Monday, July 8, 2024


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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