The Unsettled Past

moon over lanikai

When you become a veil

between the past and the present

through what you feel

and what you relate,

what allows the both to meet and perhaps heal

the psychic wound between them?

The trauma is visible

in the landscape of a buried story.

Twilight persuades the edges to fall away,

 suddenly it is yesterday

and it seems nothing has changed.

But you know how it ends

as the sun bends over the Ko’olau rims

and dark begins to settle in

to the borders of our lives.

You feel compelled to tell it again,

at the foot of a mountainous urge

to speak the words by way of suggestion,

what lies behind the mist

as darkness lifts from where it was hidden.

It is gathering its powers again,

to squeeze the light into submission.

Every evening at about this time,

on the surface of the sea,

whole swaths sprawled bloody

as canoes are dragged ashore,

the sudden exile as the beach goers

gather apparel and drift away

from the longing waves and their approach.

Where nothing remains

save the shallow graves of footprints.

In time the crescent moon appears

as muffled sounds lend trickery to the ears.

The shadows of trees fill the park,

like the impression in the dark

of ghosts in your mind.

With no flashlight to guide,

with no distraction for your thoughts to reside,

you begin to imagine the walk, the stillness,

the ominous car parked in the corner of the eyes.

Soon there’s Kalapawai lit up with spaceship lights,

this haven feels like miles away

for those who play beyond the neighborhood curfew.

Waiting under the banyan at dead man’s curve,

a car swerves into view

with faces pressed against the glass,

you blink your eyes tightly

to see if this image lasts

of the helpless who pass into the wind

of leaves dragged behind machines.

It quiets down, you blink, and there it is again

as if on repeat

in the dark corridors of stone wall and tropical branch,

this proto projector permitting an obscured glance

of the fleeting macabre dance

of the hopelessly unsettled past.

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4 thoughts on “The Unsettled Past

  1. Frank says:

    thanks for stopping by yspn – hope you are well and i look forward to reading more of your craft – great ‘introduction’ page…

  2. nicktakis2012 says:

    Dom It is an eerie poem – haunting and unsettling in some ways… something of the past gnawing at a person and never going away.. The night and all its dark corners and unknowns.. the faces pressed up against the window… scary .. thanks would love to hear your ideas on it. mom

    Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2014 10:31:56 +0000 To: nicktakis@hotmail.com

    • domtakis says:

      Glad the eeriness came through and that you were moved by it. We’ve talked about how when you are aware of something that happened in a place in the past it can leave a trace of itself. There are certain times and circumstances where this becomes amplified and through storytelling/poetry we can lend voice to it and attempt to bridge the past to the present.

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