Flotation Device

Reality’s not what she wants it to be,
And so she makes her own
In the virtual pages she fills each night
In her study, all alone,

At a place and a time and with people there
Who speak to the ears of the wise;
For the thoughts that she spills through her fingers and hands
Serve as a flotation device.

For everyone learns that this world is a swirl,
And each day, and undertow —
That the ropes we may don when we’re very young
Can keep us from where we want to go.

So she casts her words widely, for anyone
Who may read to cling on to:
For kindness, it seems, is in short supply
In a world that misvalues the true.

  At a tiny old desk and a darkening room,
  In a “you’d-pass-by” surrounding —
  Comes a world that serves as flotation device
  For all of us
 
  Who’re drowning

A Little Ways From Yesterday

She broke down a little ways from
Yesterday — her dreams so much, her hair
Not so, and you and I don’t
Own that mirror, do we? This is more like
Entropy than agony; to slowly lose
What she has not turned loose. So she
Turns up, turns out, turns down, but it
Never seems to be her turn; or was it
Always hard to walk in those shoes, hard
To see anything but the storm coming when
It feels like it never leaves? Never leaves —
The never-leaves blow slowly across the landscape
Of one too many days and too few nights of
When anything tasted like it’s supposed to;
And she closes her eyes on pictures she
Painted in the brightest colors she could
Find, turned dull with
Misapprehension

Depressed

At times, she barely knows herself,
The image in the mirror:
Whatever all she’s thought to dream
Grows anything but clearer.

Her life is chaos: interweave,
A web, a maze, a lattice,
And if not for irrelevance,
She’d have no other status.

So many think her fortunate:
A star in this big circus —
But she knows emptiness, the kind
That comes when hope

Deserts us

Erewhon

The artist stops to paint a scene
With colors that she purchased from
A shop that closed six years before,
A place that smelled of spirit gum

And costumes hanging in the back
By landscapes painted for the stage.
And in the now, she thinks about
What happened to that place.

Her painting packed up in her car,
She takes the long way ‘round to where
That shop was open, years ago,
But there’s no newer business there,

Just broken windows, abject signs
Of long neglect and passing age,
And how the dreams we bring to life
Soon leave so little trace.

  Her painting hangs now on my wall,
  The glories of the woodland fall;
  As she to senescence has passed,
  I think about the spell she cast

  About a shop I never saw,
  A time and place I never knew,
  And how it feels in moments true
  To see another’s

  Point of view


“… the noblest arts hold in perfection but a little moment.” — Samuel Butler, “Erewhon”

Tangible Ghosts

He’s asking today for the tangible ghosts,
The fungible fog, the tradable mist —
He’s wading today through the rippling bog,
Aflame with the thoughts of the lips he once kissed —

But all of his fancies go drifting away,
Like the clouds in his beer when the whiskey pours through:
He’s longing today for more tangible ghosts
Than the ones that still haunt him
When thinking

Of you