On a long journey. The road darkened like glass
after the candle behind it has guttered.
I met the forest there like a corner rounding everywhere.
Birds who’d never heard themselves before were asking
for their names. Though we could hear the train beyond the ridge
we knew it was empty except for a woman anxious
she’d missed her stop as she dozed. We walked but I could not hear
your step behind me over the sound of the leaves growing.
I am tracking a number in the dark. It keeps changing typeface
to throw me off the trail but it is the only set of tracks ahead of me.
Even as I slow down I am accelerating. Your own footsteps
are catching up to me but I am afraid the number ahead will tire
at last and I will catch it, panting on a hip-high rock among the pine.
I should go back to the woods in the daytime, who ever thought
you were nocturnal, and in the light splaying
among the leaves I am not afraid of numbers.
This is one of my all-time favorites. I like its Okajiesque blend of the bizarre and the sublime. Very nicely done, Jeff. 🙂
Thanks, Ron! Hmmm…”Okajiesque”…I kind of like that.
Hey, I resemble that remark.
SO GLAD to see you back! And most things, though not all, are seen more clearly by daylight
Except, apparently, Bigfoot. Glad to be back, C. New job, taking a summer class…have been adjusting to new schedule…
I love your writing, Jeff.
Just fantastic, JS — always such a pleasure reading and re-reading the play of ideas and light in your poems.
This is excellent: “Birds who’d never heard themselves before were asking for their names.” A terrific poem, Jeff!
Thanks man! Tell Ithaca hello for me.
Will do! How’s the new job?
Fun and challenging, man. Really enjoying it.
You’re the best.