Sunday, May 4, 2014

Your Story

©  Steve King
All rights reserved

Your story rose as from a nothing—
I had not been listening at first,
while, in the shadow,
you were seeing elsewhere.

Your words alone were present,
no other inflection lured—
not of body nor of voice.
I held no place in your recall,
though ringing in each dark solemnity,
cast in every word,
I recognized the same stubborn refrain
of ancient tones that I had ever sung:
orisons that long since ran a course,
musings of some other time,
a long forgotten then—
not now,
perhaps never again;
not distinctly yours or mine,
but strangely held a-common.

The song reminded
of so many things
that I had done,
or left undone,
or had myself undone.
My story strayed from your account
only in the small particulars,
the most discrete of circumstance.
You spun your airs
with things as real as dreams;
I held briefly these new-raised designs
as if they were my own—
reflections lingering patient,
wanting but the form of lost originals,
the shadows of an old intent,
to show themselves in full,
each a measure of some far desire
lapsing briefly to a memory.

I listened for small smiles,
or any mask for gladness
that might cling to nearby shades:
old and unused wishes
hung to ready view,
doubling back to frame
an unlived moment.

Some strange lovesong this shall be:
while you indulge each measure
of your distant melody,
you invoke full payment
of its harmony from me.

A new work for Poets United


  1. its pretty cool the connections we can finding in our stories...and how similar we are when we really get down to it...

  2. it's good to listen to those stories.. esp. fascinating to pay attention to the more silent ones...

  3. Spellbinding...slightly unsettling - an alter ego? a long-term spouse?
    A strong psychological thread running through, that seems to have mislaid its compass.

  4. Love that stays on..............and goes on......................

  5. This could be metaphor about writing—the words, your inspiration embodied in the physical. Yet I also see it as speaking to a another traveller along your road. Admiration, inspiration, parallel stories, perhaps a certain longing for recognition, a deeper bonding— if not in physical sense, at least to have this kinship seen as more than casual, perhaps as creative soul-mate. You write with words and metaphor that I long to achieve. On few occasions I've tried to pen similar thoughts, but can never find right the words, and there they are in your last two stanzas. Perfection. Beautifully expressed, Steve.

  6. "old and unused wishes
    hung to ready view,
    doubling back to frame
    an unlived moment."...our dreams are made of this.....nice

  7. I love the cadence of your words while I read this aloud ~ That last stanza is specially striking to me, echoing the sadness of the other's refrain ~

    Happy Sunday Steve ~

  8. I love the sonorous pacing in this Steve, which really echoes the way we react and reflect on others' thoughts and stories, passing each congruence before our eyes to savor it, relate to it, match our own experiences to it. Beyond that, it has a yearning quality to it that is like age for youth or lover for gone beloved. I especially liked this passage which begins:
    ".. You spun your airs
    with things as real as dreams;..."

  9. Beautifully done - the closing stanza is brilliant!

  10. The pace of this is so alluring.. I read it aloud just to feel the word often stories told weave patterns that we can't control.. sometimes we listen when nothing's said and as the important come we have shut our ears. Like ships meeting on an ocean in the night.

  11. A beautifully rendered piece, Steve, that dispels the myth of souls passing like two ships in the night...thank you for this. ~jackie~

  12. How true that we start listening when we see ourselves in the story. I like how this poem reveals that first and then shows how archetypes work right down to the harmonizing and love. brilliant. personal.

  13. Melodic and soothing, this gentle weaving of lives and love is a treat when read aloud.

  14. This just picks up beauty for me as it goes along--I love the motion toward and through the last two stanzas--

  15. Hey Steve, I am on my phone so forgive incoherence and typos. This seems to me like a love affair with a narcissist, and that is a very old story indeed. Or is it more general? The fact that we all make stories for ourselves of which we are the protagonists and there is an essential humanity there and every one else is the reflection. The poem is not definite but that also makes it feel very intimate. Thanks. Beautiful phrasing and cadence as all have said. K.

  16. Hey Steve, revisiting on a real (if constantly overheating) computer. This is such a personal poem, and beautifully written. I am not sure I fully understand the references, but there is much that speaks to me--the sense of kindred spirit--and maybe two artists too--or maybe it's just humanity and age that makes all our stories have a certain flow, and all the tellers of the stories, ourselves, a little self-absorbed. So the poem has both a general application and the very particular--of course, that's how it is--the lines at the beginning remind me of something of Stevens, I think, which I will have to look for--his about sleeves? I don't know that many Stevens poems, honestly--so maybe can find. I am also thinking of a poem Tess Gallaher(?) wrote about her husband Raymond Carver (again both writers)==after his death. Will look and come back. I do not know if either poem relates at all, but funny that they are called up. K. (Manicddaily.)

  17. Well, the Stevens was the Idea of Order at Key West--
    I think because there is also that sense of two voices--

    1. The Gallagher doesn't fit at all! Oh well-- my mind a bit disjointed. k.