Tuesday, February 14, 2006

For All These Imaginary Empires Lost, I Now Lament

if I could remember

remember these things
I can’t

the way we solved
old problems and

well worn words
now lost in the clinging
debris of ruined minds

all those things I left
half done and broken
with the manipulation
of inept and too-thick
fingers, somewhere
forgotten in the dust

if I could bring back the
unmarked tides of
all these momentary fancies
and lifelong dreams, all
dead and never laid to
rest

if these hands had
healing power in them
and I could bring them
up from unknowing
oblivion, all these previous
incarnations of myself,
all these abandoned
husks I’ve shed and
left to desiccate

I’d welcome them
up on the stage and
give ‘em a hallelujah
and a hearty hi-ho
silver, open out the
arteries of holiness
and unwilling
redemption to
flood and welter
upon their sunken
flesh

just to push those
outmoded dreams
like square pegs
into the fabric of
the future, just to
see what all these
slouching by-blow
mongrels would
look like out in the
brighter world,
what bent dance
these dreams would
do when hopping
clear of the coffin

and I’d nod to ‘em
and shake their hands,
these other iterations
that never were, these
dead without any
mourners sprang
unfresh from
Potter’s field

if I could remember all
these things now and
forever gone, resealing
these broken connections
in the phone lines that
are forever ringing busy
and keeping me rolling
slow and groaning in
the deeper segments
of the night.

12 comments:

Bill said...

This one took me into a flurry of memories... things I thought I'd fogotten... dreams set aside for a moment, only to never really be picked up again....

As always, great imagery and the words moved me to thought which, to me, is always a good thing!

drthunder said...

My reactions are much the same as Bill's to this poem, Firehawk. Good thoughts jarring many memories!

MB said...

What an intriguing poem. I really like the slow, stuttering way you started... and the contrast between the unremembered past and the hail-fellow-well-met present.

Jen said...

This is beautiful. . .

My sister lives in SLC. I visit her every summer (went once during winter-that did not go well. . .)
It's an amazing place.

Swiftboat said...

Firehawk,

This one's brilliant. I was thinking recently that we re-invent ourselves roughly every seven years. It would be entertaining to meet old versions of yourself. This poem also laments all the unexplored possibilities - the paths not taken, the trail head we turned from in order to persue another path. But alas, we can never really go back in the full sense of it. I suppose there's something to morn in that. All we can do is take ourselves forward from where we're at and muddle through.

Firehawk said...

Bill,

I think that remembering the dreams we used to have can be a great way of feeling out how your world has changed. Things that once seemed of paramount importance can dwindle to be only small concerns. Things we never used to worry about can become a lot more important. These are all barometers of where we are in life. If my stuff can bring out old thoughts and memories...or new ones, really, then I'm happy.

Doc,

I've jarred them, but now I want to work my way up to bottling and canning. Should I add pectin?

MB,

I wanted to have a different delivery on this one, starting out halting, uncertain. I'm glad you picked up on it, and that it worked.

Jen,

Welcome. Glad to see a new "face" here at Hawkcircle. As you say, the winters can be a bit strong for traveling in SLC. We have quite a lot of snow on the ground at the moment. I'll have to drop by your site and say hello.

Again, thanks for coming over, and for your kind words.

Swiftboat,

I think we all do re-invent ourselves. I don't know if we're always functioning in the conscious headspace when we do it, or if there's a timeline to follow. I suspect that we're only aware of it after we look back and grasp all the small alterations that add up to a wholesale change on the surface. I think that anything incremental is difficult to see when you're close to it. It only becomes obvious when you apply an old paradigm to the new "you" and find that there's a big disconnect. Maybe the "cycle" you're in is done after some number of years, and the iteration of yourself is more or less cohesive. I don't know. I think that the core elements of a person probably stay more or less stable, but the things they're most interested in gradually move from one place to another. This is probably what makes it somewhat ackward to meet someone you knew a lot time ago, when you valued different things. For them, no time has passed, and they remember a whole different version of you. I suppose this is why you can't go back again. Even if the "place" is the same, you will be different. Chances are, both things will have changed in many ways, both subtle and substantial.

Thanks, everyone, for coming over. Hope you are all doing well in the new year.

drthunder said...

Yikes, Firehawk! Seems as though you're getting a wee bit frisky, here. From "jarring" to "bottleing" to "pectin." Better be careful, Oh Sage." Your sense of humour is showing.

Swiftboat said...

Yes, I agree. Our changing with time is usually evolutionary. Not the result of any single decision but many, mostly forgotten, small choices. It also seems as you say that our inborn temperments remain about the same. Thanks again - great post.

Mushster said...

if I could bring back the
unmarked tides of
all these momentary fancies
and lifelong dreams, all
dead and never laid to
rest


Yes, if only ...

Firehawk said...

Swiftboat and Doc,

Thanks for the follow-up.

Mush,

Hey, there. I've been worried about you. I hope you're doing a little better. The posts/lack of posts are getting a little grim over at your site. Whoever's been giving you trouble, I hope they stop it, and/or get a nasty rash somewhere sensitive. Don't let 'em grind ya down, right?

Mushster said...

Hi Firehawk,

Yeah I'm afraid it's got the better of me for now.

Evanescence's Going Under just about sums it up but I'm still trying to gasp occasionally.

Firehawk said...

Mush,

Sorry about that. At least it's a reasonably good song.

I'll retort with one from Garbage, "The Trick is to Keep Breathing".

Hope you'll feel better soon, and hope to see you back up and posting.