to be (before the flame)

today
I believe
is an elemental day

there is stillness
in the air
but
I can feel a breeze

such
a gentle breeze
touching me softly
as it passes

so gentle
how could it kiss
embers
into fire

and yet

I look at the map
with its lines of arrows
pointing
here
and pointing there
to suggest the way
the wind blows

it changes
in the sketching
every hour

and so
every hour
the entrails
that predict our fate
must be read again

what altar
should I build
to the elemental
gods

what place of worship
to the wind
and the rain

and the heartless
sun
that rides above

I think
the moon
has been much easier
to praise

and I think
that today
I must follow
my heart

while the smoke
is less
and I am not confronted
by air
that hangs so near
and almost
in my face

it is a day
to walk

before the sun
is high

and I will go
to take my fill
of the township
while it stands
as
for me
it has always stood

I’ll take my fill
of post office corner

and a moment
with the pigeons there

the ford street fountain

and the dolphin
café

small pieces
of me
from my childhood
and the
long ago

and
I may touch
I think

to feel the texture

perhaps
embrace

the old apple box tree

streets of elms
and the stand
of poplars

a trickling
moment
by the laughing creek

I fished there
once
for small trout

and smoked
my
small cigarettes

dreamed
quiet dreams

they were carefree
times

it seems
(I know)
that my thoughts are maudlin

and I suppose
that
that is truth

but what
I ask you
what else can I do

how else
might I invoke
the spirits
to mind me

if not to look and see

to hear and touch
and feel

and try to be
in my own
so small way

the things I love

before
the flame

~

9 thoughts on “to be (before the flame)

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