Along the Canal

This has only little relevance to the poem that is posted below (It is more of an after thought). As a confession, I have a very difficult time writing poems of sadness or melancholy. I say that because this poem, though it felt sad while I was penning it down and also in its revision, is not the full story on the feelings it attempts to show. I hope that does not take anything away from the poem. I say this to tell readers, but mainly to remind myself, to never sit alone on a bench in the wind. Things will only get colder if you stop moving. In some ways I wish I had written a poem about that, about how when the wind stopped the sun heated up my denim leg and I felt a little uncomfortable, but still grateful because It was the warm feeling I was searching for that brought me outside before the sun in the first place. So be encouraged, do not dwell on the residue, the past or absence. Be not indifferent to the wind, but enjoy the way it sweeps across your hair and face, sometimes making you cry a little. Enjoy the trees that howl with sorrow because they cannot move forward like we can. Embrace the sun, and if you dare try, try and catch the wind as it blows by you, feeling for it with spreading fingers, closing down on the moment, something invisible, that not everyone can see.


Along The Canal


A sunny day this time of year

Seems to feed my foolish dream.

Though blue and white are above me,

The imagined shapes of innocence

Formed by laying on my back

In quilted grass during summer,

They fail in siege against the clouds

Of black and grey.

Now and again, the sun will lead

Nature’s force of serenity forward

to burn the darkened haze.

Yet this spring is not fully still.

I watch dead winter leaves do

Cartwheels across the concrete.

Yesterday’s puddles ripple

Like tiny seas storming.

Lovers stroll along the sidewalk,

Slow and chatting with fingers tied,

Shielding themselves in the others coat.

I glide like a ghost, swaying side to side,

Alone and Pale-faced, staring at my shoes

As I float invisible,

Drifting from somewhere to

Nowhere along the canal,

Noticing things past and absent

Like the change of color in the water

That a boat creates as it

Carves a spreading wake.

Interesting only because the

Boat has long disappeared.

On a table, I am fixed on the residue

Of what used to be.

Crystal beads of cold, lacing

An empty glass.

What it held must have been refreshing,

But what it will leave will be a stain,

A shadowy mark on wood

Left unprotected.

I stop.

Stretch out upon a lonely bench

And listen to the wailing in

The branches of the birch trees

Next to me, which all stand lonely too.

An unseen gust ruffles my hair.

The wind stalks but ignores,

Treats me like an object,

Another bench or tree

Teasing my limbs with touch,

My hair.

Wind makes cold a sunny day.

It blows around and through me,

Finding me another inconvenience

As it travels from nowhere

To somewhere, west to east

Or north to south. It carries on.

Thinking not of the pages in stories

It turns, making people lose their place,

Or the hats of old men it knocks

Off of them in ridicule,

Or the already frozen hands

That it chills, icier still.


I welcome your comments.


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