Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Thief of Souls
(An amateur photographer’s confession)

I aim my box of shadows
at a scramble of the sun,
check the light and focus
for a flower, cloud, a winsome
cocky little girl, a
tangle of a lamp post,
high wire, scrum
of tree branches in the twilight
against the near-black indigo,
hung between a nail of star
and a fingernail of moon,
inscribed across the night
like the crazy hope a teen has
that his life will have a meaning -
glory even - hailed
in the loose designs of love
for his wild heroic heart.

I try to catch the darkness
light throws against the casual wall,
to seize a furtive moment
from the relentless gale of time,
to limn one delicate note
in the unrelenting roar.

These little almost squares
of shadows charm my eye,
at least sometimes, with a sweetness.
A careful, cunning hunter,
a cat burglar in his dark stocking,
I caress my stolen darlings
collected in my box
like birds in a net:

I open it like Pandora,
still amazed at what I find there
(the magic box sees more
than I see – faster, deeper:
it captures something more,
or something less, but always other –
and often I have known the magic box to laugh at me).

Stolen have I so many,
filled up my secret albums
with a mass of frozen souls,
pieces of a shattered whole
never pieced back together,
seized from a sea I’m half-drowning
in, a wilderness, an ocean
foaming, fanned with flickering visions

(steal them now, or lose forever!)

lost, otherwise, forever.


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