This is an old poem and in honor of the New Year I am posting it here. It is a personal favorite and I am quite proud of it. I love in large part because it reminds me of New England and autumn and another less complicated time in my life.
Starting from Uxbridge in the Blackstone Valley scenic home of the Freinds Meeting House and winding country roads that paint a picture of serenity, where deer meet by the side of the road on frozen winter nights and shots from hunter’s guns are echoed on crisp autumn mornings, here the early summer mist collects on leaves of tall trees that are rooted in a millennium of growth.
I once held your hand on long Sunday drives and felt the warm sun on my knees as we drank lemonade and hoped for a future that we both feared and expected at the same time, we looked to discern the faith of churches but turned our gazes away due to angry misunderstandings, I chose to ignore the sacraments that would have brought God to us and for far to long I believed that my image of divinity was the most correct of all and of all the times I could have done better I chose to leave you crying
Now on those sleepless nights I try to remember that we are better than we once were, good enough to approach God ‘s altar and ask him to wrap us into his embrace and never allow us to look back since his victory requires moving to the present, over old steel bridges spanning the water that flows endlessly without interruption to the sea all the time noticing it’s scenery of trees and it’s history written into old stone fences.
Can anyone be better for you than me? Lifting up hands and hiding your form over the span of my life that continues and continues until the passage of death, remember all the time that we have walked and grown from beyond the confines of New England until now, only from you and back to me with angry haste and expectations that form a tight line between what we expect and what really happens, still I observe and watch and listen to the sounds of the woods, I listen to the beat of the wings of birds.
She sleeps and waits with her eyes to look and see what will happen next, to greet the smells of chimneys that is fueled by felled trees, to hear the sounds of the iron bridge that plays the notes of the wind that blows through this town, from memories of the view of the Hudson from the Tappan Zee to the space of the paved street that was once covered by snow and now sits under the hot summer sun, to the fire pit now cool under the morning dew but whose ashes still hold the syllables to stories coming up from the wind and circling my father’s house like messengers from other decades, to the ponds and river that carry along on endless looping trips that are guided by the hand of God, to the sacraments offered in remembrance of him who has come and will come again, to the scenes of infant baptisms in the water and new birth of spirit that is echoed in the cries of the baby and in the essence of the creator, to births and deaths and longings of old and young men and women whose advice I need and listen to as I watch them to on with their lives telling stories in their movements and painting pictures with the focus of their eyes.
I constantly set out for new paths and always remember my destinations and keep in mind that there is more than one way to get there, the stone steps that lead to the door, the path well worn in the grass that goes to the deck and the French door off the kitchen, I remember the steps that led to my apartment where the Christmas trees were brought in and then out leaving their needles on the stairs, the route home that avoids the highways and it us on a curving road that is framed by woods and old houses that look as if they long to be back among a simpler, quieter time, driving around corners and down long dusty roads that are closed in winter and are so much fun to ride down in summer and then walking in the Rockville words to the Protestant Chapel to eat lunch and then home team away the afternoon at Ghost Pond, I tried to find different trails on summer afternoons and have kept their secrets and stories and have never revealed what they have taught me, inner long haired, bearded poets in those woods whose words were written in the grass as the winds swept over it, I have seen women dancing in the moonlight and expressing their feminine side in moves that express creation and strength, I have heard and created songs born of divinity that remain in my heart and wait to be sung from mountain tops.
I have reminisced with my lover under moonlit White Mountain skies that shine even now, I have known her pleasures and made freinds with her smile as we walked hand in hand building a house for our daughter and more under one roof, as I walk on the trees sing restless songs to be found later on in the rings of their growth.
Setting off in the morning after the sun came up a hawk made her way into the edge of the woods, I followed and wished I had her flying view and difference between my world and hers, I wandered down meandering paths stepping over ancient stones and walls built long ago, at noon I went home and along the way I wrote rhymes in my head and promised myself I would finish them later, I walked with purpose continuing in my thoughts, uninterrupted and content with the world around me.
Starting from Uxbridge to here and now noticing everything that goes on around me, I remember all of those words that have passed between us and of all of those words the love that we share is the best, I will never compare things from before to things of now and will always remember how now is so much better, I mingle with the happiest times and live there with deep roots that drink in the fuel of life and then in turn pass it on to my daughters, I believe that there is being never enough time to say everything that needs to be said so I will tell them every chance I get about deep secrets and what I think about where they are going.
In a summer thunderstorm the winds swirl around and around with the leaves stripped from trees as if they carry the news of the day and throw it around to see where it lands, from lonely, one person rooms people watch by candle light in order to wait out the storm and reminisce about other days and the days to come once this day passes by, as the night settles in the clouds that brought the rain now give way to strong moonlight as if the sky is smiling in its calm and new found serenity.
At home I take in all that I have seen and heard and I fight the urge to read my poems out loud through the screen door to the empty back yard as if someone was there to hear it, I take great pride in wondering about tomorrow and the past at the same time that I retreat into moods of somber, reflective newness that comes and goes and lives through me and passes on to those lives are entwined with mine and those hearts that beat in synchronicity with mine.
Those hearts beat as if we share sacraments in silent yet beautiful rituals that end in a naked embrace warmed by the early morning sun through th window.
The seasons change as a result of the tilt of the earth and show new lines on my face but I believe that my eyes still look young and my heart yearns for communion with the tremors of things that have become the past.
The sinews of that small town that seems so calm and collcted along lonely roads where landscapes are accented by changing seasons and winds from different directions.
Driving those roads has brought me a serenity that I rarely find to be real, I enjoy the rare moments that I have been able to carry with me and wear them wrapped around me like a blanket that keeps me grounded and moving in one direction, a direction that seems to most to be not that loud but to me is true to the sounds of carefully adjusted beliefs that I content myself as being infinitely familiar and strongly bonded to.
It is true that I carry burdens unknown but I treat them as intimate companions.