contents

I Go Outside…………………………5

Can You Hear Me Now………………8

No Direction Back…………………..11

Opposable Opossum………………..13

The Swelling………………..………..16

Little Houses……………..…………..17

Child of the Dawn………..…………..19

Now That You Are Free………..…….21

The Universe Whirs…….……………23

When Our Long Dormancy

Has Ended…………………..…….……24

Tuning In….…..………………………26

The Green City….……………………29

Beyond Thought………….…………32


Between Two Seas………………….36

To Lisa……………..……..…………..37

When I speak of Love………………39

3 A.M………………………………….41







I Go Outside


I go outside

looking for those non-words

that speak lizards crisscrossing the dirt

and dogs barking in the distance

and little birds that can’t sit still for a second

flitting about between the trees

that shift positions as

I rock from one foot to the other.


I’m on my way now

I’m distracted, protracted and slightly disgusted,

I’m hunched over on two wheels,

sun lit and full of the fragility ability.

I ride my bicycle over grains of sand, pebbles,

mountains and small creatures I can’t even see.

Microorganisms, amoebas, plants, fish, animals,

even birds flying high across the celestial sky.

All those organisms organizing,

all those atoms and molecules coalescing together,

even humans. (we are so vain)

I’m moving my legs up and down, left and right,

listening to that sound,

that whomp, whomp, whomp rhythm

of everything going round and round and round,

singing and spinning through space.

I’m making revolutions and revelations,

palpitations, inhalations and exhalations,

spinning my wheels to make my deals

at the Tienda of Love and Infinite Abundance.

I’ve come to buy ice and bread,

tortillas and chili sauce,

orange juice, potatoes and candy,

conversation and commiseration

with all those busy people waiting politely in line

in between cooler with beer, coca-cola and cheese.

until it’s my turn to make my purchases.

On the way back there’s a bunch of wild children

running and smiling and waving as I pass by

and I wave back and ride all the way back home.

That’s what was happening outside my house,

outside my yard.

outside my mind today,

out there with all that death and destruction,

outrage and corruption, drug violence,

nuclear proliferation and climatic degradation

we hear about every day on the news.

But not today. Not at this eternal moment.

Today Armageddon passed us by.

Today we just had a few small awakenings

and a group of little girls smiling and waving

from the sidewalk

like perfect little angels,

and that made me very happy.






Can You Hear Me Now


I step outside, naked into the night,

into the swirl of distant starlight,

spinning timelessly overhead.

I am hoping for a better connection

to facilitate my resurrection from slumber,

but all there is is the staccatic interruption

of half words and disembodied syllables unintelligible

intermingling with the infernal buzz of mosquitoes

probing my inadequate defenses.

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?

Somewhere in this infinite darkness

there is another soul,

fluctuating now in hard plastic ,

or encased in some other constriction

of his or her own making

beyond these broken airwaves

pulsing in the night amidst

the winking lights of fireflies.

Here, up from my quiet slumber

I find myself in the urgency of our condition

in the incompletion of our connection.

There is my desire for the animal warmth of touch,

absent from our intellectual

and technological potentialities.

I am reminded of the brutality

of our acculturated defenses,

the fearful price of our control.

We imprison ourselves in the impenetrable,

constructions of concrete, metal and mind

seeking permanence and protection

from our otherness

and thus we become our separateness

oh so easily and safely.

We blind ourselves to the eyes of others

while walking the hard concrete paths

of city sidewalks,

so complete in our isolation

that not even

the tiny images illuminated

on smartphone screens

can penetrate the wall.

Thus we long to belong.

Thus we desire the blazing fires

of freed spirits dancing in moonlight

and to gaze into the liquid eyes

of unrestrained wildness,

unknown and untamed,

or simply to touch the yielding forgiveness of skin,

or the sensuous tender green stems of plants,

or to hear the distant voice of someone loved.

Now I press the illusory red bar

in the window of this technological device

which has failed to penetrate

the thorny maze of my wilderness,

my peace,  and my aloneness.

and enter the soft brilliance of dream light…

I close the door and return to my bed


Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?



