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.


Roger Stevens said...

Good to see you're still with the comic muse. How's life treating you?

Roger Stevens said...

Whoops. I meant to write poetic muse.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi Roger! It is great to see you. I'm fine but busy teaching. I have a large chapbook of my early poems now looking for a publisher. That is also keeping me rather busy at the moment. I mentioned you in the Acknowledgement Page by the way. I'll be happy to send you a copy if you'd like to see what I said. Just let me know.

I hope all is well with you. I hope your latest book has been a rousing success. Best to you, my old friend.

ozymandiaz said...

hey Russel
I guess eternity isn't all its cracked up to be, eh?
Anyhow, I have the meme up finally.

Russell Ragsdale said...

It is an interesting question: what would one have to do during eternity so that it would be at least tolerably interesting. Can't wait to see what you posted, my old friend. I'm on the way over to look at it!

S.L. Corsua said...

On a hiatus, Russell? I've missed reading your poems (during my 4-month break), so I'm here to do some catching up. Loved the reference to Odysseus, him being my most favorite adventurer of all; I could clearly see him where you've placed him in this poem. ;) Hoping you are well and happy. Cheers.

Roger Stevens said...

Children's books doing well - Why Otters Don't Wear Socks... Still haven't got around to my grown-up poem book. Busy, busy, busy.

You should read some poems on You Tube. Dead easy. Just point a cam corder at yourself and off you go.
Check out
Good stuff.

Keep in touch.

Roger Stevens said...

Or put happy2oblige into You Tube search.


Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Hi Russel,
lovely poem

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Are you Ok Russel I heard there'd been a earthquake near you now I'm worrying

Zee said...

"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"

I must say I can relate to this! I found you through S.L. Corsua's blog and I intend to see more of your work, past and future.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi s.l. corsua! I'm glad you liked this. It is a major theme for me and I'm also a big fan of Odysseus. Welcome back and thanks for the great comment!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi again Roger! Thanks for that tip. That is one of my projects I plan for the future. Thanks for thinking of me my dear old friend!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi Sue! I'm glad you liked this! Yes, unfortunately I've been in the hospital but I recovering. I've been out of touch but I'm so happy to have heard from you. You are a wonderful dear old friend and I can't wait to visit your blog again and see some of your wonderful poetry again. Thanks for your concern and best wishes to you.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi Zee! I'm glad you found me and I am equally looking forward to find you. If you enjoy S. L. Corsua, you have exqusite taste. Thanks for that enthusiastic comment and you are always welcome here.

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

So glad to hear from you I was really worried thanks for the lovely comment on my blog