Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, February 24, 2013

waiting for thunder

by Ben Adams

images flash in the mind
like silent lightening
left waiting for the thunder

(these words echo thus)

remnants of an unconstricted world
swirling black-water beneath
a speckled moon
minor chords whisper from islands in the night:
from the chaos, then, this tune—

(that is you)
is that you I see?
or your shadow, or your ghost?
your voice I hear, but muffled
as though some door had just swung closed

what does it matter, anyhow?
what did it matter
then, or now?

(it matters what is lost)

that which is chaos—
curious energy formed
from place, and time, and naming:

the lightening joined, then, by a rumble
and this for the explaining

this, which is
cold rain, and winter
expression paralysed
and splintered

this, which is for then, forever—
what does it matter, anyhow?
what does it even matter.

(it matters, it matters, the thunder said)

to wake upon a stranger’s bed—
to know them well, their hair, their skin
to know their name but not your own
the weight of all the worlds brought down
better, then, to wake alone?

amid the ash, and fractured bone
to feel a trembling in the pre-dawn air
the fluttering wings of birds entombed

(creatures trapped, by time’s march caught)

remnants of the daylight world,
the big sky world—
its hidden weight now pressing down
upon the stones upon their backs
their wings hemmed in, their voices drowned

remnants of an unrefracted world
that did not see itself in glass
or pass some half familiar face
and never break its stride

(the lightning flashes by our eyes)

what does it matter, life
or death—
all turns to ash, and sand, and earth

(it matters what is lost)

and this, the cost,
the holding back—
the muffled voice of someone else:
the knowledge that there was no need
for what we spoke, or thought, or felt

(it matters     it matters)

remnants only
remnants of
remnants just of something else
formed in words, in time, in blood
imagined thunder, what we felt

(and what was lost)

I remember     I remember
     I remember swirling water
I remember crashing rain
I remember you the same

lightning flashes by our eyes
images before our eyes
waiting for the noise of thunder
with the rain collapsing
at our feet—

but the thunder
does not come, and then
it is too late.     it is too late.

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