Lost to Me

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I know you exist,

Somewhere in the haze of my memory,

And I watch you through the thickening fog,

Swirling past the gaps borne of the years that separate us,

Gathering between me and my gallery of ghosts,

The people I left behind,

Those relationships that ended at the gallows,

And those that still haunt me.

 

But here’s to you, you whose name I don’t remember,

You who are lost to me,

You whom the fog has swallowed, entire,

Never to surface again

In imperfect memory;

Maybe I still dream of you;

I wouldn’t know,

For when I close my eyes to think of you,

It is just the mask of the past I see,

Lonely and completely, utterly lost to me.

 

Forgive me;

I have forgotten you.

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Victory

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Victory

Is like standing on a mountaintop somewhere,

Watching the stars revolve in their orbits,

Your head spinning with them,

Your heart soaring with the feeling,

Your whole body singing –

Praise be to the victor,

And praise be to his shadow,

For wheresoever it may fall

Will be auspicious ground.

 

Defeat

Is like trying to climb the self-same mountain,

Only to be thwarted,

Again, and again,

Each time nearer to the top,

Because that is what hope is –

Being thrown off that rugged mount

 Time and time again,

Never knowing victory,

Yet dreaming of her.

Revelation

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My past blew away like smoke,

Fire and lightening streaking

Through the clouds,

Plumes of ash billowing up through the blackness,

As I, electrified, stood enraptured,

In the eye of the storm,

Seizing

The opportunity to sink down to my knees

And worship

At the altar of my weakness,

To watch, helpless,

As the ocean of my youth receded,

And to rise, dazzled,

As the stars emerged on that cloudless night,

Clarity

Making the broad brushstroke of the galaxy

Shine with the brilliance of one of those Arctic sunrises

On those mystical days when the sun still rises,

But defiantly fails to set,

Not forever,

But just long enough

To say, victorious,

“I prevailed.”

Creatures of the Night

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They are out

In the pouring rain,

In the bitterest dregs of the night,

In those early, pre-dawn morning hours

Where so few creatures dare to stir,

Some of them human,

Most of them spending those long and lonely hours

Praying for the glimmering hope of first light,

All united in their singular quest

To get from Point A to Point B,

From dusk to daybreak,

Except they- those brave souls of the dark,

Those valiant stewards of night –

They are on the slow path.

The Elements

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The mountains pass

With the most stillness,

But the trees, they are

Such transient passersby,

Such fleeting parts of our lives,

Fleeing so quickly from view,

As if running on fleet-footed feet,

From some flagrant forest fire,

Far from here, and smokeless, too,

Cold, by now, ashes at most,

And scattered ones at that;

And of the human element?

The houses, the streets?

They, too, pass with rapidity,

Save they are not running, but rather

Are static, yet not unchanging –

Flaring and fading, then falling

Into the complete and utter abandon

Of ruination.

The Farmer Who Tugs at His Shoots

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I can relate

To the farmer who tugs at his shoots –

You know the one –

He’s always out there in the lengthening shadows of dusk,

Pulling up his corn and his wheat

A handful of weeks after the planting season,

He tugs and he tugs,

Trying his level best

To turn the tide of time in his favor,

Dreaming of an early harvest,

And all the blueberry wine he’ll be drinking

As he watches the more patient, prudent farmers begin to toil at their fields

Just as he is finishing up for the season.

He pulls and he pulls,

Desperate

To outrun the clock,

As if only by outdoing himself, he can make those fearsome shadows

Shrink back into their noon-day stations,

The sun hovering at its zenith,

Not inching forth in her orbit,

But rather bending to his wills,

Never moving,

Just shining there, everlasting.

 

Yes, I can relate to the farmer

Who tugs at his shoots –

You know the one –

He does not see

That his crops will not grow

In such light,

That they would wither and die in the heat at the height of the twelfth hour;

Nor does he see that the hands uprooting the fruits he has sown are his own,

Not until he is in the thick of the waste and the rot,

The dying plants returning to a more worthy steward

As Earthward-bound they go;

He does not know

That there are other things to see,

That between the sowing and the reaping,

There are rewards

For the one who watches,

For the one who waits.

 

Yes, indeed;

I can relate.

Pressed Flowers

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I can still see you,

Pressed paper-thin

Between the pages of my life,

Faded and half-forgotten,

Flowers spared the frost

Only to spend the rest of eternity

Fragile and fitting imperfectly

Within the leaves of a former forest.

 

I can still see you,

Softly lit and spirit-like,

Spiraling through the city of my memory,

A brightness dancing across those dim and dismal years,

Skirts lifting as you spin,

The veil of the years that has risen between us

Casting the whole scene in a magic light,

Not quite poetry,

Nor quite perfection,

But something approaching

The one, or the other.