No Direction Back


How many minutes, how many days,

how many years, how many millennia,

have I wandered this circular path

which never meets it’s beginning,

that never repeats itself exactly,

spiraling endlessly outward

through darkness and light.


I have become side-tracked, diversioned,

lost up crooked game trails

that end in piles of rubble

in the hunt for the game

of my most precious addictions.

I have been distracted by flashing colored lights

that promised glorious tongue licking fun,

but secretly deceived and devoured the soul

as only appearances can do.

I have ridden through twisted subdivisions

with dead end streets without a map,

with unbreachable walls and seemingly no way out,

except the addictive blue pulse of

television transmissions

seen from outside yellowish windows.

I have traveled down endless highways

without refuge or fake sylvan oases

with clean restrooms and drinking fountains

and slept on piles of stones

without a pillow.


How many times have I succumbed

to the false needs of avarice and repulsion,

walking the straight line spine

of magnetic polarity

on that high ridge road

with such steep precipices on each side.


And how many times have I fallen

and lain by the side of that road defeated

in some cluster of weeds

and tasted the rot of human refuse

and suffering,

curled in an embryonic huddle

to the abdomen of the great mother,

clutching the rising arc of the cycle,

the forgiving sickle of life and death,

only to be delivered,

to be born into the heart

of new existence

and the pure bliss of being alive

once again,

because there is no direction back.




Opposable Opossum


So it was YOU then,

dancing in the ethereal darkness

beyond midnight,

hauling your loot,

my nearly bad fruit,

between beams of starlight

and stolen dreams,

beyond the reaches

of my meager senses,

over roof tops

and under fences.

An aboriginal arboreal marsupial.

A possible opposable opossum.

My Apache tlacuache,

an ánimo animal,

I see you now

strutting down my garden path

in broad daylight,

bold as brass,

as I water the vegetation

to renew myself.

You have returned to the scene

just to be seen.

A proud thief

with papaya juice still dripping

from your rubbery lips.


bald tailed and loathsome.

I can hear you

laughing softly from between

your bared razor sharp teeth,

I salute you,

as you wiggle your fat behind

into the tangle of the jungle

where even my civilized barking dog

refuses to follow.

You, creature of the night

from the other side of light.

You, who are now

slinking back into the emptiness

from which you came,

carrying our fears

and all the suffering in the world

we are unwilling to bear.




The Swelling


It comes on like a wound,

a twist, with hot blood surging around it,

that swelling of the heart

which feels as if it must surely burst.

It must have been winter dormant then,

encased in ice just a moment ago.

A bud sleeping. A vision,

waiting for the exact moment that is correct.

And then, there it is,

a catch in the throat,

upon seeing something of such

extraordinary beauty,

so profound and important

that all else fades away..

The first pale greenness of a new leaf.

The bursting of a flower.

The sweetness of the fruit on the tongue.

A child’s smile.

A mother’s love.

A sunrise or sunset.

That which is worth more than anything.

True happiness unbound

that waters the eyes uncontrollably.

That which when we focus upon,

we become.

The swelling of new life

in the very heart

of the Universe within

and without.




Little Houses

We all live in little houses

without any trousers,

where all the walls are mirrors.

Where all of our senses

and all our defenses

reflect only our desires and our fears.


You can only depart

if you open your heart

and let in the light of another.

There are no other windows

or doors you can pass through

but love and compassion and wonder.




Child of the Dawn


And then the child mottled and strange

in that pink light of dawn

wanders in from some long journey home.

He steps out of the soothing patter of rain

that fell unrestrained across the night,

and in half sleep stands before me.

“Where have you been?”

I ask him in the half light

streaking into the world from between

ethereal clouds and moments breaking.

Silent answers flow and roll on the steam

rising gently from somewhere deep behind

the mask of identity, of stone and bone,

neither his nor mine or both.

Seeping out of that dark narrow funnel of lost time

through which all things suffered and loved

have passed, both coming and going,

all matter and all that matters,of dreams and meat,

in a quiver of cosmic dust and water

while eyes flutter open

concealing all that existed

before consciousness reigned.



Now That You Are Free

For my friend Weldon McFadden


Now that you are free

and the distance between stars

has become less than a hair’s breadth

and all of time

has been reduced to a single eternal instance.


