4:27 PM Posted by James Owens

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for A-

There are things one can never have,
no matter how much you want them.
This is that world,
not some other.
I look up into the swirling snow and think,
as only you know I do, of Lucretius.
The atoms fall forever, from nothing into nothing,
sometimes coming together.
This is what there is…
I feel you behind me,
and I speak your name into the snow,
and I am still now, careful not to move,
not to turn,
unwilling to see, again, that you are not here.

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6 comments:

Sorlil said...

Such a compact little poem yet so much in it, gives me much to think about. I like the mention of Lucretius, intrieging.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I really like the small turn in lines three and four. Well done.

These lines are amazing:

The atoms fall forever, from nothing into nothing,
sometimes coming together.
This is what there is…
I feel you behind me,
and I speak your name into the snow,

Wonderful piece, James.

Roxana said...

I was just reading this line in a beautiful poem by Elizabeth Alexander:
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
and I was thinking, it is exactly like that that we walk into the snow, or into an unknown voice. and even if we are careful not to move, not to turn, still, we move and we turn eventually. and there is the emptiness. this is what there is.

James Owens said...

Sorlil: Thank you. I've always liked Lucretius. He is, I think, one of the greatest of poets, and in certain moments a real comfort.

James Owens said...

Thank you, Sam. This was one of those rare poems that came quickly, under some great pressure....

James Owens said...

Roxana: The emptiness is always there. All the shapes in the snow come out of it, and they all go back into it, in time, perhaps. But maybe we don't have to let them go. Maybe they can be held. Isn't it possible that one turns and discovers that one is not alone, after all?