Poetry

Dad's Car

When I was a boy 
And evening rain would come
I would ask dad for his car keys
He would look at me strangely
But grant my wish
Asking me not to start the motor
Or touch the pedals

There, in that steel womb
My oasis of peace
I could hear the rain tapping
Tenderly, all around me
Leaving beads on the windows
That glittered in the streetlamp’s
Dissolving light

Behind the wheel
My fancy took me on journeys
Up city streets and down
Graveled country roads
Over creeks and under railways
Past the edge of the world

And into time yet to be


I would drive on, not knowing
My real destination
I only knew that when
I got there I would know
That I had arrived
At the unknown place
I was supposed to be

The rain would drum heavier
Crescendo to a thunderous roll
And bring me home
To watch the shadows
Of trickles cast on the dashboard
And drops bounce off the hood
Till the sky had wrung dry

Exhausted by failures
In my fancy I sit again in dad’s car
And await the rain

M Russell 2007

Unless noted otherwise, all text

and images by M. Russell

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This didn't happen to Dad's car!

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The Day

The day is for neither sorrow

Nor remembrance of unhappy time

It is not to give voice to what cannot be

Or song to lament

It is not for musing what never was

Or fearing imaginary morrow

It is for giving thanks for the miracle

Of itself

 

The day sifts through our sentience

As a zephyr through fragile reeds

Barely noticed but for the epiphanic moments

Of what we call the ordinary;

As when a shooting star scratches

The scalp of night,

Allowing so briefly

A glimpse of heaven’s light

M Russell 2007

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Horizon

Night horizon
Near day rising
My eyes scrutinizing
The vanishing embers that dust your rim

Distant shimmer
Gasping glimmer
Growing ever dimmer
As the paling flames of my memories;
Vague, unchristened longings

We’ve conversed before, old friends
And so we shall again
Ablaze through mystic nights
Scattered across silent time; and perhaps,
Perhaps I’ll find what lies beyond
Your remote, solitary fires

Such musings reignite
My smoky dreams
But I can only sigh,
Tic and recall
That glory that awaited, patiently,
My maturation

M Russell 1998/2007/2021

Eventide, this side

Of prism sky

And from a chimney’s mouth

Slithers a ringlet of smoke

Pruned and drifting

Expelled from the warmth of the hearth

Consigned to mingle with pitiless frost

 

And the hearth misses it not

 

Even so

The orphan caresses

The silhouettes of skeletal trees

In the narcotic breath of dusk –

A parting gesture ere ascent

To the patient heavens

Infinite and embracing

 

Over the vespers of humanity

 

M Russell 2007

Wisp

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