Tuesday, June 9, 2009

TC: Light Sleeper



File:Balloon over Luxor - Egypt.jpg





As all the ballast of familiar life
Floated away from the hot air balloon
That was taking me in far-travelling mood
Over vast still mountains once glimpsed in dreams
I felt my foolishness in the domain
Of the air like a kind of punctuation
Applied to a page before a word’s written
By that great Friend who, scattered everywhere
In the universe, seems to piece together
The floorplans of the endarkened rooms
Of this great city by negative design
Until the shapes before my eyes became
Obscure as all those lost relationships,
As all the ballast of familiar life





File:Balloons Mara.jpg






Early morning balloon flight over the West Bank in Luxor, Egypt: photo by Marcosleal, 2004
Hot air balloons over the Masai Mara, Kenya: photo by Whit Welles, 2007

2 comments:

Gary Parrish said...

Lovely poem

"In the universe, seems to piece together/The floorplans of the endarkened rooms"

and the image of Kenya at dawn, just beautiful Tom.

TC said...

Gracias Gary.

The negatively designed floorplans of the endarkened roooms put me in mind of one night long ago when, stranded downtown after a reading at the Church and without a place to sleep, I was hosted by Jim Brodey, who, having earlier alerted me his place had no water, further informed me as we entered that there was no electricity either. Spooky bumpings around in the dark. But then again, given the overwhelming pollution of urban illumination, perhaps we ought to treasure what's left of true darkness, like clean air and fresh water, precious for its scarcity.

And then too as you say, or Jimmy Webb once sang, it's the Kenyan Masai, and up, up and away, far from cities, the uplift of the earth, all thanks to somebody's digital camera. The poem probably didn't earn that bit of elation but appears grateful for it all the same. It needed that.