Monday, November 5, 2012

Seeing Stars

©  Steve King
All rights reserved

She closed her eyes to find a dream again.
Tears stung like the sea she a-drowning.
She would recall the window,
and the looking far to darkness,
and to distant stars.
Her eyes felt so small,
surely she was at fault, too,
for seeing nothingness that side of stars;
sure that emptiness
was part of her, too…

She disappeared as clouds closed on the night,
body nothingness in grip of shadow,
mind a lens for somnolent senses,
and for sharp aches that gather to the soul.
She could yet stir to wonder:
‘Is this how dreams are lost?’
Empty window and the dampened stars—
There would be that clinging memory
when waves of heartache
came to wash her soul,
over time smoothing sharp breaks
to a plainer anguish.
Empty window and the dampened stars:
irrelevant blind view
she tried so to ignore
yet strained to see.

Another moment and it all sank in.
Much as she thought the wash of dread
must lave across the leaving dreams
of the condemned that one last morning,
sudden waking to brightness and the brimming bladder 
and normalcy and all else except for...

All so sudden
all like a madness
all at once like that fear.

She blushed in her pain to think of the condemned:
There could be no otherness for them,
no beckoning twilight future
to suit a need as time might yet allow,
no delicate and balming rationales,
‘til rationales surrendered to the end of expectation;
‘til memory itself was finally gone.

Not at all like death or what she imagined.
How was one to know?
For what had death to show?
The heart might cease, yet still not fail to beat.

Not like death, seeming a dream at the far other end.
Only love, and best to lose it young;
superfluous innocence
that would not stay nor even bear the course:
better than at age in the grip of dread,
as old love, ancient and familiar,
drowned in a stew of cataracts and catarrhs.


Mausoleums at morningtide.

All desire and dream,
she sang through darkness
heard the song, not the singing
knew she must be dreaming
or else be a dream,
even as she felt him move,
felt him hard in her dreaming world,
even as he stayed leaving,
hearing her song in the singing dark,
not then even knowing his musing lark.


  1. First one more
    Here at your shore
    Such a journey that takes place
    As each embrace

  2. Makes me think it might be hard to separate dream from death. Reminded me of this:

  3. Oh my, this is beautiful and powerful and clanged together at the end in a breath that made me say "wow." This is a poem that will stick with me.

  4. how you ease us into this with her closing her eyes...not like death only love...what a beautiful thought and that last stanza is strong as it steve...

  5. Beautiful lines....closing her eyes...a gorgeous write.

  6. Empty window and dampened stars... I wanted more of those!!! Great phrasing. This melodrama could be acted out upon a stage and none would doubt its authenticity!

  7. This is a very poignant write, Steve! Stunningly composed.

  8. Beautiful, the singing diction and undercurrents conspire to create potent poetry.

  9. "Is this how dreams are lost?"
    Wow, I think I need to join this site.

  10. "The heart might cease, yet still not fail to beat."

    I feel such profound emptiness when I read this. How sad to feel so alone even when still together, to have someone so totally unaware of whom the other truly is. You have an amazing way of capturing such depth of emotion, of finding your way into the core of all that you write about. Well penned, Steve.

  11. First - what a great title for this poem! Seeing Stars in so many ways - the stars you describe and just plain dizziness and starstruckness - love = and even though I'm on the catarrh side and am beginning to get cataracts, I so identified with this poem - There is something that seems to describe old love even though it eschews it! Maybe because it describes love and loss of innocence so beautifully and we are always innocent in love even if only to the faults of the lover! Wonderful. k.

  12. the singing through darkness is what touched me most here as this is something i can strongly relate to...a beautiful write steve

  13. "..time smoothing sharp breaks
    to a plainer anguish.
    Empty window and the dampened stars.."
    So many musings in this, turns through the catacombs of mind, of living. The examination of loss and of love unsparing, of self as well. Beautifully written, and I agree with Karin that the title is excellent.

  14. she sang through darkness
    heard the song, not the singing
    knew she must be dreaming
    or else be a dream,

    These four lines could almost have been a refrain. They made a big impact on me, and maybe coloured to some extent the rest of the poem. A really great write which seems to have come so effortless from the image -- though I realise that it may not have! I was hooked.

  15. wow... this will haunt me. There are so many raw emotions and thoughts contained within. Well done.

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