Tag Archives: poetry

Notes from the field (8)- Travel at night

When I was young, sometimes

we rode the trains overnight

to new houses,

loud dreams

riding a rough disjointed shaft,

rumbling deep into the night.

 

And in the spaces:

towns lit

like strange vessels seen from a distance

sailing some dark and blackened ocean.

 

Dirty yellow stations,

words behind the shuttered windows

and I

asleep in rough blankets

am carried across the shores of memory

toward the vast and orange expanse

of dawn.

Extract from a diary found South of here (12) – Last Words

These are the last words that I will say to you.

Moving from room to room in the half-light of the house, dust motes caught in the slim shafts of sun slipping through the half closed curtains. I trace the tips of my fingers across old wooden shelves and glance at the photos placed before the books.

Listener’s Library beside the paisley covered high wing back rocker. Reading glasses on the dining room table, half hidden under post and papers. Dirty work shoes at the kitchen door.

Mom is crying softly in the bedroom and Dad is pacing the hall.

These are the last words that I will say to you.

The afternoon shifts westward as hands fold upon themselves, over and over and over. We close our eyes and wait for the ceiling to dissolve away, to reveal the glory of the bright white clouds above, the towering clouds we always knew were there.

In the bathroom, the tooth-brush still rests in the glass beside the toothpaste. Tubes of paste and bottles of pills in the cabinet. Silent in the gloom. I look at myself in the mirror and trace the line back into the past, beyond the foyer and front door, the oak tree and garden gate.

Sky.

I hear the sound of a window being opened and in the silence, I hear the release, the breath and know the last words have been whispered.

Through the open kitchen door, I hear children playing tennis in the street.

Who we are.

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains

With thanks to Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel) -The Boxer.

20140622-205519-75319317.jpg