Energy Pulsating on Shelves
Who will relive lives in my hundreds of books
when I have read my last chapter, final stanza;
narrators, characters, voices major and minor,
luckless, dwelling in mouldering hotels,
itinerants jumping freights, thin coat collars up,
staring through sparks at spectres of their past?
What about those, wild blooms pressed to breasts,
swept by desire after fleeing a tainted liaison,
when I am no longer around to cherish them?
Minimalists’ economy hovers,
chance, sudden swerves producing electric tension,
my bookmark kept waiting, waiting again
until I discover why characters do the things they do.
Won’t somebody see headlights pierce a quiet street,
win at the track, regret by a grave, wear a uniform,
try to light a trembling fire in an arctic waste,
play a guitar plugged into feedback frenzy,
swear pacts, fail, embark on fateful journeys,
bump into unimagined strangers, changed forever?
Out early striding fast, you deviate on a whim to follow
a previously overlooked sign to the boardwalk
fording the lake’s eastern arm, low sun already bright.
No way back now, mindset to hew to this vast wetland
rippling for miles of a higgledy circular hike,
elegant pelicans’ grace, a calligraphy of swans,
silent companions as etched hatred in the Middle East
fades until realisation that no sight nor sound
of another has pierced your consciousness for hours,
feet, hip, sore, sore, slower now, sun behind you
creating reed, leaf-dapple, mind no nearer to solving
the riddle of why the future must be unknown,
how we scheme, only to review life with astonishment.
Then at last the old Swing Bridge, closed to traffic,
a wedge-tailed circling eagle-eyed overhead,
a vaguely familiar young man jogging toward you,
his mind a welter of ideas, plans, destinations ahead.
About the Poet
Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in , Australian Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, New Contrast, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Stony Thursday Book, Two-Thirds North, & Westerly. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.