When you walk towards me from the distance
Waving those slender hands, ivory white,
Calling my name aloud so familiarly,
I’m always caught completely unprepared.
I’ve been watching you as you move across
The vast room talking to all these strangers,
Laughing at their jokes, whispering secrets,
Holding a drink in your long fingers;
Dark raven hair on white shoulders, it’s like
You’ve walked out of a book I read long ago.
You have streaked through my faltering heart
Like a meteor blazes through the dark skies.
There is so much I would like to tell you.
If you had my heart and felt the way I do,
If you could see yourself through my eyes,
All my purposeless days would be at an end.
But instead, I raise my love weary hand,
With the practiced ease of one long in use,
And put on this casual, disinterested smile
And then nonchalantly wave back at you.
This man is not me: someone dark
Has taken over me:
He pulls me towards pettiness
And hollow acts of shame.
I resist much, but he is strong,
And I’m just a boy in a man’s shoes.
He is deliberately mean.
I strike back with kindness.
He talks of drab despair;
But I retain vibrant dreams.
Like a chess grandmaster
I attack with my random goodness.
But only one of us
Will stand in the end.
If you see me and I don’t smile
Somehow you know the worst.
And if I embrace you
With unfeigned eagerness,
Know that I’ve seen the dark side
But returned back, only for you.
Who harbors cryptic thoughts,
I love your inscrutable dark eyes;
I can hear,
The perfect note of deep sadness
That resonates in your silver laugh.
You hold back your unspoken words
While I fumble with the poor sentences;
I can read
The ancient scripts, but am illiterate
To what is clearly written in your eyes.
Leave the silent ways to the old queens
And heartless gods;
It is spring already in the mountains,
Let your heart sing.
Like me, evening lingers,
In uneasy balance;
The day is almost over,
And dark night waits.
The dusk trembles, shimmers,
This order cannot last:
One push, one unkind word,
And the red sun will set.
At the threshold, I wait too,
For your final impetus:
I cannot come back to you,
And I cannot move on.
Thoughts of you
swirl in my mind,
and remain stagnant in my heart.
Oh, how they haunt me so.
There are so many words
left unsaid by me;
words that may
never reach your ears.
These words would bring
to me much needed solace.
Simply said, they would dissipate
the shadow that
follows me everywhere;
this same dark shadow that makes me
question every step I have made,
and every step I am about to make.
My words left unsaid
will remain as such,
as time is needed
to heal the loss I now feel,
before I can face you and say,
word by word, what I feel -
what I will always feel.
“I love you, I miss you,
and I need you.
I want you in my life.
I am sorry for my indiscretions.”
When these words
have finally been said,
I hope, we both find comfort
in knowing that as your friend,
I will always be there,
wishing you well and
hoping that life fulfills you.
Vicki A. Zinn
A late September day
Under a perfectly blue sky
The restless wind ravels
The yellow leaves of Maple
As they fall gently on the ground.
I see no one around:
The pastured fields lie bare,
And the roads are empty.
Somewhere in the dark woods
A nameless bird breaks into a song.
Between the barren rocks
A clump of tiny weeds
Have sprouted to bright life;
And in the horizon,
Rows and rows of dark evergreens.
My heart suddenly aches
With a deep yearning for something:
Despite all the losses,
I cannot but be glad,
On this wind-swept autumnal day.
Your thoughts have drifted into my heart
Like the first clouds in the eastern skies,
Moist with fragrance of the distant rains.
The summer was long: the thirsty roots
And the babbling brooks have dried up
Like green dreams, withered in the sun.
I know these dark clouds will not burst forth
As chattering rain on my window-panes;
But the day is dark, and I seek darkness.
Lightning streaks the sky with a promise,
To fall with unrestrained joy one day:
Not here, not now, but someplace else.
Evening falls gently on the resting mountainside.
The last colors linger in the multi-colored west.
Cicadas sing in the dark woods and crickets chirp,
The wood-shrikes and fly-catchers are now in their nest.
The long day is now done, and regrets are a waste,
My problems seem fleeting, insubstantial, and vain:
My shallow victories fade, my ills disappear,
When all things cease to matter, only you remain.
The world has cast its spell on me.
I’m caught in her net of loveliness.
Like a fish I gape, open-eyed,
In wonder, forever and ever:
The star-laden cosmos unfolds,
Infinite, endless, with no borders;
How do the planets move in sync?
Exact, perfect, never out of step!
I can barely keep my car in line.
Nothing I see is plain, or mundane.
Dawn shines on saffron-shaded peaks,
Evening sets on the purple rocks.
The sea rushes in and retreats,
Across the white sands, the dark shores
Resounding with deep loneliness;
Seasons change -- the blue waters flow
Past green fields, yellow with mustard,
Apple trees rich with white blossoms --
Till the winter winds shake them down.
Every day, I wake up, somehow,
And find silver strands in my hair,
New wrinkles in my ageing skin…
All things change, one by one, while Time
Playfully lingers, unchanged, timeless.
Wonder comes to me, on certain feet.
How beautiful the world, how diverse.
And here I am, a lost traveler,
Stranded under the swirling stars!
A gray winter morning,
Cold and silent;
Shrouded in the gray mist,
Even the birds are sleeping.
I think of the great silences:
Lonely winding roads after dusk,
The quiet, leather-bound libraries,
The forever unsaid words…
From the lips of the newly dead;
And then, somehow, I think of you
Drifting somewhere in this wide world;
We are separated by a million hearts,
In the cacophony of voices,
Just two voiceless strangers,
With so much left to say.
I am a star, among the countless stars,
Frozen in a dark universe,
Utterly silent, oblivious
To the babble of the planets.