Angel Of The Solitudes

Angel Of The Solitudes prose poem

Uploaded by Bill Peeler


She exists in the body, a visual myth
Materializing out of stone
A solitary figure carefully etched
Into the mind’s eye, breathing
Brooding, testing the air for its secrets
Tasting the wind for things to come

She is to my knowledge angelic and ambiguous
An uncelebrated being who moves among humans
Enraptured with the heart’s futility
Entranced by its vast empty rooms
And high vaulted ceilings longing
To be filled with impossible goods
Desperate to possess incorruptible joys

This in itself is miraculous
And yet strangely mundane
Appearing as she does, in the moment
Both unreachable and earth-bound
Living at bus stops and underpasses
On the edge of woodlands
Or in fields of autumn stubble

She occupies unpeopled places, too
Tracing the steps of the lost
Searching for their souls
For things abandoned along the way
Scattered with the litter of wasted years
And broken aspirations

She combs through pastures gone to seed
Grown wild with thistles and thorns
And thick with Queen Anne’s lace
She scans the sky for a vision, examines
The flight of geese for omens
As the sun deepens to red then dims to dusk
Disappearing in a haze of distant hills

When twilight flickers with the first stars
At the start of a long and wind-swept night
You can hear her voice in the solitudes
In the chirping of crickets, the chorus of frogs
Blending her song with the harmonies
Of nocturnal creatures retelling our stories
Of tattered dreams and lost fortunes

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Bill Peeler

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My wife, Noy and I are Protestant missionaries in Cambodia. We met in a border refugee camp in Thailand back in 1979 while I was a refugee relief worker. She was a refugee. I lived and worked in Mairut Refugee Camp for three years. We have three grown kids. I was drafted into the Army in 1969, served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and honorably discharged at the end of my military obligation. Writing prose and poetry is how I document the life I'm living and how I map out the mental landscape inside my head.
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An expressive delineation of a feeling so common and yet so alien in our consciousness. For indeed, solitude ransacks our brain for joys enjoyed and grief bewailed. It is in moments of recollection that the feats and glories are again brought up to regale our mirth, but alas when misfortunes and adversities do come up, grief will spring waiting to be consoled.

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