Archive for the ‘Catalyst Reading’ Category

1972-02-23 The morning wind

Wednesday, February 23rd, 1972
                          The morning wind
            When the morning wind has come again
            to rattle my window pane
            and the morning fog to make
            the dream gray world the same
            the winter's chain it holds me
            in a house overseeing dead grass
               I lay by my lady, spoons cupped
               my arm around her
               breathing the cleaness of her hair
            Of naked highways
            thru razor mountains
            of my aching muscles
            and eyes that squint in salt
            dreaming...of lust for my other lady
            who will wait for me
            when the season's turned.
               And I will go
               and stand above the tree line
               on some mountain's flank
               to be where only high contrails
               mar 2 billion years of natural selection
               and remembering indian thoughts
               I'll put my watch in my pocket.
            Two ladies love me in this life
            and I can give them neither all
            for while one lies enfolding me
            I hear the other's call.
                                    23 feb 72
                                    Long Beach

— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —

1975-05-05 5 May 75 … the conversation

Monday, May 5th, 1975
                    5 May 75 ... the conversation

   Last night she talked to me and expressed more than I knew she held
     vessel of my love...
   Like night and day, I walk in and out of her influence
     and I'm torn by the winds of our love and thoughts,
       and she, for her love, bears as much.
   Until we know, we won't be free of this waiting
     and until we part or mend, we'll be torn of heart.
   Deal my mind cries... wait, my heart screams...
     hurry, my fears whisper... Rose my love says, ... Rose.
   She said maybe we'd never be happy,
     she said maybe the big hurt would be better
       than this waiting and a future filled with more hurts.
   And then she held me until not the winds of hell could touch me
     and whispered to me to do the best I could.
   She said if she could just know that I was coming back
     she could cope with anything... and I tried.
       I tried to make it work, to say it without cheating...
         but, I couldn't.
   There's no way to say for sure if you don't know
     unless you cheat or lie... I wanted to put her on hold...
       wait for me, I thought, don't get lost until I know...
         but we both know who would lose more this way.
   So strange... when I'm away I can't think of anything else
     for the emptiness that fills me so threateningly
   I move in dreams which wait to wake...
     I drift in these dreams, unfelt... unseen, spaced
   a traveler in a silent scream...
     moving in poses... through washed out scenes.
   She says I want my cake and to eat it too.
     That, like some child, I imagine a paradise here
       lying hidden from me here in my mundane life.
   I want love without hassles and problems...
     she doesn't... she doesn't want or imagine more.
        Our love is more than enough to make life good
   Is it that we're afraid that since we've only loved once
     that it wouldn't happen again if we split?
   And, are we avoiding the answer, either way,
     with this touch and go love of ours?
   Am I improving myself with all of this...
     or just ruining a good marriage?
   Do I know the answers and my pride blocks my sight
     of do I know and it's just fear that stays my hand
        or do I just not know?
   Is the way of the intellect just too hard for me...
     or is my common sense saving me?
   Am I just a fool chasing whimsical ideas
     or am I a coward,
        afraid to live my best dreams out?
   What am I...that I can feel her love like warm hands all over me
     and her arms like all the mothers in the world
        and think there's still more?
   What am I...that I can see how our love holds me
     because of my emotional need for love's security
        and not walk away from this material bond?
   Who am I...that I should have to answer...
     and who am I that I cannot?

                                 5 may 75 North Long Beach
                                 - late at night at Rose's apt.

— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —

1976-12-24 Christmas Eve

Friday, December 24th, 1976
                          Christmas Eve

      With watery blue eyes and Norwegian accent,
      Hallard told me, with dignity,
      how it is to live on, afterwards.
      Not much to do at home;
      just the little dog she loved, waiting.

      Chuck's wife, Etta, had said
      he was sleeping on those same sheets
      she had put down after the funeral...
      sleeping in those same pajamas
      and never cleaning up after the dog,
      just spending the evenings in the bars
      until it was time to go to work again.

      Chuck talked a lot; a compulsion.
      He told me about the doctors
      and how hard it was to get the straight
      about those spots on the x-rays.
      One doctor was going to pass him off to another
      without asking him, but he cut him short.
      If they wouldn't consult with him, he'd look elsewhere.

      Rose said he's dying of cancer and that Etta knows it
      but that they don't think he does.
      Etta, I had thought, must be a little simple...
      how she walked around and smiled meekly.
      Unobtrusively passing in and out of our moments,
      not sad, just brittle, like a hurt child
      trying to be good.

      Hallard sat telling me how nice it was
      to have the family together at Christmas...
      the holidays were lonely times since his wife had passed on.

      And I'd been tolerant - pleasant to all of them;
      Rose's relatives and their holiday gathering.
      A bit boisterous and condescending and bored,
      and telling Rose, with barely concealed pride,
      how well I was putting up with it all.

      Hallard will go back to his Los Angeles apartment and his dog
      and Chuck and Etta will go back back to Washington like Rose's parents
      and these moments won't pass again for any of us.

      We won't sit here again in our ignorance and pain,
      the young and the old, the condescending and the patient...

      But its not so bad for us to be here together;
      they see us as spirits yet unbent
      and they can yet find some meaning and hope
      in our ignorance and our condensation and confidence.
      They were young once.

      And we, if our eyes were opened, would see great courage there
      in their eyes and their hours, courage, without cheering,
      courage in the face of death, aging and agony
      and in the face of our condescending youth.

                                 24 Dec 76

— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —