Vagabondage (after Kenneth Koch)

When did you start to follow
me?  I don’t remember
the tables turning—but then
my recollections were never
very reliable.

Even the tangible accumulations
of the collected years that now
emerge from their wrappings
of old news surprise me–
(the news itself does not surprise
me—yellowed headlines that fit
as well into today as yesterday)

How and when did the journey
become so heavy with the past,
so filled with lost voices
calling my name, faces I think
I see in passing, disappearing
into the crowded landscape
full of images I can’t place,
invisibly in plain sight?

I scatter my biography,
filling it with empty spaces,
holes for the wind to find
and carry back on a song through
the branches of winter trees.

I can still hear the melody–
it vibrates along synapses,
along veins and into the heart.
Isn’t that enough in the end?–
the rhythm of a dance
that has no direction,
but spirals everywhere all
at once with no destination
but now.

I was reading Kenneth Koch’s poem “To Old Age”. It made me think of my own journey.

For the earthweal challenge to write a journey-poem.

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

Our memories are full of secrets–
we have no innocence to be rejected.
We long to be the spirit that stalks us–
the last man falling.

27 thoughts on “Vagabondage (after Kenneth Koch)

  1. Kerfe, I really like how this weaves in and out of time and perception and also your conclusion. Whatever else has come before and how/if it paved the way to what is and what will be, the now is what matters. Truly love this:
    “I scatter my biography,
    filling it with empty spaces,
    holes for the wind to find
    and carry back on a song through
    the branches of winter trees.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES!

      I scatter my biography,
      filling it with empty spaces,
      holes for the wind to find
      and carry back on a song through
      the branches of winter trees.

      That’s the section I highlighted also – this is beautiful from start to finish, Kerfe, but those lines…. are just – wow.


      David

      Liked by 1 person

          1. There’s a proposition being put forward here to bring the voting age down to 16. The odd thing is that it’s proposed by political parties that have nothing to gain by it since the 16-18 age group lean far more to the extreme right than their parents. They want to bring in voting by telephone too, so the little dears don’t have to get out of bed to vote. It’s called making the electoral process young people-friendly.

            Liked by 1 person

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