The Day The Separation Ended

How much of a poet's output is his life, and how much is his craft, observing the foibles of life and writing of them in such a way that you discover something you already knew?

When a poets uses a personal point of view, is that an invitation to assume he literally means himself? This question has been put to me more than once, both from the curious, and from those in my life who see themselves reflected in my words. To be honest (which is something important to me) I think in order for it to work, it needs some of both. But I often write from the POV of someone else in my life, or from that of an omniscient observer. My point is that while poets use their life and experiences to flavor their work, only a foolish poet tells truth bare and unadorned.

Here is my first piece for NaNoPoMo, some of it is my life, some of it is a poetic expression of what might be, and some of it is human truth. Which part is which is none of your damned business.

You let me know if it works. ;-)


Hospital room kisses hold no hint of fire
born of distance ended, romance re-lit.

As he sat in dwindling afternoon light
holding her sleeping hand, mindful of the tubes,
thinking of life's footsteps, the calendars fleeting feet
and wasted years lived in another county,
he thanked a God he only sometimes believed in,
for not taking away his second chance.

Only days before had they talked, really talked,
for the first time in a score of months,
and the first glimmer of the blaze that used to be
shone out of his eyes when he searched his reflection,
the fire only she was capable of kindling.

The after-midnight call did not scare him at first,
but the ride to the hospital did,
The tremble in her voice scared him more,
this woman whose strength he envied,
and his helplessness scared him most of all.

As he rubbed the crease between her thumb and wrist -
dove soft and tapping her pulse against his skin -
he knew that the words he vowed on that long ago beach
were truer for him now, today, than they were then,
and yet they were nothing to the truth
those words would contain tomorrow, or ever after.

His mistakes were legion, his assets meager,
but within the space between this woman and his heart
was more Grace than he had found in any church.

And in the dying daylight, while his spirit blazed
in a room where suffering had brought out the dark,
he gave way to the will of his heart, gave himself to her,

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