Canto II

A back story? Well sure, if you insist,
though I’ve a tendency to pad the tale
and in that mess the point is often missed.

A few years back, when I often sat still
and counted breaths to quiten the mind,
my later walking hours would all be filled

with revelations, epiphanies gleaned
from things I often dismissed as mundane.
So, trees became the boom of seed grenades

and when I strolled by elders I refrained
from judging them as past it or infirm—
for all the years they’ve been here they remained,

like all of us while our bodies stay warm,
the true born children of the universe
and stay that way throughout this fleeting term

as verbose bipeds on the planet earth.
And that’s what I felt when I heard the tale
from that old poet, bemoaning the dearth

of recognition for his villanelles
and free verse scrawlings of his eighty years.
I didn’t see a bitter, jaded male–

I saw somebody’s son, I saw a peer,
I saw a childhood friend, a schoolyard foe,
I saw my own regrets and petty fears,

I saw a man who was an embryo,
as tiny as a seed, so new to life
just like the child that has been newly sown

within the soft, brown belly of my wife.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. silasthorne
    Dec 08, 2011 @ 03:05:12

    Hi there Niall. I met you on Diaspora and now am slowly starting at the beginning of your epic. When you talk of the old man and his villanelles here, I can’t help bringing to mind Hayden Carruth: http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/poetry/atlpoets/carr9506.htm

    Reply

  2. peter litton
    Aug 04, 2012 @ 00:05:06

    I guess you saw his humanity.
    Is the constant struggle against the blood minded unfairness of life part of that humanity?

    Reply

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