suspended among time
 ©1970, 1999 richard chilton

richard chilton


to be be or heard, or cuddl’d as a guest of morning marc jonas knew of his time, and knew of his task to bear weight of the message, of triumph.  how soon, in his wait 'fore june did he stare at the door (reminiscing of sir thomas more) a man affront this wooden altar set softly aside in the greys (graves of the businessmen) or hollow'd-out molds of the self-babblin,' american self.  and textur'd speech, forget-me-nots pattern'd over salutations address'd to Woman, cloth'd as they are in flesh and music and sundial faces (changing shadows of the afternoon) and bluegrass hyped from the typewriter's pickings in the fields . . . jonas,

on the marc pressed closer to the street from his window laden 'cross a manhole cover and raised his thumb before the hitch which rang the bell to summon the man who reach'd the knob that open'd the door (for those outside the office care enough not to enter within her jonas) on the marc
                         now
                                 informally sitting
                         Woman, watch the spotlight
                                                                     throw
                         such fresh, after rain shadows
                                                                        against
                         the off-white lecture walls
                         and imagine the words being
                         spoken to be winter leaves for the
                                                                              trees

                         held for all eternity
                         in the recognizing clasp of reunion

once, while trekking a lonely roadway above the magical color of berkley and beyond, i paused, as would an occasional motorist perhaps, before a wall fashioned the stone of european tradition and, like travelers in old austria, listened intently to the age within and the night without, not caring in particular what sound i heard nor even whether sound mattered at all.  It was as though i were suspended among time, brought to the edge of morning at the darkest, most silent hour, and stood trembling both in fear and anxious yearning before the sun's a-rising aye, on the crest of dawn.  And i thought the flickering city lights to be as the lengthening shadows of sunset most brilliant now in her contrast of orange and smoky threads that which seams together a clothing to cover us all. 

and the voice of' dawn arose and I fell back afraid of her presence, but she bid me stay and cried from one, lowly perch amid the sky, one short, brisk, muted note from the lost instrument within the orchestra, a whispering light from the shores of alcatraz in soft, simple, murmuring tones, 
                          'we first americans 
                                      have yet to be freed.'

                          if jazz 
                          be that creature abominately
                          narrow, how sure you court her patience
                          within each whistle and determined 
                          beat, how crisp and contorted fly 
                          the insolent blues drawn too sharply from 
                          one’s sorcerer hand, how swift the
                          river carries her children off 
                          in rich and humble peace

                          weave me
                          a song, you player of merciless
                          dawn, and send a whimper past the 
                          rocky shore, forgetting not the mountain
                          storm clasped tightly to your breast, or
                          the smile tearlessly born of a child's
                          breath, or terse nightcries from a
                          moonshine band 

                                                     heed the kindly Woman's dance, in her twisted form the pale echo to a darkening sky leaps and wanders about in dreary compliance, sacrifice to the popular meal, but all too eager for the grappling charm of the trumpet, the drummer, the commentary and ever-present master of sorrow,

                         or so
                         the flute laughs

 

 


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