Friday, November 11, 2011

This Bridge

The fire consuming night entreats
crickets who write your name
on falling leaves. I seek you in chill
autumn rain, out where feral cats curl
for heat under waxing moon, an outside cat
who knows home by smell and the scraps
of food left under the hedge.

I want to say: I'll fix it all for you, the steps,
the cabinets, the broken trust of those
who killed themselves. We talk and talk,
learn how to walk like the children
who've moved on. I'll give a class for you
to see in dream at night, where courage
knows what to fear, and love's the fear
of losing Self to itself.

In Venice, we sought ghosts who mock
frailty and dumb choice. With your taste
on my lips, I kissed them adieu
and held you closer still. The ghosts,
those who made us who we are, now see
thru our eyes, speak from our mouths,
smell the crisp Autumn air.

When rivers crest and roads flood, I'll find
solace in the wilderness of your eyes. This bridge,
the torrent below, path to renewed life.
We'll refigure the stars, piece together the light
and paint it to map the gaps between
our lives and know the day that falls into
place, the hours like stairs to the dusk
that limns our climb back home in the night.

(c) 2011 Charles David Miller


  1. Charles,

    Very nicely done. I like the sense and tone you offer here. Strong closing Stanza. Very good all around. At first read I didn't care for the close proximity of both "cats" in the first stanza, but I see the transition you shift towards in the second, moving "say" and "Talk" a little further apart and then in the third, repeating Ghosts, but at a wider distance between each reference. Then I noticed the Title appearing once more, a different sort of "repetition" as it is offered again in the final stanza.

    I'm a bit picky as I read, I tend to delve deeper into pieces than perhaps I should, just how I read. I'm not big on the type of repetition you used with Cats, but can appreciate it in the sense of the piece, when viewed as a whole.

    Anyhow, thanks, really enjoyed the piece

  2. Thank you, Fred, for the extended comments, as you say. I like it when people look deeper into the meanings of things. S i'm glad you took time to that here. I know what you mean about repetition and I am sometimes conscious of using it in poems Other times it occurs by itself and simply fits into the gestalt of the experience as I know it. In this case, repeating these words were working as orientation only, that is homing in on specifics, my perhaps too writerly propensity for clarity. OTOH, I would not simply want to not use a word because I have used it before. In poetry, repetition can work at several levels, sound, image, concept. I try to do that when it makes sense with single words as well.

  3. some really nice touches...the crickets writing names on the leaves...i have a strong desire to fix things for people too, i have to the turn to memory after that as it builds for the climb in the end..

  4. i much like the mood in this, the sensitivity and thoughtfulness - also the crickets writing names, ghosts in venice and refiguring the stars, piecing light together to map the gaps... great images altogether charles