Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Same Gray Sound

The dove, the sky,
and I — different words,
the same gray sound.

And so begins a day in June, a man in the mist looking out at the street, holding a brush, a riddle, a pen, not forsaken yet, wise in the little he knows, foolish in regret, at the precipice. He sees it clearly now, and feels it in his bones: this life he lives will plant him in the ground. Friends dare not interfere, for too much care is suicidal folly. Too little, idle curiosity. But toe in or toe out, a river is still a river and just as cold.

He has seen death, and the last breath taken. He has heard the rattle and the after-gasp of lips. Not one gray sound could pry a word from silence. He left the room as if he’d left a forest, incomplete until a ripe tree falls.

I have known him. We’ve walked the same gray mile. His song and mine are one — mine the plow, his the road; his the eagle, mine the toad; his the rhyme, mine the proffered bottle. Cleft, we are more one than two, a true comedy of mirrors.

If he asks where you’ve been, don’t tell him, even if you know. If he begs, seek some other window. For he sees all that he remembers, and in dim light makes haste to watch it grow. He wants your love, he wants your truth, he wants your soul. He wants gray flowers.

(first publication)

“The Same Gray Sound” added to Poems, Slightly Used.


Janice said...

To hear the sound of gray, to see the color of gray, can mean that one can remain neutral...neither black nor white, neither for nor against but a blending of the two...

These were wonderful words William.

William Michaelian said...

As are yours, Janice. Thank you.

Vatche said...

Wow, William, that was something out of this world! The way you describe things and the imagery is just astounding. My favorite line in this whole piece is, "Cleft, we are more one than two, a true comedy of mirrors." Write on, William!

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Vatche, I’m glad you’re in tune with my poetic ramblings. An interesting thing about that line, or any of the others, is that if it were left out, the whole would be compromised, in terms of both meaning and sound. Or at least it seems so to me.