I sat up late into the night and read,
Inside a room wall-lined with books on books.
I tried to learn the secrets of the stars.
A hero, someone who could be admired —
This was my fervent hope, my secret wish.
But who was I that anyone would love?
For strength and sacrifice, magnetic pull —
The virtues of a man were never mine.
But lost in pages I forgot all that:
And could pretend the universe was mine.
The pathway winds, and takes us here;
The wind is blowing through the panes,
And there’s a calculation left.
But it’s not one of sums or gains,
But how it is we got so old
From what was yesterday a child,
And went from lives of wild abandon
To life abandoned in the wild
Where are the eyes that once foresaw?
Where are the polychromous dreams
That danced upon the waters edge
Of joyous new tomorrows?
Where are the cities, crystalline,
And rising up against the sky?
Where are the animals, so soft,
At one with us, in nature —
They’ve gone to a not-forgotten place,
By a lake that feeds into a river
And they’ll be resurrected on that fair day
When it comes time to stand, and deliver
Where is the magic of let’s be kind?
Where is the balm for the grieving?
They’ll come in a way and a time you’ll know,
So don’t ever cease
His daddy told him that
He would live through it:
The girl who broke his heart
But never knew it
He knew his chance with her
Was the remotest —
She didn’t scorn:
She never even noticed
But this is how the world
Is built, is wired:
The inequality of who’s
I hoped, if I could understand,
And see the world for what and how
It is, that I’d in wisdom grow,
And be somewhere that I’m not now
But mine has been a life unlike
I ever thought could come to be:
To stay outside the lake of fear,
Only to find that it resides
what great mystery
the smallest waters may hold
within first time eyes
When I knew Alice, I was mad.
But I can still remember
That she was usually serene —
Not given much to temper —
Because, she said, she’d known the touch
Of sunshine, and of sorrow,
And that she’d just enjoy the now
And (maybe) fret tomorrow.
We sat out in the summer sun,
And I thought her demented
Because she bore an intact soul
And just could be