Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Forward, Ever Onward



author’s note:

In the interest of full disclosure...

I never really desired to go back.

However, I have swept up moon dust in my basement.


FUNDAMENTAL ME

I decided
for peace of mind
to go back to
an earlier better time--
       a more fundamental
       and exact time
       in my life
       --in ours.

When America was America
and I aspired to the simple
greatness--
to be fulfilled and to fulfill
my country’s needs.
To maintain what I was blessed by:
the godly good, the level house,
the plain information
found within
the black and white television
and smiling magazines

that, like the sidewalk, knew
just which way to go.

I’d visit the neighborhood
street again and I would
praise that straight sidewalk.

Yes, I was lost, but
didn’t the radio tell me
I’d find my way back home?

But when I came to that street
I realized memory had failed me...

The street I now saw
actually had medieval
cobblestones--
not the dull asphalt
that I thought I loved--

while the magazines and television
that I uncovered in the attic were
moth-eaten curtains
addressed to someone no longer here
--someone who wouldn’t return
   no matter which way I turned.

The iron chain of all those artifacts
crumbled to powder under my touch.
Who were those echoes?
The Greeks and Romans
made as much sense.
The cave paintings of Lascaux
spoke more clearly
than those scratched records.

I don’t know exactly when
but some time back
we left a life behind

and to try to
turn around
at this late date
would just create
an even more mangled maze
from the labyrinth

because we only move forward.

So...

having failed to re-create
what’d never really existed...

I’ve since begun to build
a new fundamental me
for the future

with materials that include
fresh clean pine planks
but also
that litter of worn
gray rocks
out back

along with the compost
where my decay
grows child-like sprouts.

I build

a future for the now
that’ll include all
these spider webs
I have gathered
like flowers

as well as all those hopeful designs
that continue to tangle my hands

a future now
that will include--must include--
all the sun spots
glimpsed through a pin hole

as well as all that moon dust
I swept up in my basement.

Must include
both my old and my new
sacrificial shoes
that’ve followed, will follow
this mystery
forward, ever onward.

Must include

more than I know.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton

earnest audio
new steps

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