I am a house with no one inside
but that sole inhabitant that years ago died.
With my ghost voice I called and invited you in
that someone might live in this house again.
But the visitors that come never stay
and these ghost gray lips grow grayer gray
till the day they are not heard anymore
though I still sit screaming behind the door.
The light shines through the shutters
revealing the yellow latticework
that is invisible in the daylight
and what if the shadow shapes of what is not there
are the outlines of this invisible world
available only to the waking few?
they feel the latticework on their face
now on their hand
and wait for some small shadow to climb it
a burglar in the night.
When she breathes a chilly breath
and folds in on herself
and her branches like arms quiver
and the leaves dance and shiver
When she wraps herself in a sunlight shawl
and wears a silver moon cap to sleep
and all is painted red and gold
and the leaves tumble from her hold
When she tethers the short daylight scarf around her neck
and her tears leak from cracks in the sky
then open your door, she is here
and welcome, welcome, Autumn my dear
You feel them coming first, before anything else. It starts somewhere in the back of your mind, somewhere you don’t really pay much attention to until it’s the only place in your mind that has your attention. It’s like your mind is a glass of water and you miss the fact that vibrations in the ground are sending small rippling waves across the surface. The surface breaks and the water sloshes out of the bowl and you sit up with a jolt. That’s how it begins.
Next your heart begins to beat the slightest bit faster. You can’t help it. It’s not nerves or anything like that, it’s just part of the effect and that’s all. It feels like the earth is trembling and the concrete beams in all directions will shake themselves loose. So you feel that they’re coming.
Maybe you try to ignore it or maybe you sit up and stare out your window, but either way, they have your attention now. That’s when you start to hear them. Windows down or windows up, it’s amazing either way that the glass hasn’t all shattered.
You feel the vibrations in your very bones and your ears try to make sense of something so loud you can’t quite understand exactly what it is you are listening to. The noise (or if you are feeling generous, the music) grows louder still and you hear the additional and occasional squeal of tires, the revving of an engine.
Finally, you see them. More often then not you feel surprised and maybe a bit disappointed because you were expecting a red Lamborghini or a yellow Mustang or at least something black and sleek. But all you see is the green Honda civic or the silver Volvo or mom’s old minivan and a very small figure sitting behind the dashboard, clutching at the steering wheel with one hand, hoping it doesn’t vibrate out of grasp.
The tires let out another squeal, and likely they do too, as they take the curve in the parking garage a bit too quickly and narrowly dodge the concrete walls. They pull away and out of your sight. The noise becomes incoherent once more. Once again, all you are left with is the thumping in your chest and in your body and the pounding in your ears until all becomes still and silent.
Once again it is as if nothing has happened, as if there have been no disruptions to the water in that bowl in the corner of your mind and not a drop has been spilt, but you think something.
You think something usually related to ‘need for attention’. Words like ‘ridiculous’ or even just ‘wow’ float in and out. And maybe you think, this is how we humans must look to the rest of the universe and all the other creatures in our world. Maybe we are parking garage humans in a world of quiet creatures watching us from the windows of their cars.
Write write write
hasn’t this fight already been fought?
if I had any thoughts to write
maybe I could write when I ought
It was too much to gaze
upon the glory of God
All left in a reverent daze
Knelt our human skins, awed
But if they gazed instead at me
stunned and blinded, we who fell
surely would speechless be
at the soul inside the human shell
The rain on the windowpane
blurs the girl standing out in the lane
or the face in the window of the train
and the poet would sit here and feign
to contemplate the world’s pain, then — halt
look to a raindrop as to a grain of salt.
Is it not a slight madness
that we take this prescription sadness?
Perhaps if we had had less
of this rain we’d be glad — yes
and not mourn the sky’s vastness, as though every cloud
were draping the world in the blackness of a shroud.
Emily likened a book to a frigate,
but the mind too is its own vessel
Take me where you will Mind,
there is nothing at present for me out there.
Wouldn’t we all stay in Childhood if we could choose?
Instead we are trapped in reminisces, wishing
they hadn’t fooled us with the words they’d used
“growing up” for a person diminishing.
Sure, we are wiser, and not all adults are rotten,
but who doesn’t long for some previous self?
like we could step back into them, if only they hadn’t gotten
so maimed through the years
now sitting there
like shrunken skulls on a forgotten shelf
Stories were so much easier to write
when they had nothing to do with me
when sorrows were concocted to cast upon strangers
and I played Deity.
But even that writer god
must become tormented with age
and come to long for the days when she
extracted her pain from another´s page.
Oh for years she prayed and waited
for some occurrence to punctuate her listless days
but when that fateful moment came
she found that there was nothing to say.
How easy it was, that old false despair,
her voice of mimicry as beautiful as a bird´s;
how difficult now to cut a piece from her own self
send it on the wind, never to be heard.
There is no poetic justice in life
but here is a justice for sure:
all those false sorrows which she spawned
have now returned to become hers
And unless you had heard her before
you would not know of this:
that the silence she now devotedly sings
is the saddest sound to touch those lips.
Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!