turquoise afternoons


Some people think we’re all the same beneath our hair,
they hope the thoughts they fear inside their head
are just a common cold. Others, that their
special vision of dominions and desires
is not a stuffy nose.

But I remember turquoise afternoons
when everything was intermediate,
and you and I could be by being,
when all our past was yet to happen
and even sins were innocent.

Sipping facts and artifice,
Sunday’s paper split between us,
while up above the sun would lose its blue,
be left with too much orange and
splash it through the windows
facing west.

I didn’t know my secret destiny,
dressed in rainy wind and salted fog,
would be a victim of our spoken vacuum.

When the music in the bars was hollow and off-key,
I said the things that people say,
mostly to the mirrors and the floor,
and when I left, you kept
my Cartesian reference frame,
streets and their addresses,
the city, Los Andes and the weather.

I was swept away, motionless on rails,
carried far to impersonal stations
with underwear in my briefcase
beside the CRC Handbook
of Chemistry and Physics.

Later I would wash my clothes,
discover humans, other colors,
and realize any stranger
knew more of life than me.

Autumn knit, unravelling and raveling (spring is here). Travel can change the order of the seasons but apparently you can’t do autumn at the end of spring unless your aircraft can fly faster than the speed of light.

31 thoughts on “turquoise afternoons

    • Complete sense, Steve. I aim for the place where I can be just the conduit and let something interesting happen. Sometimes, that works LOL.

    • For me, I need to put my head in the right place, but let the story tell itself. It really is like losing self into the meditation of the tale at hand (or something like that). Good fun, anyway.

  1. Another beauty, Steve. This poignant stanza fills me with a bittersweet nostalgia.
    “and you and I could be by being,
    when all our past was yet to happen
    and even sins were innocent.”

    And the title is exquisite in its simplicity; a poem in itself.

    • Thanks BG. It’s a bit different and I’m pleased you like the title. I don’t think two word poems have a name although like everything else they exist on the internet. I thought I might write about a particular time and place, the title appeared then the words–the reverse of the way I usually do it.

  2. The first line really draws the reader in. This feels like a sentimental poem, it has little to none of the usual flights of sci-fi fancy. Not a criticism, just an observation.

    • Thanks Daniel, exactly right, it’s not speculative fiction at all and that came home to me when I chose the categories and realized it didn’t fit there. It is fiction though, I mean no-one would put their underwear in their briefcase, would they? *laughs nervously*

  3. oh man,,, Steve you keep taking my mind on trips. you poke your fingers in my brain and stir things up a bit as if to say ‘anyone in there?’ Helloooo. never damaging a thing but you are able to open small doors in my head releasing pressures. Your words,,, the way you place one next to the other and create a motion picture. Thank you my friend. 🙂

    • You’re very welcome, and I appreciate you telling me about the pressure release, a great way to describe it. I feel them too, and for me, the writing releases them. It’s a real bonus to know my words can do that for someone else, and so much cheaper than a bottle of Pinot 😀 .

    • Thanks so much. The way I write is pretty much all random–it just has to sound and feel right to me (so much for poetic credibility). If I don’t like the flow somewhere, I used to try to fix it, but with repeated failure I’ve come to realize that nine times out of ten I’m looking in the wrong place: the Steve cart has already run off the gravel track and I’ve only noticed when it’s hit a tree 😀 .

    • I find it hard to capture the feeling of a place and time, and when I have something, I don’t know whether it resonates with anyone else. So I really appreciate you letting me know, thank you 🙂 .

    • I think I know what you mean. There are feelings I want to communicate, but I don’t know if they are received how I meant them or differently. I guess both is ok 🙂

    • I agree completely, and with feedback (both directions), I’ve noticed how much interpretation varies. I suppose the alternative is a bit of algebra or a stop sign or similar 🙂 . I’ve also seen descriptive commonality (eg comments here) so maybe stuff comes through overall beyond detail.

    • Glad you enjoyed, and I appreciate your thoughts on the landing. There you are, floating through space and suddenly it’s right in front of you: the truth, as inevitable as gravity. Maybe not light as a feather, but broken bits heal 😉 .

    • Thanks Laura. Painting is a worthwhile pursuit that inspires, informs and brings pleasure to others. Also fun 🙂 . So I say go for it.

    • I’m sure you can. I’m not the right person to offer advice, but I think you just have to connect with the right audience for you (there’s a lot of people out there), and you do that by participating.

      For me it’s the tyranny of time that’s the biggest problem. Every week it’s “Oh I don’t think I have time for WP,” then I somehow make the time, because I enjoy it.

    • I suppose that’s where the participation comes in, how people know your site is there. There is some advice out there. I should probably read it myself. 😉

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