Tuesday, April 7, 2015


What do we have from the past? Art and thought

                                                       Susan Sontag


I don't want to think -- forestalling slumber;  

but  caffeine has flowered in my brain.

Fresh-ground to full bloom. Thought clings

pollinating characters and scenes

in the brown dusk  of old photographs --


scuffed brick and rose arbors,

hedges and awnings, the brimmed shade

of fedora or cloche, a fountain with water

pouring through the armless shoulders of Venus,

or is spirits


spilling from a forbidden time? Wind billows the curtain

and a night bird sings her own nursery song. I don't understand

but somehow know  -- these are shadows of mine

undulating  in an unborn world. And for now, they must fade,

fade into sleep and shudder elsewhere. The first page

has not been written -- and the words,  a muted flock

faraway, still migrating toward the story.



That quote brought to mind what happens when the brain tries to settle into sleep after two evening cups of  coffee. Thought only burgeons through all the gardens of memory and opens the gate to past ideas and themes. Scenes and the shadows of those scenes we had , at one time, planned to write but somehow allowed life and other projects to intervene. As result, they deliquesced into the background, not totally lost but lingering. Well, last week, I drank too much coffee at too late an hour. Slumber was agitated by this process, this haunted blossoming. What came back were the revenants of a story I had thought of writing long ago. My grandfather owned a homestead called Pine Grove Farm. The spacious farm house with some smaller bungalows in back also served as a bed and breakfast for fellow, vacationing immigrants who wanted to spend some time in the country. Since this took place during Prohibition, my grandparents also operated a still in the back room of the granary. It wasn't moonshine but really tasty wine and other distilled spirits. Anyway, I was not in a mood for a trip down memory lane, desperately wanting to sleep, and wrote this poem..



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