Thoughts Afar

woke up early to pale blue skylighting. i can feel winter has about worn herself out,
or perhaps it’s that we have worn winter out, as she slops around town wearing
hardly anything at all–many of the trees still bare naked and skinny limb bones
stretching skyward.

i sit too often describing what is outdoors and what is outside of me as i sit indoors,
inside of me, looking out, pondering what i see, which makes such little sense,
when i could be out and free and seeing up close the grand things about life;
indoors though is warm fire, hot coffee, and trusty morning keyboard.

this thing about writing poetry, or writing poetically, has gotten me both spell-bound
and simultaneously befuddled. it’s only a feeling, like when spring first comes and you
get a magic whiff of sweet gum tree. i got that last week while in big sur, the gum-smell,
and had to stop and think to myself how rarely my own nose entertains me.

i bought so damned many copies recently of all the old poetry books i used to have and
gradually let go of because i suddenly wanted them all back, because, well, it feels
good reading them, and i miss hearing some of the words, the way they were
conjoined hundreds of years ago, before people discovered electronics,

when there was meter, and harmonics; there were bards and clever poets; there
were bearded men standing in the forests listening to the birds sing while
wondering how they themselves might become such fine dainty beasts with
beautiful voices.

i understand that i remember just enough of this lost world to keep some ember
glowing in my fiery center of thought, just a tickle or trickle of words being
used by people who loved them back then, when words arranged with special intention
would lift spirits, encourage hearts, recover souls, teach tenderness, defeat fears.

i say that i am spell-bound and befuddled. the befuddlement comes from understanding
where the words come from and how to turn the flow on and off–sometimes no words
arrive here, like on sundays when the postman doesn’t show up–then long nights waiting
for first light and thinking this mind of wild ideas and loose syllables is nearly worn out.

today though with winter worn out rather than me and my pocketful of words
to spread around the page, i think  will just read some from the romantics–
let them do all the heavy heart-lifting work they do so well, while i sift through
and allow their inner lives to speak their best thoughts to me from afar.

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