Astral projections

2 players chasing shadows
on a dim-lit city street
full moon in september
night jet above flashing red

poor man’s tennis:
no rhyme or reason to our play
writing a poem without a net

dream: a bird’s eye view of life
waiting for the one that never falls
about as close to heaven
as we may get: 2 shades of night

on the fly we serve & are served
playing blind for most of the game,
live in dark, though we aim to
keep it going (the bird, I mean)
lightweight though it is,
by backhands & bouncers

the net affect of twilight
is a kind of love between us,
stabilizing feathers,
we fly to one another
& pray for contact–
the odd bird grounding out
with the thud & racquet-scrape
of failure

& yet that empyreal possibility
we keep the bird alive
between us & the spirit of flight
fine gut exchanging volleys
in the welkin
beneath polaris star
counting hits & hang-time
waiting for the one
that won’t come down
the one that won’t come back


Frost once said free verse was like “playing tennis without a net”. This poem owes its tones, spirit, and sensibility to his “Mending Wall” and “Birches” moreso. With apologies to Tennyson, I am a part of all thatĀ I have read and written.

Life’s possibilities are many and may be experienced deeply in our days, even during seemingly ordinary activities and spontaneous useless nothings. I believe we are largely dream-driven and that sometimes comes out in family contexts, as in this case. We are sustained and buoyed by the “what if’s”.

“My poems are hymns of praise to the glory of life.”–Edith Sitwell, Collected Poems, 1957

“Poetry is properly speaking a transcendental quality…and we can no more define this quality than we can define a state of grace”–Herbert Read (cf. also theĀ narrator’s/Redford’s descriptions of Paul’s fishing style in A River Runs Through It.)




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