[lit-ideas] Thursday Poem

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 09:38:23 -0700




                 Coming in hugely 

                 In a ponderously winged cylinder

                 Through gardens of white flowers

                 Planted in mush,

                 I began groping furiously 

                 Toward awareness.


                 (In the in-flight movie,

                 The girl was torn

                 During the unfolding,

                 But when the handsome flier said 'good-bye,'

                 And she approached her husband, she cried

                 And still seemed torn.)


                 It requires precision

                 And yet allows for a certain

                 Uncertainty and thus

                 We went into a holding pattern

                 Over the London Bridge

                 Seeing it distantly again and again.


                 Falling out of a doze

                 My ears cleared to hear

                 The weather was nice and warm,

                 The breeze was fresh and cool,

                 And those who were going on

                 Should stay on board.


                 There was something

                 I must have dreamed

                 About a world of blue fields

                 And time immense enough 

                 To walk in 

                 And be content.


                 The lanes narrowed into one

                 And we stopped beside a sign

                 Which forbade stopping anytime,

                 Crept on through the moments

                 (The plane was airborne once again

                 Climbing to 30,000 feet.),


                 Crept beside the clipped fresh lawns,

                 Filled with uncertainty;

                 Now that we are home,

                 Can we take in hand

                 The oven door, the backyard broom,

                 The phone book with the names of all our friends?


                 (I dreamt hugely as a giant ape,

                 Hand over hand scaling

                 A precipice, but weight pulled me down

                 Until swinging back I am once again

                 In the dark cave with endless

                 Unknown creatures scurrying aside.


                 They all fear me, for who

                 Would dare my giant hairy hand,

                 But I feel unsettled

                 And look furtively from side to side

                 Testing the ground before I move,

                 Grunting a mild challenge,


                 Reaching out at last to touch

                 The soft arm of my sleeping wife

                 And hurtle the miles back into bed.)

                 My head aches (I've been away again).

                 I sigh (inwardly withdrawing my challenge)

                 Feeling the awkwardness of awakening.

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