Himself A Poet

Himself A Poet long poem

Photo by rockmixer

Sitting in a cushioned chair in his
living room, absurdly comfortable,
while he reads Georg Trakl’s late poems,
the old man, himself a poet,
drifts into a shallow sleep.

He is alone in that place
of Being, where desire and dream
reflect each other, interchange
characteristics, assume
their true amorphous

dimensions, as they flow
together, create a wide delta
which further combines them,
and finally enter the vast
solvent of the inner ocean.

The currents roiling just
beneath the surface calm
of any great ocean’s
infinitely rolling waves,
tumbling, twisting,

trap the old poet deeper
within the oceanic curve
of sleep. Now he will move
as if he were a creature native
to those depths, tumbling, twisting.

Deeper into sleep he plunges
unconscious but willing
to surrender to these massive
currents. A hue and cry
will be required to restore

him, whole and cogent, to
that familiar place where light
reveals desire and dream to be
things separate from each other,
each existing apart in lonely splendor.

If speech were possible (wishes will
suffice), he would summon desire
to his presence, certain she
is the embodiment of his vision.
She is the Muse he worships.

He is the poet she blesses,
and having blessed him, she
moves on to other tasks, more
pressing than making an old man
sing and dance in the voice and rhythms

of a young man. Such is desire.
It is ever of the past,
it clings to things already known,
even loved, things that brightest eyes
have held steady in passionate regard:

fingers wrapped around a flower
stem, palms moist with sudden
warmth, lips tender from hard
kisses, hands sore from writing
poem after poem. Such is

desire in its natural condition . . .
What of dream? It has
never existed, nor will it. It is
always the very age and
body of the time, and once indulged

it slips into shadows, exhausted,
spent, to restore its freshness.
It sleeps throughout days and nights,
waking briefly to listen for
the Muses’s distant harmony, when

soul and body, fully awakened,
will turn into a wild soul
and a boisterous body. Together
they will animate the aroused poet,
versed in vernacular, released in spontaneity.

The old poet in the cushioned chair
stirs, slowly awakes, leans forward
and retrieves the Trakl volume which
had fallen from his grasp as he slept.
He opens the at random, and reads:

“I lay beneath the old willow,
the blue heaven above me was full of stars.”

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Daniel Brick

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I was born in the Twin Cities and lived my whole life here. As I look back on the many opportunities I had to live elsewhere I must conclude this is where I am rooted, near the Mississippi River, in a landscape of four seasons with many trees and parks and lakes. These are the natural things I treasure. Poetry, both reading and writing, and classical music are my two passions. Over the years most of my friends have moved to warmer climates. so in old age I find myself to be something of a loner. But I have a talent for solitude, and my extended family is very close. It's very important to me to read poems of other poets at a site like highonpoems. Through my comments I want to help their creativity and nudge them forward as poets. This is at least as important as having people read my poems and give me feedback. Language was given to human beings so they could make creative use of it; it must be respected and never used for debased or evil purposes. It is a sacred trust. Everywhere I witness language misused in advertising, politics, entertainment, daily usage, etc. It is my goal to create beautiful language in my poems so that people can appreciate the wonder of it. This is definitely a personal view; I am not here to impose my views on others, but to learn from their creativity how to increase mine. This is a two way exchange, and in the process of sharing poems we have a wonderful foundation for friendships.
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4 Comments on "Himself A Poet"

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I maybe should have read something of Georg Trakl, before commenting, but I always hated seeing a film befor I read the book, or vis versa. I am afraid the yoga master stopped the running of my own mind and now it is automatic to be in controll.
After reading this your poem I am pondering a few things, for instance when I do much revision on a poem
of my own, the essence goes, its lost, so whole poem is shredded.
Now you have encouraged me to try letting the pen of mine have its head to and see what transpires.
Your poem itself was sheer joy to read and re-read too. A master of his art comes to mind.
I am smiling now.


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