Now that you have acquired

the ability to whisper

into the dreams and imaginations

of all those who have shared your life.


I hear echos of your laughter traversing the universe

as all your fears, your burdens,

your limitations and your sufferings

are transmuted into mirth and joy

upon your return to the heart of all creation.


Thank you for the blessing you have been

for the many gifts of love you have given us

that have lifted the hearts of all who knew you

and brought smiles to our days.


Guide us now, dear friend,

Now that you are able,

that we might follow you into that sweet place

of abandon and utter delight again….


Now that you are free.



The Universe Whirs


The fan spins idly in the window.

A truck grinds along the nearby highway.

A drum beats somewhere in the pueblo.

The high pitched voice of a priest in recitation

wafts from somewhere beyond the trees.

A breeze stirs a response from the leaves.

Romeo barks at a bird or an iguana on the roof

and then quiets.

The universe whirs from the heart of my being

and the stars that surround us.

Time flows through the waft and weave of everything

like senseless chatter,

forgotten as soon as it is spoken,

unable to hold it’s place.



When Our Long Dormancy Has Ended


When our long dormancy has ended at last

and the first light enters the cracks of the chrysalis.

When wings flutter above the shards in the dewy dawn

revealing hidden streaks of color

and strains of long forgotten songs

left in the wake

of the death of all fear and desire.

There, I shall find you again

wrapped in a blanket of pure innocence,

and in that moment

when all our pasts will have fallen away,

love will emerge anew

and we will flutter like butterflies

dancing through the empty spaces of the heart.



Tuning In


I sweep my dial

I cast my net

I spin my wheels

I probe the universe

I search my sensations

looking for

those secret secret stations

hidden in unknown pirate coves

with light glinting of water

like molten gold

I swivel my antenna

I turn my rabbit ears

this way and that

I spin my hat

in every direction

I submerge my receptors

in the deep waters

of the river

to find that sonar blip

diving deeper

than ever before

I wash the crust off my soul

and brush my hair for static

trying to increase

my receptivity

my sensitivity

my conductivity

my connectivity

my navidivity

I flip all my switches to on

I climb high

to highest peak

of the tallest tree

I engage each leaf

I touch each stem

I hold each branch

I feel each heart

I ground myself in roots

grown down

to the center of the earth

only to be told

this site cannot be reached

Warning (FEAR)


then I wait for the bars to rise again

one, two, three, four, five



of course      OK

it may involve pleasure or pain

but of course

I click OK

because I desire

to hook up

to establish a secure connection

and dance the dance

all the way home

with you.



The Green City


The day after the rain

and already,

the multitude bursts forth

in a tangle of pale green

uncoiling from seeds lain in wait

unnoticed in the dry dust

now turned black

with moisture and fecundity.


The expanding Universe spills forth

in an explosion of love and life,

a frenzy of individuality,

a plethora of anonymity,

nameless strands of this and that

multiplying and dividing,

twisting and writhing,

like rush hour traffic

filling every available space,

until it becomes a jungle,

a jumble of twining stems and leaves

a green city rising

towards an unobtainable sun

with roots probe deep

into the basements

between grains of sand and fecal debris

seeking the last drop that fell

in the storm.


Higher and higher the mass climbs

breaching the air

reaching up through the branches of trees

until finally,

the last flower has bloomed

and spilled it’s seeds to the ground

and the bridges and overpasses,

are no longer supportable,

and the entire infrastructure

turns brown and shrivels and tumbles

into the dry dust of ancestors

to await the next storm

as a single entity

out of time

in the bosom

of the earth.



Beyond Thought


I have been captured

by the mindless mantras of doves

chanting unnoticed beneath the grind

of the machinery of our age,

the noise of gears gnashing

and teeth tearing at the skin of the earth,

the network of noisy dark highways that divide

smog plagued cities gasping for air,

and jet planes carving the sky

leaving trails of toxic ash

like wounds across the heavens.


These simple plaintive songs

have lifted me out of myself

and carried me over scratchy thorn forests,

across salty lagoons and costal swamps

where dinosaurs still graze,

past abandoned temples of the past,

the factories of my mind,

beyond all thought,

where the edges of things become blurred,

and there is no longer

any argument of yes or no,

where everything is allowed

and all judgement ceases,

because there is no difference,

no you, no I,

just this…..





