Wednesday, July 17, 2024

A Winter's Eve

Snow falls on branches splayed like fingers,
falls on your dark hair, where it glistens
like a constellation drifting about your shoulders.

Icy stars are set like diamonds in the sky
of this dying year, though I don’t know why.
Perhaps your parted lips and silent breath

have chased away the clouds of this waking dream.
We are so much younger now,
the years having fallen away

as if someone had taken a lathe to time
and shaved away decades, day by day,
as we hold each other in a distant wood,

though I don’t where,
though I don’t know how.
Moonlight slides down the trunks of trees.

An owl hiding inside a hole in the thicket
tells us to kiss, and we do.
Despite the deep blue tones of a winter’s eve,

everything is new again, though not the same,
and the cold air in my lungs
is the energy and seamless soul of you.

The universe is reflected in your eyes,
all places, all things, all time,
but I know better than to question why.

I am content to remain in this moment
of death and rebirth, to rest within
a conversation that need not be spoken.

The evening is caught in time, is clear,
and we both know why,
and we both know why.

~William Hammett


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Monday, July 8, 2024

Wanderlust

From time to time I must leave that which I know,
the daily routines of rise and come and go,
the floorboards that have been worn to sand,
the stairs that connect a firm grasp of life
to rooms of sleep and drifting, dreamy weather.

I leave solid footing for a flippant, waving hand.
I must walk across a cold field of brown heather
past a fourteenth century Scottish castle of gray stones
that have been knocked into crooked, crenelated teeth,
an empty scull sans brain sitting on the gray jetty.

There, I wait for zephyrs to turn foreboding into fair,
time and tide that will lead me to a less familiar where.
The slim horizon is a mistress I must divide,
ocean from sky, piercing virginity waiting to die
so that I may relish the other side of should or would,

climb mountains and drink wide rivers running
from a range hidden by a mist of mystery’s cunning.
I must speak with grasslands and converse with pilgrims
who evolved during Pangea’s prehistoric slide.
I will speak with Ulysses, pluck the lyre into bacchanal,

and stroke the nape of Penelope’s ivory neck.
And when I have sampled the lexicon of constellations,
of Orion chasing animals always beyond his reach
or weaving deep desire from locks of maidenhair,
I shall return to my well-worn life of hanging hats in the hall

and listen to my chest rise and fall, rise and fall.
From time to time I do this because I must,
because the double helix unwinds into permutations
irresistible, wanton, wild, and rare,
magnets that sing, pull, and draw me into wanderlust.

~William Hammett


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