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
So I was with my friends, and just sixteen.
We hung out at the the beach and watched the girls;
It struck me, none of us were really “tens” –
Nor arguably, the best more than a five
So who were we to sit and judge the world?
This thought, once I’d conceived it, never left;
It separated me from other guys
And in their club, I never fit again —
At least, not insofar as dating went.
I came to see things from the other side;
And though I’ve had my share of selfishness
I lost my double-standard on that day
Which I can still recall, through many years;
A sense of justice overcame my pride.
At sixteen, I was hopeless with ideals,
But why this one stayed with me
The way I work is pointlessly obsessed,
Extracting detail from the commonplace –
To see the outline of what isn’t there:
Projecting, pushing, prodding, putting on —
Do you, friend, find reality too much?
I must have my imaginings at times;
I do believe that signs and stains are one,
And we break habits, or find they break us.
It’s like a type of fit, to be this way –
To sing when no one’s there to hear the tune,
To fly a flag that none can recognize
To long to touch eruptions of the sun…
I found a rental car, and took a drive
Back to the place where you and I, as teens
Explored the water’s edge along the lake
And touched our lips together for the taste
Of what life had that we had not yet known.
There was a perfect stillness in your eyes
As you looked past where I was to the man
You’d love one day, hoping that I was him.
And now? I’m old and vain, and portly gray;
I sit here by a lake from long ago
And ask a passing duck if he would like
To hear this poem – he does not reply.
The way I work is pointlessly obtuse:
Extracting nothing, leaving good for good,
To see the outline of the man I am
Projecting onto all