Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Peter Thompson


               Words Arrive

Words arrive at a spillway of loss
slip toward me and away
A friend writes of loss
Words arrive
each falls away irretrievably
drifts among sad companions

Words serial yet failing to link
and I am made public
Alone I am shorn of them
so it is conveyed to others
Indignation so great it is public
The edge of fate swung wide
in a gathering place
it leaves us all throatless

A pain so great you scramble
to find him in it
and it comes off less as my friend
than as sorrow’s canny translation
A thing never spoken so how
is this his voice
what is still to learn

A loss that is written
Words were they poem or
letter or notes to be read in a church
hauled themselves hunched and glinting
through all of these
any of these
signaling a permanence
a scandal clothed and accompanying
they can never address again

Are they the tare weight
or the heavy thing itself?
His metaphors superseded
further signs revolving into view
And with this new failing
my own fall forward

A solace not imagined
and not asked
A gift imagined
and with daring
never given

A child hauls truth
from a point in the sky
A man is left with paint
that refuses to dry
We are left with our footsteps
and words which bump confusedly
Words scratching in the air
boons to each other
hung in the sere meandering

in the sky now draped at our door

© Peter Thompson


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