Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This Page

by Steve King
© 2011
All rights reserved


The blank page,
an unblinking annoyance
that will not turn away.
I cannot see beyond it,
though its glare does skewer me.

I inspect it, careful, and at length;
all its imperfection,
specks and whorls,
perhaps some remnants
of reprocessed rag,
or atomized remains
of old cardboard
and sixpack wraps.

That part there perhaps,
spun up from a soup
of crass handbills,
unanswered letters,
desperate replies,
holiday scribblings
and tart ‘good-byes,’
all well-seasoned with a spray
of bright confetti gaud.
A busy page, though blank.
Its breadth supports a second life
for all these transient things;
makes immortal life’s discards,
though not a strophe of mine.

Mottled and well used,
corners bent, creased and worn,
hammered near to death
by idle drumming fingers,
it’s figure is the very shade
of an exhausted muse.


It will outstay distraction,
this place where worlds do manifest
and legacies transport;
where far-seeing souls,
gone from time and place,
long the source of your close reveries,
strive for their communion;
as if they might impart some certain grace;
as if you might accept it
for your version of a sacrament.

Through darkening afternoon it stays,
a-dance before the eye,
upholding all the shapes
imagination might require;
a cloud, alit to render
hard won heavenly intent,
there to yield new spirits
in trade for your old dreams
and all the weary summonings.

All the old secrets,
all already known;
ancient stories leavened with new breath;
imagery ageless
as the breaching sun
or descending night
or red moon parting bitter seas
or narrow eyes upon new-risen heights,
opening to peer through an advancing mist…


No, nothing of this page is new,
save, at last, that part suddenly you.