Friday, August 15, 2008


I do not know how it calls

but I bounce off what I'm doing

and float on the words

the world is changed and gone away

the time that ticks so viciously

means exactly the next moment

and all those things that mean

there is nothing else and yet

gratefully it gathers in a grey ball

of thread and does not unravel

hangs there more motionless

than any illusion and the word

is the only motion I know

moving but carrying no twigs or branches

no leaves no gum wrappers

and there are no markers

that time could count

it was his special journey

everything had become indistinct

the war was it won or lost

his home his children

the house the cities with

order and direction roads to travel

these were thoughts that

tumbled endlessly

a washing machine in orbit

weightless cleaning nothing

everything tumbling

meaninglessly forever

maybe this is Circe

for whom he had searched unknowingly

but there were so many of them

each with their own

special enchantments

the magic of an oriental bazaar

the song of many temptresses

locked on land

trapped in offering trivial dangers

wasted songs tempting the

shipwrecked already of departed souls

pirates confused by bureaucracy

seeking plunder from empty ships

this and nights in the heat

and cold made dreamlike

with passion and slow lilting music

that stretches endlessly

without ever growing thin and dangerous

there is so much of it

and it is as if he was happy

thinking nothing of deep thoughts

dark swift dangerous

not watching running aground

on bars which you can't miss

with neon lights like beacons

head for the lighthouse

to save you with

night on the rocks

actually looking for it to end

but finding you must do it

over and over

this is the long of it

when time has gone away

and Odysseus lounges

on the endless sand

of an oceanless beach

drinking fragrant tea in bowls

and wondering

if he will ever

stop eternity grown to sameness

(First published in Autumn Leaves, volume 12(15), August 1, 2008

This poem is copyright © 2008, Russell Ragsdale, all rights reserved.