Poem: When

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When the flowers close up within themselves,

And only inside one’s mind can one find any

Color – when the whole world hushes itself

Into a charnel ground, and only in the flickering

Tempests of your imagination can the thunder

Of life be savoured

 *

When all has been reduced to rubble –

Every concert hall despoiled to silence;

When the only music left playing is a

Quiet nocturne by Chopin; the swan

Song of a piano, about to fall off the

Edge of the world

 *

When all molluscs and crustaceans return

To their shells; and even hearts turn themselves

Inside out to try and find a warm place to burrow.

 *

When the lungs of the world collapse,

And the seas lick their lips over the ruins

Of train tracks.

 *

When that immutable ‘WHEN’ withdraws

Inside its own thunder, and things come

To pass exactly as they were hoped

 *

When the last chord, of the last song,

Is played, but never quite dies away,

And the warm safety of resolution

Is held in eternal tension – a tension

That never lets up, perching on an

Impossible tomorrow, that, every

Minute, becomes more

Possible

*

When all of these things come to pass,

I will have lived through them more

Times than they ever flourished.

And the tension of bow string

Against violin, will never quite

Abate.

*

Then, my tension will no longer be

The pain of waiting; my pain will

Have soldered itself into different

Forms; my waiting will have

Transformed into Waiting’s Long

Lost Brother – the one who returned

A week ago, and is back living with

His mother.

 *

 

II.

No – I will tell you about my kind of

Waiting – the suspense of a kiss a

Thousand years in the making – that

Senseless suspense that sits on the axis,

Unfinished – all those pale victories

You never know if you’ll quite accomplish.

*

But, it will be accomplished. Though I

Sit in this pool of erosion, and build

Up mansions from the bones of corral;

Though The Great Barrier Reef still

Gets caught in my teeth, and I can

No longer tell sky from sand – it

Will be accomplished

 *

I will not let myself down.

*

III.

Yet, there is still that suspense:

That fear of touching what has

Never been touched – of plucking

A string that has never been plucked;

Of hearing a chord, that, until you’ve

Heard it, you can’t be certain won’t

Have the power to destroy you.

 *

But, when has the potential of destruction

Ever lured me from the danger of my dreams?

I am too in love with destruction; I have too

Much adoration of all that can assure me

That things will never be the same.

 *

For that is my greatest fear:

The horror of the familiar.

So I look on the world with

A new mind each day,

Killing and reviving in

Perpetuity.

 *

 

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