1.01.2017

little bits of quiet

A new year, new start. My resolutions (if they can be called that): to write more and whine less, to take more photographs and less pain medicine, to see possibilities and opportunities and not to look for the dark side.

Elsewhere, I have launched another photo challenge. This time around, I thought that, rather than duplicating the exercise here with another set of pictures, I would use the prompts in different ways. I will, for these 31 days, try to form my textual posts on the basis of the following:


When time permits, that will mean some wholly new writing. Other days, it will be poems chosen with that day's prompt as the guide. Some days might be a meme, answered with that day's word or phrase in mind.


Day 1: "quiet"


Moments ago something cruel--
     one of those empty trains
          they send by.

some phantom express--caught me
     leaning, reading myself.
          Now the man next to me

turns up the sound, a big silver radio
     on his shoulder,
          his eyes closed.

He wants it loud and bad
     to obliterate some anxiety
          of his own.

What to do but lecture him
     on public versus private,
          or smash his radio

into little bits of quiet?
     But I move away instead,
          look down that long stretch

of track for what is overdue
     maybe powerless somewhere
          like a messiah

It's a clear blue day, not a limit
     in sight.
          I'm late for love

and love is famous for not waiting well,
     for conjuring its enemies
          after minutes.

The man with radio dons earphones,
     starts to move,
          a dancer so solo

there's no chance he could be reached,
     ever. Suddenly 
          a thousand low voices

seem to be saying my name--
     the train coming in
          like something once desired,

now too late to save the day
     ...and no one visible
          to blame.


[Stephen Dunn {1939- }, 'Waiting', from Between Angels]

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