More is what I want.
More of what I don't have.
More. More. More. More!
I get it.
I want less of it.
I lose it.
Then I wish I'd had more of it.
Night to day,
Day to night,
Yet summer’s sun refused to rise.
For when the snows fall there comes an impostor,
A coward, behind the clouds shied.
A weak and feeble thing, unwarm, unbright,
A winter’s time unsun.
Tick and tock, so goes the clock,
It tocks and talks and stalks
The lively ones and mocks
The ones who try to run and balk
The walk on down the final dock.
This trip, this time, this life ends in a dive
Into a sea where sharks they flock, ‘n’
Overhead the hawks they squawk
When broken souls
They grate and knock against the rocks,
Fresh pickings are they
And stock anew from the building blocks,
From the lies and stones and double talk
That slips on past when’t the stars we gawk
And miss the outline made in chalk of
The capital stock,
The common dream,
The future promised, bored and pocked,
As dead as you, as on you
Walk your lastly walk on lastly dock.
And the clock looks on and
Tick, tick, tock,
And tock, and
Pass me by
On your way
The damned may not enter,
But spread your wings
So that I may follow
Their shining light -
An empty hope, false hope,
But more than you’ve ever given.
A little light,
A small sign that ahead’s
Where better things lie,
Lie, lie, lie
And give the sign,
Persuade with ease
My heavy feet
t’Trod on forth
Toward your light.
It’s a light of lies
That guides my path,
A fool’s false fortune,
A fraud, a forged façade.
This lying hope
Is the hope that I embrace,
Until another hope
Long unhoped for
Comes on along,
Along my weary way.
Surprised by a touch on my face,
I look up and see that the hand is my own.
On days like this I’m not myself,
These parts that surround me are strange,
Alien and independent but
By the strings of the puppeteer
They are restrained.
With some trying effort I can pull the twine,
Direct here and there the pieces that should be mine.
But th’endevour is taxing,
The repeated episodes
Some look at the puppet,
At the strings that I pull,
And they say: (it is) “Courage!”
I think of the word when I find
My will collapsed behind locked door,
The strings untaut,
The limbs heavy and still
Though a sob now and then shakes the
Construct that I at these times inhabit.
When the body draws itself together to the floor,
Emptied of will,
The effort to hold the parts together
And to pull the strings
Is lessened, and some measure of comfort is gained.
But one cannot remain behind the locked door,
For “Courage!” they say,
And hiding is not.
One musn’t disappoint.
My winters have been longer,
My hands more callused,
My hopes more scarred.
Envision expanses of endless white snow
In a land to’ard north beyond all that you know,
A cold so cold on land so bare,
A nightmare in white
Where neither winds nor change’ll dare.
In the stillness find a lonely tree,
Its twins far away from all you’d hope t’see,
Evergreen amidst the white,
As near to shelter as you could find
In this suffocating shroud of frozen night.
In this country there is no fire,
No love, no warmth, no sweet desire,
No progress and no regress,
No comfort in the cold,
No safe embrace nor healer’s caress.
The woman is here with me.
For years we’ve grasped the tree
And together we’ve felt life’s bitter taste.
Unexpectedly she turns and says,
“Tell me the mysteries of this waste.”
A fire ignites.
As I speak
I understand and see.
Thoughts form the words and the
Words morph the thoughts.
For the first time I see her,
I glimpse that it’s me and she.
The waste is but loneliness,
A contradistinction unto which
Love is made to gleam.
By destiny, fate, fortune, or circumstance
Brought to find one another,
To light twin sparks in parts
Unreached by snows or blights.
She does not see,
Night comes and day again,
Her heart resists.
It’s a strange phenomenon
To hope for something not understood,
To wish to light a fire across a void,
And place in another an alien feeling.
“I understand,” she says, but she means the world,
The words I speak, not the feelings I feel.
Frustrated, I sit, and the end begins.
The nights grow long as hope grows weak.
The spark that was becomes a mote of failing light.
Time is long,
The world is cold.
Must it end as it began?
The cycles repeat for the mysteries deepen.
The fabric of the world is made of
Strands forever intertwined,
An ultimate enigma, never solved,
Each door opened reveals a myriad more,
A bewildering conundrum of secrets and riddles.
And so she asks again,
“Tell me the mysteries of this place,
The ones I know not, for the old,
The ones you’ve told before,
Those I puzzle over no more.”
My spark I hide.
I look to the horizon,
Away from the face I’m pained to see.
The fire inside is stifled,
All but tendrils now.
I hope no more for her flame to join my own.
I speak again and sing the song–
These words she knows
Having conjured them on her own.
“Move on, on and on, along,
These songs I know,
In thoughts I dreamed and saw
The words that changed the thoughts.
The mind conceives conceit and
Out and through it leaps,
Onto words it clings.
The words, in turn, impress their touch,
And stir and sway the theme itself
From whence they came.”
I feel the change, and
I turn from the sky to look in her eyes.
From bleary sun
To exploding stars.
Her eyes today are smoke
And I can’t bear it,
Tinged with red
Behind the murk of the space
Between sight and feeling,
They have me reeling,
My wasting armor’s disconcealing
An anguish unhealing.
The smoke won’t dissipate whatever I do.
If by chance you find my heart afloat
In storméd waters at last now calm,
Mistry tendrils rising
From cold now abated and
Chased on by warmth,
Look up and see the mark I missed,
The star most near
Most far to wingless creatures such as I.
My aim was true,
My spirit weak from spent warmed longing
Since light first glimpsed.
A still moment now, as
Waves serenely spray and sparkle and
Wet rainbows in the mist surround
A sinking hope, a floating dread…
A future unchanging.
A scene so frozen:
In cold waves drowning,
Vainly grasping for rays ethereal.
Are you still there?
There are reeds that swim through
Fogs of whispers,
Above swamps of waste once water clean,
Fragile handholds among
Discorporate fumes and muddy fugues.
A man treads there,
Chancing passage over fleeting platforms
An outstretched hand to fleeing memory,
A searching foot to fading remembrance.
Behold the sky, a crimson mirror, broken.
Red shards descend and
Reflect the nightmare
From a thousand mocking times and angles,
At once the past, the present, and a future no more.
The world flees itself,
Infinitesimal points in mutual repellence,
A universe of thought thinks itself undone,
The struggle ceases
And again he asks:
Are you still there?
All that is now falls apart, and
The man on his deathbed to death succumbs.
And over there
There lies a fire,
But all I feel are wind-blown ashes.
It’s in the woods,
Among the oaks,
In a ring of laughter
Obscured by smoke.
I pass through like a ghost,
And dread a season more,
Ghostly tears flood the forest floor.