Journal Musings Poetry

Waking to

Here, let me murmur a bit about the light today, the falling of heat like a rain of down from some passing flock.

Water Lilies Great Meadows
Water lilies in autumn, Great Meadows State Park, Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 1990

Here, let me murmur a bit about the light today, the falling of heat like a rain of down from some passing flock. The passage from sleep to that soft transfer of thought didn’t stop at the window. I stepped out and showered in peace, wings of stillness rising and falling about me, where only yesterday the air shook with trepidation. I waited in the bated morning, expecting a voice to shatter the emergence of it all, but the interval lasted, pregnant with silence. For a time it was just as I imagined, me and clouds scratching by overhead, heading north-northwest. Speed or a trendy displacement had no place in that brief perfection, as if I was given a reprieve. But I dared not blink, lest, in that eternity of blindness, time forsook me, and the slow ghosts of change failed the quickness of my eyes, too slow for remembrance. Even to mouth the news turns the encounter to dust, so, as I speak, the light is lost, sifting through wire, long, powdery, and loved into absence.

13 replies on “Waking to”

I see you’ve managed to push the world back a few feet again … good to hear your (other) voice again, although both voices are always welcome. In fact, your voice actually motivated me to action on something, but that’s for another day. Mostly, just good to see your textures and images emerging again.


You say that “even to mouth the news” is to have it turn to dust as it travels to us. But maybe not entirely. I experience something when I read it – maybe not your experience; maybe something else entirely, as your words intersect with my mind. But something that has spurred me to bookmark this site for returning.


This post is a discovery, a gift. It’s poetry as I hope for it, simply using whatever power language has to express what words can’t express: the personal wonder of a moment perceived on its own terms. And no pretentious line breaks, because the traditional requirements of form have nothing to do with true poetic expression. This post is contains more poetry than 99% of the poems I’ve read lately. This is what real poetry looks like, folks.


Without people having followed me through the years with my writing there is no way to express how weird it feels for people to tell me they like what I wrote, as poetry. I didn’t write this thinking “poetry”. I was just trying to capture that essence of a momentary experience I had, and the only vocabulary I could find were the words that ended up here. What is so strange is that I had come to the conclusion that I am no good at poetry (I won’t say just how many rejection slips I got over the years!), and as the comments sink in I’m wondering if I had misunderstood something about poetry all this time. It isn’t a veneer of words I think I’ve now discovered. But I have a bad habit of glossing over the truth. If only I could discern truth better.


I wonder if discerning truth isn’t the hard part, but finding the words to express it. Seems to me you came pretty darn close in this post. Call it a prose poem if you will, it’s still poetic.

Lovely image, too. I keep finding photographs on your site – in Japan – of places right here where I live in Massachusetts! Sometimes your words do that, too, though – a description of something far away yet it expresses something I can feel and relate to right here.


wandering there, among the words and colour i stumbled on your site…was going to follow the crumbs back but the crows ate them. how did i get here? which way is up? does it matter? “even to mouth the news turns the encounter to dust, so, as i speak the light is lost, sifting through wire, long, powedery, and loved into absence.” funny how something that never was can disappear. now i *am* lost. and glad.*sits down.


Usually, writing seems to follow some linear process of turning unverbalised thoughts/feelings into words in your head, then into words on paper that try to explain those thoughts, so that the reader can reconstruct the original wordless idea. I’ve always thought of poetry as a means of bypassing some of those linear, deterministic stages and going straight from something in one person’s head to something in another’s, with the words simply being a transfer medium. So by that definition, your words count as pure poetry, as they recreate in me something I find hard to find words for. Thank you.


“…I dared not blink, lest, in that eternity of blindness…”

This ranks very high on my poetry meter. This one line makes me want to write another entire poem around the concept of the eternity within a blink of time. Those ten words you wrote tell a graceful and evocative story, from beginning to middle to end. That is definitely poetry.


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