All our lives
for some something,
some even finding it.
All our lives we quest,
only to find it was
merely the flash
enticed us and
were naught but
of no substance
glinting upon our
All my life
for the maybe,
But I never
got it right,
ending up with fingers
and feelings scorched,
dropping back to earth
like a cigarette butt
tossed in fiery failure.
I couldn’t hold on,
making the grasp
a step too late,
finding I couldn’t
hold onto my own
Perhaps I should give up
my searching ways,
but I can’t because
maybe the next one,
or the next, or …
well, it might be
the one I finally
There’s always tomorrow. Isn’t there? Maybe, in the long run, it’s not some something or someone , but the search I really search for.
Beyond the obvious — you can’t
be seen or touched — sometimes
I wonder if you ever existed at all.
Oh, I’m sure someone can run
their fingers across
what I imagined was skin akin
to an infant’s. But I never did.
So I can’t attest to what I’m sure
must be your tactile perfection.
Beyond the obvious, you know,
I’ll never see you anymore,
I wonder now if I ever really did.
Oh, I’m sure I saw a somebody
who zinged my rods and cones
in a kaleidoscopic frenzy of
retinal fireworks. But the brood
of hairballs in my control room
have been known to hit the catnip
pretty hard after spying an enticing
wiggle on the end of a string.
Beyond the obvious, you never
really saw or touched me, either.
Never felt the goosebump pebbles
the mere thought of your skin
brushing mine would excite.
You never saw the hope and fear
the increments of intimacy we
never suffered wrought upon
this shadow you stepped across.
I guess, as far as you’re concerned,
I never existed either. And maybe
I don’t. I’m just a ghost who floats
among the phantoms and wispy memories
of mirages where we hoped to find
solace and the nonexistent answers
to our supplication. I guess I’m just
another nothing chasing nothing nowhere.
Until now, I never realized that was
beyond the obvious.
You are here. And so am I. I’m glad
you could find me amid all the chaos.
How’d I find this place? Not easy.
Started in my dark bedroom this morning
and bumped into the dresser. I thought
I was on the trail in the shower,
but got shampoo in my eyes
and lost the way. Once I hit the road,
I thought I’d remember the route,
as I usually do, but I was distracted
by two cars trying to occupy
the same space and time.
Thought I’d found this spot
in the parking lot,
but it was just another slot
way far from where I knew
you’d like to sit. In the office?
Nothing. So I sat down and
drew this map from foggy memory.
Slow work when your tired old mind
has lost its way again.
But here we are, right where
I’d hope we’d be. You are here.
So am I. End of the line.
Day 23 of Poem-A-Day April 2014 called for a Location poem. I may be running out of gas. Today was a difficult trip from there to here. But I’m glad you made it with me to the end of the line.
Autumn Leaf and Rusted Gate (Photo credit: mezzoblue)
The iron gate’s dormant hinges, fat
with the rust and moss of years
spent in content and oblivious fog,
screamed in alarm if the prisoner
so much as leaned against its bars,
to see what was beyond the mist.
And he, fat with the oxide of a life
barely lived, a desire coagulate,
sighed in resignation as he searched
his heart for a memory, a shadow
of open space where he once might fly.
On the darkside there he found it, a pen,
corroded but full of ink, oxblood-red
and warm, with which he wrote himself
a feather each day by the iron gate,
sheafing himself a pair of wings to soar
anywhere, even with his feet numb
to the fact they never left the ground.
Inspired by my friend Laurie Kolp requesting a Rust poem. I know rust.
The Road to Boston, 6:20 AM (Photo © Joseph Hesch)
Tuesday cracked open her bloodshot eye, peeking above the Berkshire peaks’ gauzy blanket.
She wonders why I’d awaken first.
“You’ve never seized any other day before this,” she said.
I squeeze the wheel, knowing where I’m headed.
Eventually I’ll run out of morning, out of road to Boston, and out from that coldly accusing stare.
Here’s a really quick Thursday double-header: a Five Sentence Fiction from Lillie McFerrin’s prompt word, TRAVEL, that’s also a 55-word Drabble for dVerse Poets’ Form for All.
© Joseph Hesch 2013
The search begins and ends
in this same spot every day,
where the concrete beneath me
is as hard as a cold-blooded heart
but as giving of daylong warmth
as a full bottle.
The seeking is much better at night,
when you can’t see the memories
in the face of the sun.
Those are the ones that hurt
if you stare too long at them.
And faces are meant to be ignored.
Illumination and clarity
are overrated anyway when
what you’re trying to remember
is how to forget, and the memory
is as rough as this concrete upon
which the search begins and ends.
I prefer the hard and warm
of this perch, and the comfort
of that bottle, to the soft
and cold arms that won’t let me
go, chill and flaccid as
the lips they drew to mine.
A raw free write for Kellie Elmore’s photo prompt below the title. The arresting photo is by Kellie, as well.
Tunnel (Photo credit: wwarby)
Where do I go should the lights
come on, exposing the shadows,
long and short, among which
I ever stand? And when again
they dim, do I find illumination
to stumble upon truths over which
I would inevitably trip anyway?
Within perpetually penumbral walls
of stone, wood or worry,
walls that smother reflection
and passion, I still wield this
inky torch in fingers ever-scorched.
Its ashen glow warms sooty scars
and creaking bones under the land
and flesh, stirs us to burrow deeper
within the stony dark, to a vein
of reality, so shining, sensual…
imagined or otherwise.