Photo by Robert Hogg.

 

Oceanum – or The Towns Between

Two nights ago
belly full of warm
manicotti and Madeira
friendly conversation
still in mind my colleague
Trevor Tolley lying
relaxed on his worn
oriental rug talking
with light-hearted abandon
of Oxford college days

Then out into the winter
night driving home route 31
caught in a blanket of sleet pelting out
of the north my little
Volkswagen plowing valiantly
into the vacuum ahead
between Williamsburg and Winchester

Inside my car the speedometer
reads thirty miles per hour and I suppose I’m
sliding forward at about that speed
nothing but the steering wheel
and pedals to call real until I see the sign

 

**************************

*  WINCHESTER SPRINGS  *

**************************

a decided comfort there being
nothing else in the universe
to fill that space

Now here I am again
crawling east on Hwy 17
just past Binghamton
en route to New York in another
December snowstorm
when I misread a simple
road sign
and come into
magic space

 

**************

*  OCEANUM  *

**************

looms through the blizzard
green as a summer island
beside the road

Down off the freeway
the town with the magical
name spanning history
and the oceans of time
draws me like a magnet
from my course
so that:
I’m forced to steer
my craft more deftly
through its seas of snow
and whirls of
Odyssean troubles
luring me off the highway
to whatever perils

But I persevere
as always and slowly
pick up speed
remembering my family
in New York Christmas
two days off and
watch for a second
sign which when it comes
reads plainly

 

************************

*  EXIT FOR OCCANUM  *

************************

ah that breaks the dream
my car now able to
rumble prosaically
over the Tappan Zee
Bridge to Tarrytown
down the Sawmill
River Parkway and on
to Woodside
Queens

 

RLH: 1975-12-12;  rev: 1978-02-23; typed version: 1979-01-26; 1979-01-29
Major revision again: 2020-06-19; 2020-06-20.

 

 

This bent

This bent
and rusty
nail

I pull
from a rotted
baton

on the back
wall of
our house

goes into
my left
hip pocket

as auto
matic
as any

thing I do
and gets
forgotten

until next
day I’m
doing a clothes

wash it
falls out
clink

on the concrete
mudroom
floor

so I pick
it up
examine

it and
say
Oh yes

this bent
and rusty
nail

how
did it
get here?

RLH: MTN: 2018-05-27/ 6:13 pm 2nd Revision

 

 

Taken – by surprise

Hop off
my tractor

snap
a picture of

the Buddha
down

my lane
take a

selfie by
mistake