SECTION SIX
POETRY PAGE ONE

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COLUMN NINETY-THREE, JUNE 15, 2003
(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)

HOW THE POET SLIPS FROM LIGHT TO SHADE

The story told of how he turns requires art.
Yet couples laugh and have another drink. So what? 
They take a day's security instead of what is just.
If he did not accept the gift of words he too 
could curse or babble in the street, a life misspelt. 
And even then, someday his mind may melt.

Why must his spirit ride on rails of bitterness? 
He could simply move from bright particulars, 
to station sweetly in the frozen universe,
then marry history by literature's embrace.
Once full and blond, his hair now thins to gray. 
His humble house will soon be just a house of clay. 

The broken heart lets go, its rose perfume is spilt. 
No need to mop it up. Eternity will be its fill. 
Just as a shuttered room wings open by degree 
to balance with the night, so do his days assume 
that bed of grace the widow and the orphan keeps. 
They say he'll pass alone for that is how he sleeps.  ##

* * *

THE POET WALKS ALONG THE BEACH

When asked what lies beyond the hills, the guide
replied, "Just more hills." So like the young
to proffer wisdom and yet not know. Now, alone,
he sees the sun's last fire above the line that sea
and sky define to make a subtle bow of pastel blue.
Later, comes the fog, then to the bar for drinks.

The classic elements of fire, earth, water and air
assemble here along with echoes of the ancient arts.
Ahead, are footprints of some couple, let's suppose,
then froth from off the waves glides up to smooth
the sand that is the tan of adolescent flesh,
oiled and waiting for a hand to kneed it into sleep.

He has a room alone. The windows face the sea.
The sound of gulls and the rush of waves issues
through the curtains that stumble in the breeze.
They set a bowl of fruit on the table by the balcony--
grapes, a pineapple, bananas, just this reminds
him of a name and the daring words of his desire.

He wonders at those hours recalled, as melodies
drift up from dancers by the pool, and laughing
children with wet feet skip down the tiled hall.
After roasted duck with demi glace, merlot as red
as blood, and the aura of a vision beyond their scope,
he writes, "The rarest love is empty of all hope." ##

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