Thursday, June 14, 2012

Squeezing Through the Neck - Poem

Two blocks below
The bay pushes gently over stony shores
Marking cycles of time
As the fleet of fishing boats crawls in and out of their berths in a similar, constant rhythm

Five blocks above
The range of mountains rises sharply,
Standing still against time
Clouds hang there
Snatched upon the pines and pulled over the ridge,
Closing the roof around this little town

We are scattered along 12 or so odd blocks between
People pass through, squeezing through this bottleneck of a town
Pushed between the bay and the mountains
They must feel constrained with the long narrow passage
It must feel like choking on the palpable lack of motion
It must be why they never

We chose to stop here
To stay here
Settling into the midst of the neck
Between bay and mountain
Where the lack of
The less of
Doesn't choke us
Here, we swallow
And every morsel of this life
Tastes so sweet

~nicolas hall 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

Second Skin

"You mean you don't want any of them?" my mother asks, at least semi annually.
She has taken out the shoebox of old photos and cards again.
A semi annual ritual though not one in accord with any changing of seasons or certain anniversaries.

"No, none. . . thank you." I respond
Semi annually

I have never been one for the taking of or keeping of photographs.
As long as I can remember, I never found myself wanting to look into polaroid frames of the past.
At least not ot when the image I would be looking at was myself

This is not a preference derived from avoiding shadows
I had a most wonderful childhood
The images my mother keeps are, I know, happy and light
A family history unstained
She keeps them, I have supposed, to quell her age-old fears that she was the reason I moved far away
That she was somehow a faulty mother

It's much simpler than that though
I do not want to look into those eyes staring from the box.
My eyes
At ten
At thirteen
At fifteen

I am afraid of what I might see there
I am afraid of the sign of a secret separation

While others often keep photographs as markers of their youth and pull them out, or up, to remind themselves of what once was, or what could have been, I tend to walk side by side with my past
Always keeping close to that boy
Of ten
Of thirteen
Of fifteen
He is with me in every way
As much a part of me now as then.

So close that
Sometimes I think of him as a second skin
And I know it can be so easy
To dissolve that part of ourselves into a living, time-line memory
Instead of doing away with the apparitions of adulthood
The ones which keep us stacked in the cardboard shoe boxes
Filed under "Yesterday"
While we struggle daily
Just to breathe and
To find a way home

nicolas hall - 2012