There is a life I never lived, stopped short dazed on the roadside, stunted by smoke and ash, waiting to become the stepchild. One last astonished look at the ruin, the grave it had become, I turn take the hand of a man look for the way out, into the air beyond the circle of smoke. Now in these seasoned days, returning to my people, the perfumed aunts, uncles with quarters in ham hock hands, cousins – my only brothers and sisters. I find that child, still dazed, astonished by the mounds of dirt and what they hold. The world disappeared into the ground, joy and trouble rolled into the earth, a life, an era, an epoch of love, and somewhere my parents and brother wait. I take that child by the hand, turn his back to the stones and watch the sunrise over smoky Carolina hills. In the pond at our feet fish jump into the orange light, hang above the mist, pausing, shimmering, still as air, wild as wind, breaking away from the life of water into an alien world of parched air and light, a majestic dance, breaking patterns, opening possibilities, new ways to new places, before slipping back into their destiny. But destiny can turn on the barb of a hook. A future can be vandalized by a spark in the night. Like “water in water” life and fate disappear one into the other. Quotation from George Bataille The Pub is open drop in for Open Link Night.
House on Fire
07 Tuesday Jan 2014
brian miller said:
i like how this poem comes full circle…from being the kid looking at what is left to being the man who helps the kid see what is possible…quite a moving story…well told….
oh wow…this is very moving… some things we can only understand when we have been there ourselves…and it’s so good when we can pass on what we have learned
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
To be able to get back and guide yourself… that would be quite something.. I get some imagery of a cemetary that is really moving…
M. J. Joachim said:
I just can’t imagine, and hope I never have to…
I like the idea of the cycle, of growing from child to man and then being able to fave that child again after such a tragedy! A very powerful poem, Ron!
I meant ‘to face that child again’.
Life and death become one thing… I love the way you illustrate this so perfectly here… A wonderful poem.
Rowan Taw said:
As someone who was orphaned as a child this really struck me as death came into my life so early. Great write.
really of wonderful write…life and death become one thing…love, family, memory…very nice…bkm
Jenny Herner (@jennyherner) said:
This is so very lovely. Poignant and sad. And the idea of taking yourself by the hand, the child that you once were. Wonderful.
Alex Dissing said:
Thank you for sharing this part of your story. I hope it was therapeutic.
I love the premise of a life not lived stopped short in the road, like it was caught/seen for what it is or could have been.
The place this brought me..was a homestead..fired..and long since gone..with the memories that it once held of family and warmth..that is the fire of life..
Going back is interesting..but the NOW..is always tHere!
Happy New Year 2 ya2!014!
Your poem reminds me of that William Wordsworth line – “the Child is father of the Man.” Your poem does wonderful homage to the cycle of life.