poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

Over Here

A wall of clocks in an antique shop

consuming the time they make

self-feeders accurate within a century or two

no two read quite the same unless you walk

the wall slowly and watch them watching you

then flip, spin, grind to all agree

 

a chorus of the dead says

when the world was flat

they’d just fall off the edge

out of time, of place

soon lose any sense of falling

to merge with the cosmic backdrop

of indifference, the everywhere no-place

 

we travel not as you living do

a stray thought not our own

takes us somewhere with boundaries

streets, houses, rivers, horizons

every somewhere has

 

on a bench in a green park

a few yards from a harbor

we watch waters come and go

as near to repetitions

as to be mistaken for them

 

such is place, is home

you treasure so while we have lost

nothing having lost them

a white flutter of sea gulls’ late afternoon

some landing, waddling about on triangular feet

and having painted the sidewalk wander off

taking their horizons with them

 

having little else to do the dead study indifference

finding it like our small skin-full

a mask for something more binding

by long acquaintance it shows itself

as compassion, the only true light

 

sticks to anything with a touch so soft

it’s rarely felt at all and when it is

it is at first the imagined breath of the dead

an indifference we know all too well

 

that’s not a poem they complain

we answer; Over Here is neither time and place 

nor All, only light-show vapors

from an ever-smaller sheaf of papers

 

 

 

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