Thursday, October 15, 2009

No More Street Shows.

I am not now
As I was in my youth
Whatever charge

Coursed through
My veins and animated
The actors of the world

Has snuffled out
I do not know when
Or whether by

Nature yielding to
Time, or I yielding to
Some cowardice

That is like time.

Now when I
Am about, walking
My thoughts are

Soft and sleepy
And I am easily distracted
By the street performers

Everyday I will
Lose myself for a time
In one of their shows

I will smile
And then chide myself
With what remonstrance

Remains, for they are truly meagre things.

In my youth, I walked along the harbour
Where the vendors stalls lined the shore
And the dervishes spoke among themselves;
In my youth, my eyes drank in the world.

It seems to me now, that though I saw
Only a small portion of the world, and did
Only a little of what might have been
Done, my memories I believe

Are all gathered together, as it is said
That a man sees, at a glance, an infinity
Of detail, but registers only those things
Which are strictly needful to his safety

My memories, I believe, are gathered
Together in this fashion: though most
Are invisible, some perhaps irretrievable
Nevertheless they are all somehow present

In the mind, as all things are present in
This world, though separated by distances,
And divided among he who sees one part,
He who sees another, and he who is asleep.

In this fashion, I am struck that my memories
Of innumerable little things make something
Vast, like the world; and when I recollect
Doing one thing, or seeing another

In another part of my mind, as in another country
I am doing other things, seeing the colours
Of different days. Perhaps I see the ocean
When the vendors wrap their wares, and smile

Perhaps I see mottled blankets stiff in the morning
Sun, the shadow of a plump woman moving
Behind them. Once, I imagined that I was woven
Of all these things, so I might apprehend them clearly.

But now it seems that I no sooner recollect something
And I am myself in that act an object of recollection
And never out of the stream, never untangled from
That knot. Sometimes I conceive a pattern

Of ashes, that holds its shape in the air for
An impossible instant, like something delicate
And precipitous; then the sustaining air
Swells, and scatters the ashes away.

Other times I think of the day when
All the performers had departed the city
And one I knew to see, rueful and friendly
Smiling, said "No more street shows."

1 comment:

sneezestar said...

''Everyday I will
Lose myself for a time''

That was beautiful!