Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Reflection on our Own Mortality, Engendered by the Onset of the Autumnal Season

Your dreams are dark, your dormant mind submerged
In oceans black and far from earthly shores.

Wake up, and shower, dress yourself and go.
Step out into the world.  The leaves are falling.
The west wind drives a motley bunch, of red
and yellow, faded from their springtime green.
And time is short before the winter chill
will grind them, brown and soft, into the earth.

The sky is blue, and blank; the air is cold;
you dress yourself against the chill.  The sun
is pale, and yellow, distant, here and gone
             And so this day, empty, shall form,
with many other solemn winter hours
(frosty starlight, by the smoldering fire),
a crumbling bulwark, fencing out the thought:

that thus has stalked you in your bed asleep.
And with each passing breath, you know your head
will shrink, and wrinkle, waxing grey, and then

Copyright 2005 by Ike Wassom.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Remembering the summer of 2008. For Jacob.

As rhythmic as the heartbeat of the world,
Cicadas sing the ceaseless shining light
Of stars who in their joyous dance have twirled
Before our time, above our ken, untouched by blight.
The shadowed treeline, unseen leaves unfurled
Blots out the stars: the sheerest edge of night
Where deepest black of the terrestrial
Abuts against the glory most celestial.

The whisperings of the ancient woods that loom
And bend their creaking, murmuring branches down
Around my father's house, by night, assume
A wind-borne woodland speech that lacks both verb and noun.
The dense and darkly brooding sylvan gloom
Once reached from here to where the breakers sound;
Through open bedroom windows in long-lost springs
It whispered old and wild and long-forgotten things.

I ask myself what rest a buck can find
In those eternities when lightnings crash:
A moment white, electrical and blind
With flailing, dripping foliage frozen in the flash.
Do they lay down on beds of settled pine
While Heaven's cannons boom and pound and smash
The ground, reducing trees to flying splinters,
Casting earthward shadows of their branching antlers?

I faced the trees, and she, the house; we sat
Together on my car and breathed the calm
Night air, and I caressed her, our half-wild cat,
Her feline fur beneath my hairless primate palm.
We hailed from different spheres, and that was that,
And yet we shared a seat without a qualm;
We knew (in different ways) the Up Above,
And shared an understanding, something much like love.

The trees around my building are controlled
From sapling up; they're pruned and trimmed and healed
Of willfulness, roots locked in asphalt's hold,
Beneath the awful gaze of towers of glass and steel.
The rules that govern us have left me cold,
As well, our chase of things that are not real;
Somewhere, the human enterprise went bad.
Long winter months have passed since I have seen my dad.

Copyright 2013 by Ike Wassom.  All rights reserved.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Night Sweats: A Ballad

I thought that I had lost you love
That some years back you'd died
In darkest silence you lay sleeping
And all my tears were cried

I thought the nighttime took you love
The moon flashed bone-white grin
And blew a black wind all around you
That rotted off your skin

It's just a fevered dream my dear
A burning freezing chill
Convulsive shivering pounding head
Close stifled air too still

It's just to be expected dear
Everything must end
For loss is life's eventual cost
My best, my dearest friend

It's just that I can't see you dear
I want to see you so
Roll over let me see your face
Once more before I go

I thought that I had died my love
And left you all alone
I sank into the utter black
Down to the deep unknown
Copyright 2013 by Ike Wassom.  All rights reserved.