The Ghost of Yesterday, 2009

1

When last had fallen all the embers,
of that December, I remember,
walking through the long dead leaves,
and through the woods in random turns,
through the thickets and the ferns,
o’er hung a madman moon who
howled back at the madmen, who
stumbled through the woods to find,
a golden locket lost in time
under a high oak leave strewn spot,
blanket of leaves a perfect lot
the time was off and gears to wind,
the locket empty, and both the sides,
no man or woman, no happy child,
just a reflection, a collection,
of mine eyes staring wide.

2

No pictures of the lover’s there,
as though no one had thought to care,
to place a portrait in the folds
and seal it in the golden mold
to preserve a face to grace,
the fate of lovers once embraced
instead to find an empty place.
No face, no smiles, just empty, while
in my eye a firefly
listless lilting fluttered by
and when I turned my head to see,
I saw instead a memory;
a man alone lost, who would,
whittle at a piece of wood,
of cherubs, angels, and a cross,
a sheep amongst the rest who’s lost.

3

The lost himself while somehow else
thought it was a different man,
between himself, between the hand,
the hand that held the locket, felt,
the emptiness inside the gold to hide,
into the star-strung night he turned and spied,
a string of pearls ’round Hera’s neck,
elegant shoulders of the night whose tranquil light
a shimmer on the empty locket set.
He put the pocket in his pants and left,
then he placed it on the shelf, to stare,
to wonder when and wonder where,
someone once who must have cared,
left it in the woods to rust,
to end the end like all to dust.

4

I sat it on the kitchen mantle
walked by it twice inside I rambled
what a tragedy, to see,
a loveless lock without a key,
without two loves, with such a smile,
a loving glance and for a while
I sat in my Evening chair,
staring at the locket, where,
I thought of it, where it would go,
when downward falls life’s autumn snow
lovely sat two faces who
cast a glance that empty grew
a woman’s eye bright wide a smile
the man a kind embrace, and while
i thought it through,
as time past grew,
the last roll the slots it grew,
until the day decided who
I would place inside the locket
random facing faces, lock it
two random faces whose
eye contact to darkness lose
the same two people, never met
even though they both I set
and ambled to my chair alone,
and think about the loveless shown
by the iridescent abalone.

5

I fell into a dream-world where,
floated rosy cherub’s chair
where angels tired nodded off,
I walked about ’til I was lost;
the locket closed as I walked up,
and turned into a sea, a cup,
swallowed me and as I went,
by a phantom giant silent sent,
into a world where down was up,
when I came to I then sat up
and looked around the room to see
some ghostly faces stared at me
they said as though they read and too
to me told of myself who,
sat on the couch and oft called out
I don’t know who
It’s true it’s true
I have no clue what I’m to do

6

if I replace the sockets where
supposed to sat two loves that cared
and fake it with two alibis
their eyes as dead as static skies
who looked into another and for another bother
the wall of words to brave look through
to see the face who nameless drew
this facade to somehow show
the empty locket’s figure show
where it sat calm on the mantle
I often thought and when I rambled
the empty clock, whose tick, whose tock,
empty struck him and the clock
struck two and again he drew
back into the mind, who knew
he walked inside a dream world mild
sublime and false and falsified,
such figures held, and held, so high
Babel rises to the sky
and walk we up that slope to drown
in the sea of time and down

7

we go away again to where who knows
another seed the garden throws
into the soil whose liquid rain
harvested the golden grain
where danced two people long forgot
whose empty locket they forgot
whose empty locket sat ignored
on the shelf a barren board
of books and tracts and almanatics
of data and science in tracts
nothing like art hung with tacks
of two loves through all the world
came in together and they twirled
laughed together danced and left
a golden locket on the shelf
that with time pride open and
spilled onto the shelf like sand
the pictures and the laughter gone
just an empty locket now
empty slots were faces once
populated emptiness in slots
an empty circle long since locked
the lovers in them gone
who sat before a king alone
a king alone who on his own
went to the past and while there took
smiling lovers by a brook

8

the water cold they sat behold
a smile to fit right in
the river ran and wan they swam
while they lingered in
the edge of the pool
the queen and the fool
sat and languid lay
without a care their life to share
under the sun they lay
hands held and flowers too
smiling lovers lovely who
divided in to two to face
the opposite, the others face
the smile to match and open wide
a way to get in and to smile
and sit as they take the picture while
to put it in a locket where
alone when left without a care
that sank into the ground
two silent screaming faces stared
but never spoke a sound.

