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Sunday, June 2, 2013


Bill W. H. Robinson - Happiness

This poem is from my book A LIMITED MEANS OF EXPRESSION published by Rattlesnake Press, Pollack Pines, Ca. 2011.  The book is out of print.

for Tom Kryss
There is a moment when the lights
Become dull memories and the territories
We have come to understand in our travels
Begin to unwind and contrive their own kind
Of knowing, one coupled with the notion that

Soon an emptiness will sidle up to us and clasp
Our hand, explaining the while that we will have
Little chance of understanding emptiness and the 
Damp that descends with the evening, even here

On these mountains or in this desert or along these
Trails still dusty with the echoes of elephants, ostriches,
Creatures of mystery.  They will crumble, we are told
And in that moment, we believe that we are hearing
The truth rather than the banging of cymbals played
By deaf men who sold their imaginations long ago.

The multi-colored lamps make this place seem dreamed,
Not found on maps we carry, nothing promised here,
Only the trail of words that leads us on.  We will recognize
Nothing but will continue so that we might see these places,
So that we may fall into the mouth of fables breathed
Over fires on some future night when the Nightjar’s wings
Begin their tale and summon us from the dust once again.

I will see you there, crossing the winter night just ahead,
Betting destinies on seasons, correcting the optics
So all may see mythical beasts and believe in them
If only for the telling. Make in your mouth a story now

While you walk and breathe here that it may be told
Again at some set date far beyond these landscapes.
Favor mystery and what is lovely. Avoid the invisible
That I may feel your hand and together we will build
Toward the favoring winds, tell the dates, catch the
Glint of light on our words as they dance away from us.

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