Friday, November 9, 2007

I Wear Old Shadows


I wear old shadows
and drink rainwater.
I sift through the evening news,
looking for a story on doves.

Often I stand for hours
in the window
of the Central Hotel
to provide a silhouette.

I converse with pigeons,
who know a thing or two
about retirement
and how the sun rises.

Yesterday
Jesus gave me a quilt
and a paperback novel
about the end of the world.

He said he was proud
of my service
in World War One.
He have me a hug.

I forgot to tell you--
my neighbor died on a bench
last winter.
For many hours

he was a monument to
the color blue
and the wind
and the texture of stone.

If I have time,
I will carve twilight
from a memory or two
and think of old kisses

and wine.
I will open the door
to my apartment
before dinner

and watch
the shadows of warriors
wander silently
down the hall.

Before bed,
I will listen to Mahler
on a transistor radio
through an open window.

13 comments:

Scott from Oregon said...

I especially liked the slow and methodical rythm of this, like the footsteps of an old man...

Suzan Abrams said...

Hi Billy,
A melancholy poem layered with a sharp psychological insight.
And I love the idea of shadow & rainwater.
Yes, of course, you can link me Billy. It's lovely to have you stop by. I'm going to sort out my links soon and will do the same for you.
regards

Billy said...

Thanks, Scott. That was exactly the rhythm I was aiming for!!!

And thanks for the read, Suzan. Many thanks :)

Bernita said...

And Eliot-like in imagery.
Thank you.

Billy said...

Thanks, Bernita! You're kind as always.

Billy said...

Thanks for reading, Suzan, and your very kind words! I hope you are well! Have a wonderful day ... or night!

Gina said...

this is the most beautiful poem I have ever read.

Newsdiver said...

Thank you, Gina! How kind of you to stop by! And thanks for the lovely comment.

Newsdiver said...

Thank you, Gina! How kind of you to stop by! And thanks for the lovely comment.

Newsdiver said...

Thank you, Gina! How kind of you to stop by! And thanks for the lovely comment.

jason evans said...

I too was mesmerized by this poem. It felt like watching from the shadows. Watching when the person will never know you're standing there.

Great work.

SzélsőFa said...

When I read it, half aloud, half silent, I felt a special rythm. I had no idea as where and how to relate to that but I felt it nevertheless.
Now Scott educated me.
Thank you Billy, for the experience I had while reading.

Billy said...

Jason and Szelsofa--thanks for the very kind comments. Much appreciated.