9

two fake faces in those places
bridged that loveless gap
where hollow holes turned lifeless roles
held by chance like dice that rolls
into the corner and what luck
one against another struck
snake eyes shakes the dealers head
and looked to me and gravely said:
would you like to play again?
a game perhaps, or make pretend?
believe you’re loved, they all adore,
the louse that screams along the floor
to the beings giant that
dance around, and tit for tat
moves with one another, more,
the cluck struck twelve and then they tore
into the pieces faces in
the golden locket now my friend
where lonely faces found their end
the darkness of an empty locket
sighed again and then I locked it.

10

It sat there on the mantle while,
I sat and saw the covered smiles
of strangers who had never met
inside the locked and though I locked it
I often saw their face.
They came alive, their plays, their gyves,
their memory charade.
It played aloud inside my head
like a chanting mad parade.
Alas it was too much to bear
and I took back there, where,
I first found it in the woods
found the tree and understood
the locket filled I placed it down
and buried it, and underground,
two lovers faced to never frown
two lovers who had never saw
the man whose story showed it all
and that was it, though oft befalls
black a silent curtain call.

11

That December I remember dying embers burn
until they wilted, when they turned,
to ash alas when they were spurned
and left again where once they lay
empty and alone just like that sad day
long long gone
when the locket’s empty slot,
had long forgotten of it’s spot
of the pictures once that were
arranged to face another where
when the locket long had close
and wilted like the milk white rose
and turned to rust and froze.
Again they lay quite tucked away
under a garden grove.
Sometimes I go to that old place
where I found the empty place
where a face was meant to see
another love to smile with glee
another love to see and smile,
to tick and tock just like the watch
and fret the hours not
under a tree once found by me
a place I’ve long forgot.
What sunshine stare set in,
shallow graves of yesterday, back when,
pockets were lined by smiles–
what bosom bore such joy begun,
alas as a knot undone,
catacomb now away,
visited in the mind each day,
painful tether to the past–
obscures the light, which, narrow cast,
windows to the mind where there,
rewind again to find that when
sang the stereo sun,
rolled round and round and two was one.

Subtract one alone again,
Karma’s divisions penciled in,
the tether and the and equations calculate,
and deduce the current state,
where a lazy sun bobs in the morn,
shadow of a love stillborn.

A love for which fair maidens swoon,
in that grave of yesterday,
though to the tether tied;
if only she might look ahead,
she’d see the word love red,
only to look behind, that day—
behind again, to that one friend,
another stood before,
those in the grave of yesterday.
The same to give, the same to take,
the unhappy tether its love to break,
those eyes like Christmas light again,
thought instead, what Mara says,
there is no love for me.
I had that once, and now it’s gone,
the love of my life a brief time loaned,
only to whisper bye,
bye another alone on the bridge,
between then and now, the past,
the current mood persistent fugue,
though turns to face both ways,
the right a bright sky, pocket full of smiles,
to be left on again on the endless road, alone, with melancholy ties,
that which lives no more, not now,
the maiden turns that way—
walking instead back to that place,
the grave of yesterday, where,
how long ago its opportune to love,
once did, no more,
the mind a bleeding cellar door,
the love enslaved, and tied,
to a ghost that won’t reply,
though one with flowers stands before.
She sighs her head and then, instead,
says, “Sorry,” shuts the door.

Back into the long gone grey,
fugue we all call yesterday,
to be where once a sunny place,
happened to pass by your fair face,
And there it froze as though a rose,
alive and blossomed falls—
back into the grave again,
those melancholy halls;
where tears rain down and sad face frowns,
wrap around the wall—
where happy times and sublime rhymes,
are painted, a portrait but remains.
And one alone, a fragment, gone,
can’t stand and long to lay,
alone again a mannequin grin,
in the grave of yesterday

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