NaPoWriMo / NaPoREADMo — Days 20, 21,22, & 23 — The “Missing” poems

(Four-for-one today, because I have been Presently Absent or Absently Present or....
well...Missing...and I may come up Missing again.  Anyone who actually listens to all
four gets a cookie...and my undying....umm...curiosity?  Awe?  Stupefaction?)

Missing, part 1

How many times did you wake up
in the night, find an empty cup
and wonder where your mind used to
be, your self alone and just you
in the bed, and just the one bed
with unfamiliar sheets, your head
on a strangely scented pillow?

I would have brought her there, you know,
for you to hold, and not for me.
You needed her more.  I can see
that now.  I would have stood close by,
just a ways, and averted my
gaze; let you have your time alone
as I tried not to turn to stone.

Missing, part 2

I wonder--did those strange scents jar
your memories and dreams toward
unseen collisions with silence,
that wrong kind of quiet made dense
with soft specific sounds that spell 
a place far deeper than our well-
used alphabet of ancient objects?  

Our limbic world just disconnects
over time.  Our temporal selves
get disheveled.  Cerebral shelves
do not suffice any more.  We
strive to hold things in place, but see
only place-holders and when age
eats worlds, the words fall off the page.

Missing, part 3

Do you feel the rain where you are?
Is there water there in the far
reaches of memory? Does time
fall through the air, like brittle rime
crusting the sea? Is this weather?
Tenuous shifts of the tethers
that tie us, each to our own place?

I stand in the rain, raise my face
to the falling sky as my sight
becomes a part of the pale light
that is left to us, and wonder
how we can all be so sundered
and still hold together all this
madness, beauty and darkness.

Missing, part 4

Are your words still with you?  Did you
carry your stories deep into 
the night and leave them like luggage
on a railway platform, an age
and more down silver tracks, with just
the wind, the stars, and leaves like dust
blowing and hissing in the dark?

This silence leaves a fading mark.
The thing that took you left your face
in bodies unknown to you, lace
filaments tracing what the eyes
of others cannot see: the ties
that generation takes away;
the look in eyes that cannot stay.


7 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo / NaPoREADMo — Days 20, 21,22, & 23 — The “Missing” poems

  1. Yes. I listened to them all. What a lovely set of poems. They are so like where my heart is this week. Things that are missing can tell more than the things that are here.

  2. I may need to take this in doses, one at a time, The first is very moving. I see this. Yesterday, at the bedside of someone whose mind is intact but whose body is not so top shape, there was wistful talk about visiting the spouse whose mind is eaten away by fear and paranoia, the spouse who refused to go to the park for fear of being kidnapped, by her own husband. But I shouldn’t say so much, it’s skates too close to privacy violations. Anyway, a simple poem that goes deep.

  3. agh; somehow, I missed these ones (geddit, geddit?); I am seeing you address your mother in some of these – I can do this because I know, and the words allow me to know beautiful

    • Thanks as ever, M. Yes, both my parents are addressed here. In some ways, the best conversations we ever had….as I think you don’t really get to know your parents until your forties, and then….?

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