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Driving Alone Through the Sand Hills of Nebraska
My love is light (a fairy kiss?) Like the pressure of sunbeams on your cheek, Ineffable, and yet capable of changing lives… Darkening skin to a more attractive hue, Pushing spaceships to distant stars (given time) , Even causing cancer given sufficient lack of love for self. For love is not about just getting needs met by another, No, love is more like a laser's coherent beam…. For in reflecting back a portion of what is given, The power of what is being created grows Until it can cut through the hardest steel And span the gulf between galaxies. Poetry too grows through the cross-fertilization of newborn lines, The lines of this poem insist that I record their birth. Each new line grabs me by the scruff of the neck, Forces me to hit the brake, grab my pen, And claim it in my family bible… My only children, clamoring to be set in ink. As these Voyagers' pass into the present state of my art (Some that I barely recognize in their profligate parentage Of older verse's new verse's newer verse still) … Somehow still carriers of my own genetic code. They press my design against the blank page Flying in search of, homing on… your heart. My love's intent is simply truth (do you want less?) Would you have me downplay The warmth of our connection Because it is complicated by here-to-fore Unacknowledged passion, spiritual connection, And the remnants of former relationships (Even those still gasping for breath) ? Or feign a lack of attachment to it's denouement In a solitary attempt to feel safer? No matter can restrain the effects of gravity On the orbits of other bodies in its field of influence, Gravity that binds us all in deep wells of space-time. Your kiss of greeting… After so many years of imagining such a possibility, Imprinted deeper than even my memory of our first meeting, Our moonlit shadows touching as we soaked naked In the steaming waters of a volcanic mountain spring. This new conjunction of souls occurred in God's clear view, Without artifice or scheming on our part And rocked my inner core to it's depths, Organizing molten currents of confused turbidity Into a magnetic flare of such intensity That iron flew to my spine Inspired me to finally declare my love To acknowledge your impact on my life… And after a period of gestation Gave birth to this poem of celebration. Back to Nebraskan reality and a new mystery… I pass an overturned car, Its wheels tied by yellow police tape, A metaphor for my life perhaps 'Damaged but still salvageable.' The windows are broken out, The occupants removed to a distant hospital somewhere (Hopefully arriving alive) , Their odds and ends of life scattered like garbage On the inverted ceiling of their car. The explanation, perhaps, is the water still standing Several inches deep on the road side near the wreck? A sudden orgasmic release of cloud in a desert…. The car tops the hill to find the highway Buried by a lake of dimensions only God can know. Who would expect such a thing in Nebraska's sand hills? And what does it say about me finally That I am so drawn to distant objects, That the two women given access to my heart are Both still tied to failed marriages By dark chapters I am not part of And innocent children who need their love? And at our age where is the partner without a past? Is this all that God has planned for you and me, That we 'just miss' every thirty years or so? I know there are times I am afraid to trust another's love, Cannot even hear words of genuine affection. Perhaps this explains my attraction to women Whose availability might really be in question? Maybe I'm afraid to let a real lover in? Is the simple dream of love a better choice Than the chance of finding real love anew (Even love with an expiration date) ? I think I'm more distrustful of my own heart's passion Than I am of women being unreceptive to my love. Do you struggle with similar feelings? And is it my lot to only remember passion like this in a poem While you spiral away to unimagined rendezvous'? The coldness of space is not after-all The simple absence of heat… No, in human dimensionality it is more the absence of others… Others who both shine life force toward us And reflect our own light back to us, Who collide with us physically and emotionally Altering our pathways forever, And who crater the façade whose design We imagine belongs to us alone. The void of human space-time is a true 'black hole' Sporting only star death fragments of the 'Big Bang.' This is all I really know… I treasure the memory of our 'fly-bys' Even if that's all they ever are. And if I'm lucky this joy, This celebration of your existence, Will continue to pour out of me in songs and verse… For your ears always (if I am so honored) , For God's heart (as I was born to honor Him) , And to the stars alone if I have only them for company. Brian Johnston August 2009 This poem, like 'A Walk Near Blunt, ' began during an actual drive from South Dakota to Oklahoma and then took on a life of it's own. These 'real life narrative' poems are part of an attempt on my part to give precedence to truth and content over form and rhyme. For readers with an interest in science, I hope you also enjoy my attempt in this and other poems to bring my love of Physics into the world of poetic imagery.
Copyright © 2020 Brian Johnston. All Rights Reserved