The black six goes onto the red seven.

The jack goes on the queen,

and the moon,

yes, the moon,

goes up against the black sky

pricked full of tiny circles of lights,

while the red two goes on the red ace,

and in the town,

dogs are barking

at the sirens

of someone’s misfortune,

while I am sitting

in the illusion of my safety

of my small circle of light,

put the black ten on the red jack,


But then,

isn’t that what organization is for?

To keep us safe from the chaos of the world,

to maintain the hierarchy,

we are told,

to keep us safe from

the natural disorder of the universe.

I continue to place the cards just so

while the predators roam in the darkness

outside these walls,

outside this circle of light,

with flicks of tail and tooth

and flashes of hot blood

while the moon

is making circles of light

on the cold ground

where everything goes in and out

like some kind of alternate reality

in a different game.

Then the king

in all his unchanging visage

covers the last queen,

with a barely perceptible smile,

and I feel a little rush

of gratification and pride

and there’s a sense of approval from

the royal family or someone….I don’t know…

and it’s time for the shuffle

which always comes

when order is finally achieved,

and the insects applaud out in the bushes,

and all the players flick their tails

at my inventiveness

in their own circles of light,

and the headlights of the ambulance

rush through the night

towards the emergency room doors,

and mice and crickets

and other small organisms scurry

through the tangle of weeds and grasses

without any medical help at all,

and the cards flicker into senseless disorder again

before being allocated

to their starting positions

on the table,

in my circle of light,

and the doctors

are now attempting

to put the pieces in their proper places

to save the lives

of the king

and the queen

for the civilization’s sake,

before the game is over again

and nature is restored.




Between Two Seas


I live in a house between to seas.

The past is one, the future three.

One is done, the other to be.

Where would you live if you were me?



To Lisa



when in the end,

you have joined the breezes,

invisibly wafting through the town,

may we request a final touch,

a soft brush against an arm or cheek,

in some unguarded moment out of time,

so that we might remember

that you are still with us,

and your breath has now become our breath,

and your heartbeat still beats

within the rhythm of our own,

and your love still has the power

to bring a loving smile

to the faces those fortunate enough

to have a memory of yours,

for no apparent reason at all.



When I Speak of Love


When I speak of Love

it is you, specifically,

you of thousands of faces

you whose visage leaps across

the river of my imagination

and into my reality.


You who are cleft with

the light of the spirit

that dwells between and within us,

as dazzling as sunshine

in the midst of a storm,

the color of color,

the truth of truth.


You, only you,

who are the vision of my vision,

the whispers rolling from my tongue,

the caresses that electrify my skin,

the steps that transport my feet

even as I walk unknowingly,

yet awake,

through the amazement my forgetfulness.


When I speak of love

it is you then,

you alone,

who is capable of destroying my defenses,

exposing my weaknesses,

decimating my loneliness,

you who may dissolve the essence of me

and guide me into the living waters

of that which becomes flower and bird and rain,

flowing through the veins of stars

and you.



3 A.M.


Sleep has escaped me

I lay in my bed, wrapped in inky 3 a.m. darkness

And tropical heat

I abdicate to the whisper of the universe

The sound of breath and blood coursing through veins

Of rivers flowing through stones and bones

The swirl of stars and the shaking of leaves

The hum of insects, the hiss of dew on hot asphalt

Time and place vanishes as the mind recedes

I dwell in the wonder of mere existence

For just this moment

The vibration of love

Flowing through the openness

Of the heart of creation

Which needs no instrument to be heard

It resonates through the walls of my house

The earth on which it stands

Fingers and toes that tingle in the touch

But because nothing can contain I,

In a nod, slumber returns and the dream resumes

Leaving only traces on the window pane

When dawn arrives.





I bow to the improbability of Music.

I bow to the impossibility of Art.

I bow to the incongruity of Poetry.

I bow to the inadmissible absurdity of the existence

of mankind and life itself……

and the indefinable and indefensible

Imagination that conceived it.