April 12: City

Szeged; Isolated; Ancient city; Venetian reverie

 

Szeged

I found myself on a train lamenting,
letting the wind blow away tears of separation,
my heart split between leaving and elation:
of finally moving on to a new beginning,
but never forgetting all the blank hours invested
where my heart was bled of reasons,
where I was always cold in company, but forever jesting
that one day I would change and dream again;
the time was awash with pain uncontested,
my strings severed, all for the best
yet a seed inside kept protesting,
that there was yet so much more left undigested.

Arrival was coupled with flutters of anxiousness,
but regardless of how I left, I kept on going,
my choice had been made betwixt bouts of joy and mourning,
but the time for grief was swallowed by new awareness;
I found myself striding along flat streets strewn with leaves,
pulling the train of my dress along with determination;
perhaps my new neighbors stared at me,
but I only felt isolation, and promises of anguish receding—
perhaps I was still bleeding from always leaving,
but there was momentum in my arrival:
hallways of learning beckoning and a penchant for survival,
so I shut myself away from those surging, sabotaging feelings.

Before long the nights ensnared my mind,
and new friendships and affections stole my heart,
I grew into this city of sunshine, no longer truly apart
and its heartbeat melded with mine—
but now those times are long in the past,
a flickering train of memory that seeps wistfulness,
I have moved on again, the die were cast,
and came up showing there was no room left;
the strings in me that cut so easily
were snapped once again,
and though I still return and feel it bloom with spring,
I am apart now, and carry the pain of leaving.

 

April 12, 2014

Back to Top

Isolated

The stars are cloaked by globes of light, a pathway
leading in – or out into dark night, where a myriad of
twinkles sparkle like twin mirrors above and below:
in this place in between, I am no one you know,
an example of isolation – just like you, just like us all…
once we go closer, melt into the pack, there is the hum,
the taut feeling of something about to come along,
perhaps another horde of strangers pressed together
as though they were all close friends, still:
even they seek the hidden places, where everyone else
is absent… they are lonely in the crowd,
but I think they like it that way sometimes,
just like I: isolated, but elated to observe from my perch,
whether a window that looks upon a river of flashing lights,
or contemplating on a bench in a park to inspire wild fancies,
and throughout: unused to silence, but entranced
by the almost silence of the city night; the road is clear, the bustle
has died down, and through trees rustled by summer’s breeze,
the lights pool on the pavement beneath my feet,
and at any moment my reverie is broken,
by laughter or a word spoken, but most of all
the call of incessant music, noise and opportunity,
to do as other individuals do: pose alone with
a closed expression, broken only when a friend is to hand—
but I think they prefer that mystery,
and it only cracks when they dance – that’s my place,
alone in the crowd, forever moving, because I feel a power
coursing through me when I am here: that to you
and everyone else – I am
just anybody,
isolated,
in this city.

 

April 12, 2014

Back to Top

Ancient city

Intrigue runs in rivers red, soaked in soil on which
the monuments are left standing: odes to passions
displayed and taunts of faith and betrayals—
ancient city with a heart still throbbing, the sound
is mocking of the spawn of heroes thrashing in
guilty pleasures and constantly struggling against
no other than themselves… but the blood is still there,
the grapes are fed and the theater still holds its audience
mesmerized by a few lines voiced; the lyre still plucks
to hearts not so different, though the citizens hold
no swords at each other’s throats – now the blades
are cloaked with words…

So we dance as the buildings crumble,
so the stars shine on us as they always have,
so the secrets of this place are still buried deep,
but the ancient city still has a hold on humanity…

Words were always said in trepidation, though oft
accompanied by rude laughter, but the guile of our kind
that infests the ancient city of the dead is eternal,
and us children are as blind as our parents to the shackles;
the fire of rekindling is a rare spark among the black sea,
but sometimes it emerges with startling clarity—
here a minaret, there an archway overhead, and
stained glass remarkably unbroken: the voice
of the ancient city speaks not in humankind’s tongue,
but it suffers us long and consumes us whole… so
our blood may thin, our virtues wax and wane, but the
ancient city will stand long after we each come and go…

The ancient city has a contract with our souls,
and it always collects – this city holds reigns and
sometimes makes them into chains, but above all:
this city demands respect.

 

April 12, 2014

Back to Top

Venetian reverie

I felt a tug that pulled me to a glimpse of Venice,
meandering through festivities, drinking in masks to adore,
my medieval heart kindled by a battle fought with swords,
and I kept wandering till I was lost somewhere in empty streets—
in my dreams, I think as I walk, this is a place of decadence,
a mystical relic of times of thriving, invention, prestige,
lost as I was walking aside canals, a dream suddenly took hold of me:
and inside reverie, I found myself embraced by vibrant emptiness…
the buildings around me groaned with illustrious cloaks of age,
wisdom seeped up from the bridges that carried me deeper,
drifting by such detailed monuments of feelings I thought long asleep,
but in the back alley where no visitor goes, I was struck by change:
I do not know this place, but it knows me,
my blood comes alive and sings lover’s songs to the night,
startling me with shivers of home delight,
and I know that this is now a part of me: the Venetian reverie…

 

April 12, 2014

Back to Top