Looking Back I See

Santa Cruz, California, 17 May 2018 (Photo by Manuel Garcia Jr)

I could’ov lived a poet’s life
roving ‘or the world of my dreams,
but wives ’n kids would not’ov stood
for unplowed furrows ’n nights unseen.
Hitched-up horses and dogs on leash
reassure more than mottled gleams
of moonlight shadow rippling ‘cross
tomcat’s wandering wild screams.

Longing’s fear in ignorance
threw chains on artist caperings
with love and safety held so dear
one’s spring and sparkle cooled and stilled.
An unburnt candle casts no light
nor wax-drip sears the hand ’holds it
but blaming others I cannot
for all my grasping at the wind
to root unlikely chance to ground
as time invisible slipped by.

Freedom’s mooring to throbbing life
is owning choices one has made
both all the triumphs and regrets
breath and heart have passed through beating
out life’s stream of incidents that
flow words thoughtless ’n wordless thoughts,
rising smoke in forgetting’s night,
mist burned clear in oblivion’s light.

Trust can be a rock secure as
haphazard happiness drifts by,
each man’s an island on his own
every woman’s a hurried sea.
The randomness of time and tide
lap eddies onto shores of mind,
a poet’s life must always be
lost starlight glinting on the sea,
harmonic chaos elegant
is understanding clarified.

Money is all evils’ flower,
evil is all money’s root,
Commodifying, life’s reduced
to lowest cost at highest price
in great lovelorn America
misled by those who make you see
the poetry in guillotines.
Why weaken truth, dull clarity
placating insecurity?

Poetic thought dissolves at last
in old hens’ prattling done and drowned,
Dylan Thomas died one night
from swelling of the brain, infused,
and so doth booze insight expand
the oft crabbed musing consciousness.
A failure I would bound to be
if questing life eternally,
but be assured this won’t be so
of me being free curmudgeonly.

Manuel Garcia, Jr. is an occasional writer who is always independent. His e-mail address is: mangogarcia@att.net. Read other articles by Manuel, or visit Manuel's website.