The First Deep Breath


Well, it has been seven months since my last post.  If there are any people out there who still come to this blog, other than my dad of course, you probably thought I had given up on it, or died perhaps.  A bit of both I think, a part of me was dead, or slumbering and as it slept feelings of doubt and futility seemed to creep into it’s place and it felt for a long time like I had just given up and walked away.  That is, until today, when for no substantial reason words came into my head, words that couldn’t be ignored and I found suddenly I had a notebook and pen in my hand and I was writing.  It felt good, like I imagine it might feel to walk again after being told you never will, or waking from a coma, suddenly finding something within that makes you want to fight, that will pull you inch by bloody inch forward.  It was wondrous and painful all at the same time and I only hope it marks a new beginning, the resumption of breathing after a nearly fatal flatline.

All of that being said, this new piece does bring up themes I have often explored in my previous work.  It continues this ongoing pursuit I am engaged in to say something about life, memory and time and our perception of it, how we exist within this continuum but are only able to truly perceive the exact instant we are living in, the past something we can only see through the filters of our experience which will ultimately alter it continually as we evolve as individuals and the future something unknowable but inevitable making every breath the moment before we are pushed off a precipice, something both terrifying and full of hope.  It is something that fascinates me and dominates a lot of my thinking both in waking life and in dreams so it is revisited again and again in my poetry.  This piece is I think a new step in the evolution of what I keep trying to articulate.  It is still not exactly what I am wanting to say, but it is I think well formed, if still a little raw.  Perhaps one day I will take all of my poems about time and memory and stitch them all together into something that finally will encapsulate all of what I am groping towards, but who knows.  This may just be that next iteration in an ongoing pursuit of the perfect words to frame the tangled mess that lives in my brain.  Anyway, without further preamble, here is my new poem.  As always, I hope any who may read this will enjoy it and if possible take something of it with them.  My poems need good homes.  Thank you all who take any time out of your own instant of perception to let me share mine with you.  Cheers.

The mirror shows only stranger reflections

A crowd, a throng of unrecognizable faces

Multiple manifold images of iteration

Still frames of super eight flickering against silver, stop motion

Reel to reeling sensation of falling,

Tumbling backwards into cold water

Icy smooth plunge knife swift

No ripples left behind to mark passage,

Ebony pointed bill proceeds red bead eyes darting

Hunting the coy glimmering fishes of memory through the deeps.

Surfacing into twilight winter smoke breath wreathed

Black velvet clouds swaddle needle bright stars

Falling snow materializes only in the yellow cones of street lamps

Giving the impression it is falling out of the light, drifting

Settling in glowing powdery outline

Pulling out of the hazy dimness into soft gold form and shape

Beneath copper red sheen,

Skin frost white glistening, upturned, expectant

Cold tip of nose pressing gently against cheek,

Lips brush at first as feathers

Then plunge deep, blade deep sharp and forever buried

Within a heart warm, red and beating.

Pulse rises tidal, carrying away, pulling

Tempest tongued, storms of words lashing

Swift, hot, brutal hooks and barbs

Sinking into treasured flesh

Cutting bloody raw ragged

Suffering inflicted awful in its cruel purity

The kind that only exists in kitchens, or bedrooms or front hallways

Places where love has been and left its fingerprints

Which may wash away in the flood of of all the little things that grew too big

Yet hopefully to be found as evidence and clung to

Whorled ropes of tangled lives woven in and around each other.

Pulling back from the bitter gulfs

Back to calmer waters dimpled by gentle rain

Of soft tears falling on skin laying spent in the aftermath.

Parchment stained, watermarked, dog eared

Canvas stretched taught across muscle and bone

Nailed to a frame of shifting dimension and form,

An artist’s mannequin clothed in hopes, fears, dreams and memory

Stitched mad, blind seamstress haphazardly

Patchwork colors and textures

Sights, scents, melodies scored deep

Grit cutting grooves slowly into stone

Tracks left by the passage, the tread of a throng

A crowd of stranger reflections.

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5 Responses to “The First Deep Breath”

  1. hej e moanie Says:

    welcome as a spring day

  2. remember this
    although you may feel like crap
    there is someone on the planet, as your thought arises,
    neck deep in the real stuff
    a sharp kick in the left nut every time you self-pity
    make a habit of using the enregy to shift perspective then do more of this – visit other rooms in the house
    people will happily take the whole tour

  3. emisformaker Says:

    Indeed! Also, where were you for NaNoWriMo? If ever you want a kick in the rear to write, a 50 000 word count goal in 30 days sure helps.
    Glad you’re back!

  4. twoQ daLoon Says:

    another pleasing read to start my day
    thank you

  5. onna bene gene Says:

    believe and succeed
    the good one does returns – magnified

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