At the Edges

After years on the road

you return to the edges.

By sea or by land

these moments of remembrance

stand wavering in the wind

blown pages that overlap

past and present phases

like contours of a map

the weather ages on the dash.

In the dark lake water,

dragonflies skim the surface

through which you peer

from a half- submerged pier

tilting into infinity.

The occasional break

in the pine morning quiet,

leaves scenes so familiar

they are like a reflection

rippled on the surface of otherwise placid

tree trunks, those sentinels of memory.

Home again but without its shackles,

he’ll continue his travels

into the night

going bat dark

above the rustling leaves

while morbid pines weep

into these quiverring pond strokes.

Eyes stroll along the dark mirror glass

catching the glimmer

of someone’s camp fire

conquering the edges of forests

and the sides of the road.

That fire tied together all those

that kept him warm.

That glimmer of


a barely buoyant

swimmer within disintegration.


By morning he had disappeared,

leaving only wet dew and coals

approaching smoke that rolls off the lake

in folds that snake through

light breaks in the branches,

ghosts in motion again.

One city blending into the next

rain of realization that nothing lasts.

Dripping wires tied it all together

in elaborate passionate gasps,

fractured into tiny pieces

glittering in the glass

of a thousand parallel eyes.

Neon revolutions of stoplight symbols

known to those who initiated

complete surrender

to that which is transparant,

time, chance, whim,

cooking them together

by the side of the road.

A cutout against the wilderness,

a flickering flame under the pine wings,

riverbrook picnics

the momentum brings

long hours westward,

a straight line to nowhere was freedom.

He thought to write it this way,

in transient moments.

Everything he had to say

moves at a rapid pace

as states recede in rearview mirrors.

The open road fades into deserts,

widens into seas,

wellsprings to seize

pens and make amends,

to frame and make sense

of the curves and the bends,

predicting where this road ends.

Will edges round out

to form something solid to grasp?

Beyond the plateaus and abrupt drop-offs,

something of substance that will last?


8 thoughts on “At the Edges

  1. This goes from crystallization to organic to crystallization/material back to organic to crystallization. By crystallization, I mean the recognizable in terms of material existence. It’s like a sea of visual components and emotional ones.

  2. nick says:

    he is searching./he finds it then looses it then /finds it again .

  3. sue says:

    i can visualize the Lake in new hampshire – the dragon flies – the dark lake -the half submerged pier – its funny how when you go to a place where you’ve spent many years – you can almost hear the sounds, the people who were there, something in the wind I felt it this last time at the cottage..-thanks for sharing. beautiful words

  4. annotating60 says:

    I think you have some solid language in what–well I liked it’s potential, and some of the other things you’ve written such as ‘Notes on Leaving’. I’m not going to give you unasked for criticism. Just keep writing and reading-read fiction more than poetry, but if you read poetry read good poetry-Norton Anthologies of Modern Poets is the best.

  5. annotating60 says:

    I’ve read again parlty beauce I hadn’t remembered I’d read it before. But you have twe separate poems here, both workable but not im my opinion as one.KN

  6. domtakis says:

    I see what you mean and in a sense it is true for this piece is born out of many fragments. I am less interested in getting them all to fit together seamlessly as I am in trying to convey a fractured existence, one that alternates between stillness and motion and is shot through with flashbacks that punctuate the necessity of each for the character. A bit like a film montage.

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