Nailing Smoke To The Wall (Mask)

I wrote this poem in 1996, at a time in my life where I was trying to make sense of my past and my identity. I have always been fascinating by time, memory and mystery and how they play out in our lives. In this poem I play around with the mystery and reality of memory and impermanance.

Nailing Smoke To The Wall (Mask)

In the arm I drift :
Overtures into overtures chaos into chaos,
Dreams into dreams.
Earth forever turning humanity standing still.
Oceans ebb and flow across the translucent mirrors of my soul.
Two bridges converge into one – thoughts creaking actions sleeping;
The doors of my childhood museum come crashing down –
The little boy inside me smiling like a crescent moon :
I remember ! I remember ! How could I forget ?

Of all these things that I have seen and all these places that I have been
Nothing lasts forever.
Human identity
Scored in the notes of my heart.
Woe,
‘tis time who yanks upon my twisted yoke –
In this reign of the I,
‘tis time who cradles this callous tide of memories –
In this rain of the eye.

Each time that I look – at this web that I weave
I see a god within
And I know :
Each man is a mask Each mask is a man.
Fate seals the lips of immortality,
Yet the mystery which flickers and fades will never unfold,
Always beckoning like night which trails through the eyes.
Feasting upon our human frailties,
While we dance among Adam’s ribs.

And so I plant the seed of hope on ambitions tongue,
The whining winds of fear ruffle the webs in my eyes
And I am licking wounds that bind the seal of space,
Trying to nail smoke to the wall.
Soon, this mortal linkage will disassemble
While I, perish beneath the ruins of memory.
Must I ask you : What mystery will remain when I am dead ?
And of the angel called memory : Quis custodiet ipsos custudes ?
(Who will guard the guard himself ?)

 

© R.J. Hudson 1996.

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