Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Self Portraiture

by Steve King
© 2005
All rights reserved

I would need a volume to remind myself:
I have loosed all, despite the best intent,
except some given sense of this moment.
Life is too long for the span and spur
of quaint ideals and self-defining force,
faint memories of bold designs
that onetime served to fashion out a course.

I would need an echo to assist recall
even of my solemn
and least random of words:
so long speaking with myself,
I puzzle what it is
that all those others might have heard…
I would plumb the lyric in each dark nuance
and hear old promises remade.
Minor harmonics, left long unsung,
might singly play their parts, now undismayed.

I would need the dreaming of a thousand nights,
winding close upon the ancient core.
There are secret provinces
carved in the heart’s domain,
and passageways to well-forgotten realms
where longings war with unrequited claims;
where best and worst may languish intertwined;
where every stillborn orison,
forever is enjoined.

There would be new wonderings
amid the monuments
of long-forgiven loves
now lingering in their twilight of regret.
I would gild anew the shape
of that less reflective age,
and dredge beneath old shadows
for talismans to strew upon
this now impatient page.

How will I learn to see anew
and intimate of every thing,
of half forgot imaginings
that call in wild archaic tongues?
Or murmur in respecting tones
to render true the softening song
that unsought sudden sadness brings?
I might wake to those dreamings evermore,
and never apprehend a passion
that compelled before.

It is a distant odyssey
to circumambulate one’s past,
and tend to sundry leavings
that were never meant to last.
Still, one treads a landscape
that may never be renounced.
It is a scene alit by vagrant fires,
where brilliance and full darkness do conspire.
And so, the eye does quickly tire…

So… I will need your vision to abet.
Now you must be my ready surrogate
to render out the meanings I invent,
to ratify this sum of vague intent.
I shall speak at large to your desire,
and levy all my thoughts as you require.