Friday, April 20, 2012

ON HAPPINESS

This continent often seems
at an inch length from your fingertips,
yes, you are almost there, come on,
you are almost touching it, very little is now
required, less than a step forward, cheer up, go.
Your  toes at the water’s edge.
A matter of a tiny little bit of more courage.

Or it has always been
miles away, you have never
even seen it, let alone sojourned there,
a stretched, relentless chimera,
limpid notes of a faraway song
and you have been nothing more
than dreaming on.
It’s its nature, that’s what you sense, be sincere,
you hardly want to believe, or you only envy,
those who keep saying they have been there.

And find yourself indulging often in the end
in an idle reverie of commonplaces inducing only self-contempt,
trite, strewing postcard images:
a beach, a palm, a gorgeous woman in a deck-chair,
in bikini, by the hot white sand…
and smile at yourself because it’s after all
an image wafting from some glorious film of the 60’s,
maybe one of the first James Bond’s.
Nostalgia, ineluctable sailing.

So you have been nothing more than drifting,
“distracted from distraction by distraction”
and the mermaids have been singing, as ever not for you,
as ever for God knows who.
Sweet persistence, vast deception,
how you love it nonetheless
despite its miles of mirages and no direction.
Stubborn mermaids offer no protection.
But you haven’t drowned, not yet,
you are normally awake and normally digress
and fret.  

2 comments:

Dave King said...

For me, the last stanza is what the verse is all about.

Sweet persistence, vast deception,
how you love it nonetheless
despite its miles of mirages and no direction.
Stubborn mermaids offer no protection.

puts it so graphically and yet so succinctly. And yet I could have chose the lines preceding these.

Excellent, the poem drives to a finish.

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