Saturday, May 31, 2014

I wait again on summer

©  Steve King
All rights reserved

I wait again on summer, as I have
through all receding seasons, through the mist
and ice, through the tearing haze of autumn
smoke.  I do not love the sun, no; nor warm
airs that might undo the ache of lingering thaws.
I cannot cling to any summer thing:
they are all one to me and may only
remind that there is movement in the world,
a cautious and reluctant pace to draw
the seasons through their new calamities.
Change is the only force; not life, not death,
not renewal; and it shall hold a place
between the living and uncounted dead,
donning new weeds, as it moves, day by day,
to lead the old procession on its way.

And yet I search for stasis all around,
for moments that will mirror clarity.
Perhaps that is the use of summertime:
as from a seat on strange heights one sees
dark chasms surrounding the bright redoubt,
harboring unknown fates on paths below,
so summer, with its lack of distraction,
its all-at-once respite from the grey rains
and veiling skies, upholds a brief vision
to gather all.  A sometime peace to gauge
the onset and wake of towering storms;
a rare occasioned season of the mind,
simplicity in tenuous vacuum—
the patient center of my hurricane.
A poem for Open Link Night at d'Verse

Sunday, May 18, 2014


© Steve King
All rights reserved

Gazing out on fast converging lines
whose genesis pulls faintly, far behind,
the mind does concentrate, as the sage said,
though what it notes shall soon be as unread.

The dreams still linger where old wishes lead,
while new desires displace comforting needs;
each blackened ember dims the soul’s delight,
to conjure forth a darker appetite.

But age may not be mended nor foretold,
and as I  watch these closing scenes unfold,
I hope that I may, at least privately,
relinquish some few public vanities,
abandoning rich things that never were,
and cleave to small ones, as they shall occur.

A new poem for the Poetry Pantry

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Room

© Steve King
All Rights Reserved

This room cannot speak to me of emptiness,
for nothing in its corners and high shadow
yields a thought of anything—
save corners, shadows.

Were I to think of emptiness,
I would picture other,
knowing in my heart
an absent habitation
that did once belong.

But nothing of a room,
where emptiness is just a word,
a proxy to formalize the nature of a place
and the inviolability of moment;
a simple means to keep
the perfect balance of a waiting space, quiet—
faint intimation of contingent purposes
foreshadowing the outline
of some unthought future,
all so free and new.

Were I to think of emptiness
I would not need this room.
I would summon aged moods,
emotion without substance,
(indeed, were I to think on it at all)
ineradicable remembrance,
unrevoked regret;
the chiming of old laughters,
and once-bright mornings come
to upend each passing misery.

Were I to think on emptiness
I would know a heart alone,
hollow moments filled
with unanswered questions,
of how the times might be
if not for absence,
that sure emptiness now—
so filled with all perfected memories
that only ancient absence may allow.

A new poem for the Poetry Pantry

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Your Story

©  Steve King
All rights reserved

Your story rose as from a nothing—
I had not been listening at first,
while, in the shadow,
you were seeing elsewhere.

Your words alone were present,
no other inflection lured—
not of body nor of voice.
I held no place in your recall,
though ringing in each dark solemnity,
cast in every word,
I recognized the same stubborn refrain
of ancient tones that I had ever sung:
orisons that long since ran a course,
musings of some other time,
a long forgotten then—
not now,
perhaps never again;
not distinctly yours or mine,
but strangely held a-common.

The song reminded
of so many things
that I had done,
or left undone,
or had myself undone.
My story strayed from your account
only in the small particulars,
the most discrete of circumstance.
You spun your airs
with things as real as dreams;
I held briefly these new-raised designs
as if they were my own—
reflections lingering patient,
wanting but the form of lost originals,
the shadows of an old intent,
to show themselves in full,
each a measure of some far desire
lapsing briefly to a memory.

I listened for small smiles,
or any mask for gladness
that might cling to nearby shades:
old and unused wishes
hung to ready view,
doubling back to frame
an unlived moment.

Some strange lovesong this shall be:
while you indulge each measure
of your distant melody,
you invoke full payment
of its harmony from me.

A new work for Poets United