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Monday, November 09, 2015

Obituaries of Differing Kinds

Child of Horror

The day Wes Craven died, I was seven
again suddenly, that child
who fear exhilarates;

and I was back
in slow motion: some soundless image
of a horror film, for
memories are like poetry
burning in furnaces of sound,
bloodthirsty stalkers nailing you
to the ground;

where death slows you down:
a forced focus on details
that die and rot all around you
until it has done with you
what it will, for its good or your ill,

and with the passing of Christopher Lee
I ventured intrepidly
(with so many memories of a seven year old),
through castles and their shadows wrapped in the deep
of the dark, to surmise life is water to the sea,
where so many of our memories pass,
drowning silently in the depths of mortality,

and you remember only a taste
of a moment now prescient,
like the first coffee of the morning,
a bitter hand
resting on the tongue,
as you are induced to wake
from the years that sleep.

Salisbury Plain

Standing on Salisbury Plain, is it so strange
to think that England's most significant
monument was once bought by a barrister
for his wife as a present?
       And few today will have heard of the man
who bought Stonehenge and then gave it away
a hundred years ago, a soul dead to the world,

from humble origins, who didn't forget his roots
when he returned Stonehenge to the people
and ensured a legacy of free access.
       Does it make sense? As mysterious
as the stones themselves, no one really
knows why he did what he did:

to allow the stones of history
to stand free while he was swallowed
into common obscurity, a cruel irony:
       to become a footnote of idiosyncracy
means to do something greater
than your own potential to be.

The Fear

The fear of being forgotten
is a loaded gun, pointing at the temple
of the brain, but what pulls the trigger?

From one death to another,
which chains will link us to the larger,
from the smaller to remember

that we are threads and seams
spoiled by the decomposition
of the living fabric, mere space dressing

for dreams between our nature and culture,
that splutters the heart into life
or into coughing up phlemgy regret;

we are gardens that haven't been
planted yet, or spaces left to imagine
what isn't there,

where the outer appearance
of memories can fool,
and the outer appearance

of dreams are cruel,

for sometimes our dreams are too large
for the soul, and sometimes so small
they collapse at the slightest fall,
inadequate little things scrawling,

crawling over us lifting so much more
than their weight, but not enough to fill
our plate; who will feed who

when we have hunger that needs new
descriptions, delectations of a stomach
hungry for diction, dictations, multiple
and sometimes conflicting definitions,

figures of speech in which a word applies
senses and meanings as wide as sky,
as deep as earth, and yet forever crawling

we are ants, wonderously arriving, in between
to leave tracks and the barest of glimpses
of what the heart has seen
that the world will forget,

as though it had never been.

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