Sunday, October 16, 2011


Memory, goddess who sang
anger and undying vengeance
scratched in wax of animal soul:
ox-strong arm, wine-dark eye,
breasts and thighs caressed by silk
and poet's whispering word.

I address you in a lilt the saint
from Carthage sang in confession
when he called you from the crypt
of laurels and pan pipes,
dressed you in skins and hairshirt,
and fed locusts and beeswax.

Memory, are you only words
sheathed in the patina of impending loss
like photos brown and yellow in attics
that no one will visit, dust no one
will etch with footprint or wipe
clear from the portmanteau?

If I had only kept you pure, memory,
and ungrimed with the image that swarms
like hydra head from newsreels,
hacked and desiccated cud
spewed by cloven-hoofed mass
when it upchucks crime beyond count.

Memory, the light in a bowl,
the face in whose eyes I found
changeless love, root of DNA
carved from galactic cold,
children playing with ABC blocks

on the floor. All these and more,
memory, seek rest in a gaze
that stares down fear and despair,
born from ash and dawn-bright pain,
whose track runs through ruin,
whose ticket is counted and punched
to a door no map can name.

(c) 2011 Charles David Miller. All rights reserved.


  1. I sat this one on my Facebook wall.Hope you don't mind.Regards j.

  2. Charles, this has a wondeful depth, and soulful beauty, I love the way memory is gently personified; and how the 'memory' repeat, is pitched perfectly, reflecting the nature of memories, surfacing and falling, re-surfacing and re-falling.

  3. Thank you Kerryann. I'm pleased by your understanding words, since I know how much you know their worth. Coming from such a poet who writes so beautifully herself, makes your words even that much more meaningful to me.

  4. Thank you, John. I know you remembered to include the copyright statement. :-)