Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I just stopped by this morning

I just stopped by this morning,
wheels crunching slowly on gravel,
to see again through a lifting fog,
this dear old meadow
where we took down the fences
and piled the wood.

Once, I thought, we'd never leave.
Use the old boards for a cabin
on the far side of the field
near the two trees,
gnarled oak, straight pine,
away from highway noise,
watch the sky, tell our tales,
and hold each other forever.

Now I lean against the car for a moment,
straining to catch your voices, your songs,
among the wild flowers we used to pick,
hearing mostly the distant hum of tires
on the Interstate behind me up the rise.

I'll be late today. I don't care.
When I first began to drive it again,
smiling, waving, promising,
I swore that I would not fail, on this commute,
to stop and see you, or at least drop a postcard
in our secret spot, and check for one of yours.

I watch a single butterfly, first of spring,
and sadly note that
sometimes now
I'm fifteen disconcerted miles beyond the exit
before I even remember this place.

The smile I wear this morning is sad.
The early mist is thick. I cannot see you all
though I know you are out there
still romping in high grass.

It's very strange. The metal of my car
feels hard and sleek and real
against the knuckles of clenched hands.

So different from soft welcome of
the warm humid air of this familiar place.
And yet I feel like a ghost.

I just stopped by this morning to say
I miss you.


  1. thanks once again for sharing your gift!

  2. Touching. We all have those places we can go back to where sweet memories sit ... waiting. As I read of yours, I meandered back to mine. Thanks Mark.

  3. This is wonderful.
    Hey BB! XXX

  4. I hate that when it happens, I wrote a nice, clever, apropos comment and blogger 'wasn't able to meet my required action' sounds like a premature ejaculation apology after a one night stand. I wrote something like this….
    I was almost afraid to read what you’d written after seeing your header photo but the poem though somewhat sad and melancholy is beautiful nonetheless. As all your writing it has many layers and many meaning to be interpreted. A few possibilities; looking for a loved one lost, or looking for a self lost, or more superficially – looking for blogger pals lost. If it is the last one then you haven’t lost us – we are still back at the old homestead waiting for your return.

  5. Your poem reminds me of the years we spent in the little town of Powassan, the friends we made and the promises we would stay in touch.

    How soon that all slipped away.

  6. Barry captured the feeling in his response. This is a lovely poem and the sad regret will stay with me all day.

  7. Oh - I'm so excited to see a poem from you again. Especially since I went to a writers' workshop this past weekend, poetry manuscript in hand, for a group critique. I've got poetry on the brain! The best advice for poets I got was "trust the details."

  8. Great job. You look awfully pale in your header but your brain is circulating the O2 for sure.

  9. I love how your poem has so many possible interpretations. I think there is a clue in your pale header. Ginger has touched on my thoughts but I don't think there is any possibility you have lost your self.

  10. Lovely, melancholic poem, Mark. I've been looking forward to reading your posts, and it's nice to see the different sides of you. B & B are fun, but not everything.

  11. Now that is one of the best things you've written. I can relate, my friend. I want a signed copy sent to me: To Patty from your favorite poet, among other things.

    You really need to write a poetry book and get it in your Barnes and Noble store - local artist's section. I'll come to the book signing.

    I was going to wait until the second week in May to leave the paper, but I am now officially retired. I bought a negative scanner and got the itch.

    I put up a skeleton blog a few months ago and have been going through my Third World photos, as well as other photos - gas for 79 cents a gallon? Anyway, I have only posted one photo because I have thousands of negs to go through. I don't even have a banner yet.

    I know you will appreciate the non-town photos I will posting, so check out my new blog from time to time. It will take me about a week to get anything substantial going. There is house cleaning to do - photojournalists don't have time to clean house - and editing negs takes so much time, as you well know.

    Check me out at: http://my-fav-photos.blogspot.com/

    I will still be promoting the town on my other blog, maybe even have time for some Friday shoot outs. Whoo hoo!

  12. I think what you said made a bunch of sense. But, consider this, what if you were to create a awesome headline?
    I ain't saying your information is not solid, however suppose you added a post title that grabbed folk's attention?
    I mean "I just stopped by this morning" is a little plain.
    You could look at Yahoo's front page and note how they create article headlines to grab viewers to click. You might add a related video or a pic or two to grab people interested about what you've written.
    Just my opinion, it could bring your posts a little livelier.

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