Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Room

© Steve King
All Rights Reserved

This room cannot speak to me of emptiness,
for nothing in its corners and high shadow
yields a thought of anything—
save corners, shadows.

Were I to think of emptiness,
I would picture other,
knowing in my heart
an absent habitation
that did once belong.

But nothing of a room,
where emptiness is just a word,
a proxy to formalize the nature of a place
and the inviolability of moment;
a simple means to keep
the perfect balance of a waiting space, quiet—
faint intimation of contingent purposes
foreshadowing the outline
of some unthought future,
all so free and new.

Were I to think of emptiness
I would not need this room.
I would summon aged moods,
emotion without substance,
(indeed, were I to think on it at all)
ineradicable remembrance,
unrevoked regret;
the chiming of old laughters,
and once-bright mornings come
to upend each passing misery.

Were I to think on emptiness
I would know a heart alone,
hollow moments filled
with unanswered questions,
of how the times might be
if not for absence,
that sure emptiness now—
so filled with all perfected memories
that only ancient absence may allow.

A new poem for the Poetry Pantry


  1. Steve great intensity of expression in this poem. The emptiness is palpable - wow

  2. I love how you picture the emptiness as a room with the shadowed corners and move on to the emptiness having no need for the room.. we can carry emptiness with us even into the crowded street...

  3. This is very beautiful and evocative........the closing lines are especially wonderful. I too like the switch from the empty room to a greater emptiness.

  4. So beautifully written, Steve, and thought-provoking.

  5. I admire how you wrote of emptiness without the obvious definition of empty room but the other, the quiet waiting space ~ I specially love the last stanza, the contrast of heart alone versus the perfected memories ~ Such deep reflections here Steve ~

    Happy week ahead ~ Grace

  6. very interesting piece,,,
    Glad I stopped by.

  7. emptiness is a room, without windows or doors...and sometimes i can not even find the corners...and sometimes it is like waiting on a bus that never seems to get write steve...i like how you approached this...

  8. "hollow moments filled / with unanswered questions,"...true emptiness..i
    like the progression in this piece..much thought provoking...

  9. Your poem really gets to the heart of emptiness....emotion without substance, a heart alone, unrevoked regret... Very vivid poem, one to be felt at the deepest level.

  10. Emptiness is just a word. How well you have extrapolated the idea of its not saying enough to truly reflect what is felt.

  11. emptiness is something so concrete and yet so abstract that i find it hard to capture - you did really really well with it steve

  12. Yes, I too admire how you wrote of emptiness without dipping into the communal bucket of usual.

  13. like much the flow and rhythm of this fine piece, and the notion of "waiting space" lovely write, Steve! ~jackie~

  14. Hi Steve, It is so interesting to see how your mind moves here--shaping the room and then moving through it and back into the mind and heart. What is especailly interesting to me is how solid each of the places feels-in part because you describe the room with such palpable and actual detail, so ti is like we are moving from space to space. There is great poignancy in an emptiness of absence rather than expectation, and there is a feeling that the pain of the absence can be moved to one of these physical other places by surrounding it, describing its container, rather than it itself.. This is , I think, how people handle pain, and it is beautifully limned here. K.

  15. I love how you explore the hollowness and loss of feelings conceptualized as this empty room; this place where if one tried, they might still see glimpses of what once was, hear those voices from long past. You guide us through this place of loneliness that is not truly empty but filled with longing and certain sadness, ghosts of feelings past. Your words have a way of making us "insiders" so that we don't just read them, we feel them. The fourth stanza and last stanzas do it for me. Wonderfully penned, my friend.