It was so constant in my youth.
It breathed through my childhood,
totally unnoticed, taken for granted
like motherly love
or hot water on tap.
Just there -
there when the curtains were closed
on the city-lit night;
there at the breakfast table;
on the long walk to school.
But time passed, and it troubled me.
Where had it come from?
What was it for?
Did everyone have one?
And these musings turned delicious,
colouring idle moments
with all the shades of sunset,
and the doubt became bigger
than the thing itself.
At last there was no room,
no time for the questions,
no time for the Okker,
and with no warning
it was gone.
First time I rode my bicycle by myself
I thought my father was still pushing me
and by the time I noticed he was not
I didn't need him anymore.
And so it was, now,
busy without mystery
and content with the visible.
I knew people who scorned seekers,
but I didn't.
I remembered, paternally indulgent,
the hours I had spent
swimming in the deep cool pools
to arrive at my current quiet wisdom
and I understood.
Or so I thought.
Fifteen years dead, but
Last night, something -
the sound of crickets in a film,
the smell of cut grass on an open window breeze,
a picture on page 136
of a childhood book - something
woke it up.
And now smoke
is filling the room
blotting the windows
filling my eyes, ears and lungs
of terrifying joy.