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Friday, 27 January 2012

he ceases to exist

Every evening he passes
shoulders hunched,
catching the orange lamplight
in tiny slivers
that might be koi carp drowning in the air,
the steel studs
of long outmoded boots
striking bright sparks from the stones.

His head hangs slightly down
and slightly angled, gives the sense
of a head not properly in place.
Even so,
he hums or whistles tunes that speak
of happiness - and even joy.
And no one knows the least of him:
whither he comes or goes.

Times without number - or success -
the local youths have followed him,
seen him turn in at The Albany Gate -
the last they'd see of him until next day,
the field beyond the gate
as empty as a liar's promise.
Stones and poor grass would be there.
Nothing else
but the high cliff and the sea beyond
and the blue sky, always blue,
and hung there like a promise of sweet love.

No one has ever seen him walking back.
He only ever walks one way,
turns in at the one gate
and there between the road and the high cliff
he ceases to exist.

15 comments:

Karen said...

This is wonderful, Dave!

haricot said...

I remembered my dead friend who liked walking and thinking properly, and disliked side journey. Straightforward and calm.

Brian Miller said...

fascinating...to see him only walking one way...kids would def pick up on something like that...a strange peace to your verse...

Carl said...

Nice Dave - I am reminded of the Leatherman from new england who walked a circular route passing through the same towns on the same day each year. Yours has a daily cycle to it though.

Kittie Howard said...

Beautiful. Perhaps the peace comes from the cycle.

Williamz JungleJuice said...

Greetings once again pics and poems.I suspect the mystery man personifies Hope in a never ending challenge for meaning in a world essentially devoid of purpose. There is a barren sadness in this poem which resonates with a supreme loneliness. Still, I love it! Forgive my comment if it is misconstrued.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The theme for our writers' group next Wednesday Dave is a Ghost Story or poem. This would be perfect - wish you were a member of the group!

kaykuala said...

Great story Dave! A twist to a ghost story. Walking in a direction yet seemingly without direction!

Hank

Rachna Chhabria said...

Wonderful, Dave. I can literally visualize him walking under the street lamp.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Echoes of Wallace Stevens with this great one way ticket into the blue!

Impressive poem conveying mystery and openness.

Windsmoke. said...

Reminds me of someone traveling through time and space in a worm hole :-).

Rose said...

Brilliant write = I love 'catching the orange lamplight that might be koi carp drowing in the air' and 'the field beyond the gate as empty as a liar's promise.' And I love the joy of the mysterious man = just love it :D Very well written

Rachel Cotterill said...

Having read the title, I felt a strange sort of tension as I read this one, waiting to see what would unfold. In the end it was less sinister than my imaginings! An enjoyable read :)

HyperCRYPTICal said...

A beautiful peaceful write - and I am glad that he is happy as he walks towards his place of comfort.

Anna :o]

Dave King said...

Karen
Much thanks, much appreciated.

haricot
Hope my poem gave you only good memories. Thanks for telling.

Brian
I agree re the kids. Interesting last phrase. Gratifying that you thought so. Thanks.

Carl
I don't think I know about the Leatherman - though it rings a very distant bell somewhere in my memory. Must look him up.

Kittie
Hi! A warm welcome to you and thanks for the observation. Yes, regularity does bring a peace of its own.

Williamz
Not misconstrued. I hadn't particularly seen hima s a figure of hope, but do see where that might arise. The search for meaning in a world that may well be devoid of purpose, though, was certainly in my thoughts. Pleasing to me that you should find a barren sadness.

The Weaver of Grass
Ah, I too wish I lived close enough to be a member, but I shall think of you all and look forward to hearing of the proceedings.

Hank
Very well put. I like it. Thanks.

Rachna
I take that as a great compliment. Thank you for it.

Tommaso
Eeee! I hadn't thought of Wallace Stevens. Thanks for the nudge.

Windsmoke
I wonder now... maybe!

Rose
Thank you so much for all this. A great fillip!

Rachel
Ah, now this is an interesting comment. I think it is the thing I find hardest of all: choosing the title for a piece, whether it be prose or verse, so very many thanks. All comments gratefully received.

HyperCRYPTICal
Thanks for this. Yes, for some unknown reason I flt that to be essential.