Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On Rereading My Old Poems

© Steve King
All rights reserved

I thought any pathway back
should brook no mystery.
Yet the way to origins—
what I was, and what I said and did,
and what I thought,
and how I knew to do,
and who it was that struck those marks
all over the old sheets—
there is now only this:
I recall how each long-finished line
did onetime beckon
from its place of puzzlement,
while I mused and sought to see a way
to bring reluctant shadows full alive,
apart from all the other words,
shining within their own delights,
animate, robust to heart and mind,
and sprung of an enchanting genesis.

Waiting for each old world to unfold,
it is the dawning sense
of the obvious that surprises me so:
at  every turn an old familiar
given just another form,
while only in some strictest sense
is anything reborn.
Each old stroke dislodges to a partial light
a rude and rediscovered gem,
the best, largely obscure:
where once I knew each crowning glow,
now only sometimes do these yield
reflection of my will.

I must see each book finally closed,
each chapter sealed—
all the times consigned to right repose.

And then may new familiars rise instead,
so I may break off dreaming on the dead.