to really mean it


The Fontana di Trevi is waiting for
the shower of your desires,
and if you really mean it,
your dreams will coalesce.

But do you know your mind? Once I did,
and now the rain is ever falling, threading
through my hollow bones, searching for its sea.


With dreams of strangers sleeping close,
too very close, whispering and laughing,
a night can leave you restless,
seeking wrongness in the clouds,
missing quiet valleys and phantom silhouettes.

So I cast a wish upon the Constellation
of the Hare, and solitude was granted me.


Across the bay, the gusting wind has fizzed the water,
churned it to a difficult green, and there’s a phase change
in the air. I recognize the layered dust—
alluvial stratocumulus, an agricultural keepsake.

Twenty-two years gone,
I sleep in stranger’s beds,
I accommodate their homes
with occasional refurbishing,
and I haven’t seen a soul.

My existence is consecutive,
I do not dwell or idle, nor seek reciprocation,
and my sleep is dreamless tatters.

I would tell you more, but I must
prepare my dinner, and while I squint at
labels faded long ago, I leave you
with a wind-up fish box.

In the joyous years, the aerial rabbit
waited on the television, a rose red salmon cloud
led an importune existence with
a crystal bathtub time machine, and


terrace houses (part above) from VEE, the visual evolution engine.


23 thoughts on “to really mean it

    • I’m glad you found it a bit different, Sobhana. I think that we have swarms of feelings flittering around inside of us, sometimes they pass so quickly that we couldn’t even articulate them.

      All round the world, so many people make wishes in so many ways, accompany them with various rituals. It’s in our nature I guess. In Japan and other places, you can see wishes written on pieces of paper, flocks of tiny white birds, sometimes heartbreaking, each one so important to a life.

  1. When I was at the Fontana di Trevi, there was such a crowd that I couldn’t hear myself think, so I didn’t throw in any coins or make any wishes.
    “But do you know your mind?” What an important question. What we think we want and what we actually want may not coincide, so we better be careful what we wish for.
    I’m a big fan of solitude, but twenty-two consecutive years of it would be excessive, even for me.
    There are so many gems in this piece, Steve.

    • Thank you, Magarisa. Yes, 22 years does sound excessive. I recall a Philip K Dick story where the protagonist wanted to be a cactus in the desert for a 100 years.

      Perhaps sometimes we have these feelings, I know I do, but it’s as you say, and I’ve learned about being careful what you wish for the hard way.

  2. I did not know clouds carried wrongness—I turned to them for inspiration. Oh well. Mistakes are tools for us to learn.

    This is my favorite of yours yet, Steve. Absolutely love the title, too.

    • Thank you, Annie, I’m glad to hear that because I have felt in a bit of a rut lately.

      I think it’s a state of mind with wrong clouds: mostly we look upward for inspiration and comfort, but sometimes wrongness can seem to be everywhere. That’s what a friend told me at least, haha.

    • Your friend is wise, Steve. 😊 It could be disappointing when something you thought reliable carries inaccuracies on its own. You’re welcome!

  3. Boy, the colors of the graphic are enchanting! The first 2 stanzas gave me goosebumps. The Constellation of the hare and the aerial rabbit… one seems a symbol of running away; the other of times past. But maybe I over-analyze. For me, your pieces are more about the ethereal feeling they evoke. This one connected with a poignant sadness in me. Am wondering about the crystal bathtub time machine. Quite an image…

    • Thank you, BG. The houses at night image is not quite as realistic as I intended originally, but who knows? The night is mysterious.

      You’re not overanalyzing at all, I’d say very perceptive with the hare and rabbit, and there is, for me, a connected sharp sadness that it’s best I let rest with the other sleeping dogs.

      I’m wondering about the CBTM as well… 😸

  4. (I spent some time with my parents recently, and my mother rented ‘Roman Holiday’ for us to watch one night, speaking of wishes and knowing one’s mind.)

    I love the artwork, it’s rather mesmerizing.
    This is a beautiful post, Steve.

    • It would make sense to wish you knew your mind. For a start, at least. I really do appreciate your taking the time to read and comment, it makes me want to keep going somehow, despite the world. Thank you, Vanessa.

    • It’s an absolute pleasure Steve. I’m honoured you feel that way, and I’m grateful for the way you enrich my life!
      And I maintain, there is still a lot of quiet beauty behind the scenes, despite the world 🙂

  5. “Twenty-two years gone,
    I sleep in stranger’s beds,
    I accommodate their homes
    with occasional refurbishing,
    and I haven’t seen a soul.”
    There’s a lonely haunted quality to this poem, Steve, plus there’s a beautiful flow to it. It has an elusiveness that brings the reader back again and again and

    • Thank you, Jim. I appreciate your description, and it does make sense to me, about the elusiveness. It came from a dream, one that stays with you, and a feeling that, at least consciously and logically, was hard to pin down. I sometimes think that our lost desires from the past are like ghosts.

  6. This is a very fine piece of poetry, Steve, and I really mean it! Perhaps if you prepare your dinner faster, you can get back on track to this weekly wizardry!? 😀

  7. This picture is the best ever. Stunning! I so love the blues, green and turquoise. Wonderful!

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