They drove through villages for hours, and he
Was just a boy, but still he watched, enthralled.
What seemed like sameness wasn’t so to him,
Like models come to life, this row of toys.
The roofs, the windows, factories, and spires,
The bits of grass and trees, the shops and cars,
The animals, the kids out playing football,
The houses, big and grand, or small and fine —
His eyes, so sharp, discerning, saw it all:
The artist loves much others might find dull
Surrounded gray by interlocking noise,
Across the chasm bridge and moving moat,
Into the pointed teeth of the abyss,
A crosswind stinging high, and slipping low,
A traveler: a wanderer, a waif,
Amid the pilgrims, frozen, bent, or warped,
Lopsided and misshapen with their loads.
How few there are who hear for stopping ears
With sounds of luxury from far away —
A few more who might see, with heads unbowed —
The slow advance of many into one,
Like dust motes on a sunbeam, settling
Into an attic, locked away and lost,
Forgotten, hopeless, locked away and lost.
The woods are bright here, in the autumn sunshine;
This old, abandoned place way off the road —
I think about the old ones, long forgotten;
Their many faces crowd into my mind
That they were babies, kids – had youth and passion –
Before the stretching years gave them to me;
They’d seen their ardor out of fashion falling,
The wise among us: petrified, ignored
Who owned this lonely cottage I can’t Google,
Although, upon their maps, I see it’s there —
Technology knows everything and nothing
That matters anyway, why we should care
For most do not – don’t care – and never have done;
We live within a blind, selfish desire —
And life leads onto life, with old life dying;
So few that will remember we were here
This old, abandoned building, my companion;
The long-forgotten ones, they are my friends —
This old, abandoned building in the sunshine:
The end of all our damp
the night came fast, and so they drank the shadows;
then woke to light that stung and scratched their eyes.
a gallery now stripped of all its paintings,
uncluttered with the evidence that they
had ever changed or terraformed surroundings.
the day had poured into each crack and crevasse,
the floor seemed new again, as though to say
“you had your fill of dark, the spring is coming:
come feel the possibilities and go.”
but they no longer heeded to the light,
but lingered just to taste the last few dregs
See where the morning wakes on smoky clouds
The world continues even though we sleep
Last night the pores the skin the hair the beard
Refused to stop their work despite the heart
That emptied with the hollow cries of night
A stabbing pain the realization cold
The way that shadows lose significance
And even dreams fold back onto despair
But eyes will open drearily it’s true
And feet walk out into the gath’ring day
The body yet may struggle, quitting ne’er
As sleep, we grow, the living flesh
your sunset was my sunrise. all the same,
you laughed to see the joy you thought i felt.
there was a bit of irony in this:
but i was in my taking phase, and so,
took you for granted, and your grace as due.
i know, because our roles are now reversed:
not times of life, but just how free you are;
although you’re rapidly approaching night,
you’ve found your grace again, and i can’t help
but glory in the wonder of it all.
for you were my first heroine; behold,
a time beside the waters, when you were
a dark young woman, with a tiny child;
whose life was stretched before her, like the sea —
as fathomless as any distant sea.
but now, our conversation breaks into
a strange, disjointed type of décollage;
like sunlight dancing on the waters edge:
a fading into something more than light,
and something less that turns into a song.
There was a final time: the stall set out,
With jewelry and fabrics in a line —
The next day, and thereafter then, no more;
No more, and soon, no one with memory
To paint in images or words the scene
That once was daily, year on year on year.
The mundane, the quotidian: our lives,
Not big events, but habits of our days,
They soon lie empty on a sandy waste —
The firebird heads into the unknown,
High o’er the mountains, just past where we see,
To leave behind our stalls for someone else