Thursday, May 12, 2005

Uncertain Dreams and Fouled Spark Plugs

After the torrent,
revived embers
mutter in belly of
the cave, way back
beyond the new sun
and the rising
condensation of
the grass, and
there is enough
fuel for that little
flicker of light,
though heat has
long since been
abandoned as a
goal too lofty,
heat like the
rumors of heroism
coming down
from ancient days
in places far
removed from
this land, where
the hardened dust
has been churned
into mud.

Before the traffic
of eons, before we
proceeded to, slow
and halting, slouch
in the direction of
our uncertain dreams
and fouled spark plugs,
yes, there were options
open and broad as
horizons on the flat
plains beyond the
corn fields.

Before the drought
and ensuing flood,
when it was all
smokestack lightning,
we the kings and
the world at our feet
prostrate, ready to
serve the shame of
submission, yes,
fires so prevalent
as the salt bush
festering at the edge
of the dying lake,
fires built to no
purpose but to see
them burn.

Now, eyes turned
so long to the bleak
lead colors of the
forsaken heavens,
coal-seeded and
giving us back our
darkened inheritance,
we go to the deeper
caves and watch
the dim light of
what was, how
the embers still
quicken when we
bend to breathe
out our useless
breath upon their

Now, grasping forsaken
purposes in the slow
days of unwinding,
we try to be comforted
by the knowledge that
kingships, even in their
last moments, can be
abdicated rather than
lost outright.


Braleigh said...

ALWAYS orgasmically brilliant. And I didn't get a chance to comment as to how delicious the Haiku's were. I side with Bill in selecting a favourite section. Too often, Haikus (or at least those that are porrly written) don't allow for much of an imagery connection. Yours were all very bold, and by having the linkages that was multiplied tenfold.

Bill said...

This one really took me on a side trip... and yet, as usual you still showed me the way home.

Very nice

Stranger Ken said...

"The slow days of unwinding" seems to me to be a very telling view of a civilization coming to its end even as it shouts so loudly that the opposite is true, but apart from that, what a great title! The whole of the second stanza, too, is really powerful, with the thought and emotion flowing together through the language and the rhythm of the lines. As for being comforted ...

Firehawk said...

Braleigh--thanks so much. I don't know if I can admit to orgasmic brilliance, but it's a wonderful comment. It's possible that I just don't want to have to pay anyone's dry cleaning bill.

Bill--I think of poems, in some ways, as "the long cut". You step off the path and into some moment, wondering if you'll find your way out again. I'm glad you found your way home at the end.

Ken--I think you concieved of the symbolism just they way I meant it. I'm glad you liked the title, also. As to being comforted...that's a rare thing in my poetics. I always seem to come up with more hard questions than comforting answers, both for myself and the reader. Still, I feel that poetry is a purgative, not a panacea.

Again, thanks to all of you for coming around.

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