Thursday, October 12, 2006

…And These Dreams, Too, We Must Renounce

we move though the ink cloud
of all the others’ retreating steps,
the dust of reaping the dry ground
in autumn when only scanty stalks
of unwholesome wheat stick sickly
up from the damaged earth.

hands moving upward into the
frowning sky, the withholding
sky that withstands all our prayers
and our slow suffering.

bruises bone-deep, and rembrance
of these wars given over, given up,
re-fought a thousand times as we
sit upon the benighted stoop of
our rotting houses and think of
things we may have done better,
had we only known, had we only
been different, but we are doomed
to never change, to always be ourselves,
and that misery stings like sweat
leaking into a cut.

we squint at the dim stars above,
thinking all the same of dime stores
of the elder forgetfulness, of raspberry
malts and bicycle spokes, of pick-up sticks
and Lincoln Logs, of lying quiet upon
the green lawn where it was safe, and
the things we knew seemed true,
and parents, leaders, gods, even,
seemed to have the answers.


drthunder said...

Okay! Here I sit, trying to construct some response to the ideas you've presented in this poem. Has it made me think? Oh, yes! I find myself wanting to respond to every phrase enclosed in parentheses. Do I have mixed feelings about it? Definitely! Perhaps because I'm so old, I'm glad that I didn't always "know" and if I had, would it have REALLY made a positive difference? Even so, I, too, yearn to be able to recline in the grass and watch the clouds roll by. For me, the moments spent doing those things are delightful memories.

drthunder said...

Damn! I meant to say "commas," not, "parentheses,vd" in the above note. Sorry! j

MB said...

I am interested by the contrast you seem to set up by beginning each stanza with that offset word "Alive." It creates a kind of tension for me with the rest of each stanza, which is a series of some kind of negation, which becomes almost contradictory.

WH said...

Hi Patrick,

I like your work. Please consider submitting a few poems to Elegant Thorn Review, an online poetry and photography blog that I edit.

William Harryman
Elegant Thorn Review

Firehawk said...


Thanks for your comment. I'm not absolutely sure what you mean, but you sound enthusiastic.


Yes, the existential paradox here creates a lot of interior tension. It's hard to tell if I'm turning on the light, or switching it off.


I like your new site design. I'll have to take you up on your offer and send you some of my stuff.

Thanks, everyone, for writing in. More to come...

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