Shadows in the House of Lights
can be seen if you believe they are
there. It’s the long traveled deep
wheeled road that got me here. Near
darkness followed like a spell, and the
outlined view was found, the old
house with yellow lit windows, flickering
from inside. In town it’s told a Civil
War General lived here. But never
came back. A reclusive daughter lived
within for years then disappeared as
if she never really existed. The mother
died suddenly decades ago. Only her
name remains in the county clerk’s
ledger of deaths. Family cemetery
lay a short walk behind the house as if a
breeze away. I knocked on the door.
Climbed through a window. Found my
way to the cellar of connected rooms,
connected doors. And then, a narrow
tunnel of red brick, clay walls and
downward steps in the direction of
the cemetery. I recoiled from the
unknown that laced a fear, some
how foreseen, hidden inside like a
force of personal history like a self
destructive sensation. I drove back
to town. Told what happened. They
asked, “did I see shadows without
their bodies moving about?” I replied,
“only my own.” They all answered with
a voice like a distant echo, “return to the
house. You do not belong here. Hurry.”
I remembered the house garden pond.
Now dried, leaving gold bones of fishes.
Leaving everything in a haze.
The dead made you forget myself
that is, the person I never
was, even so, presently-
Not to be known, to be recalled.
My value from point to point
uttered voices dying in spaces
of wind storms, sandy they travel,
in slight stillness still visible, greater.
We are layers, you and I like a
passing generation, now, then–
Keepers, you kept the moving so alive.
Above, below, the same geography
is of stone, bronze, paper, plastic, and
icon-like steel, soft as white linen.
Then you settled matters quicky by
exclusion, oblivion, and dreary as if
the world, be it strange. I am
unfamiliarly-blue among others like a
stark sky, flat unto itself and the grave,
Turquoise, the necklace taken from your
like every romantic dream. Dreaming
yourself that is thin, beside the window
view, you standing there, I shall
actually touch such thoughts.
32nd and Pearl Avenue
The city is on fire again tonight. By
way of neons, shops, outdoor cafes,
colorful collisions and
conversations between young
adults. Blazing their diligent ideas
and diversity. They have blueberry
muffins, red wine, coffee, Mexican
foods that melt heavenly while
their fixed cerebrals twist about.
To an older generation this display
is redundant. You never see them
here in twilight hours. But among
the landscapes of voices and visions
the fair and fresh search
for ageless answers to endless
questions like so many cups of
poured hot tea. Then a somebody
one morning at the office asked,
“have you heard yet? The Flat
Earth Society lost another member
Stanley M. Noah has a BGS degree from The University of Texas at Dallas. He has been published in the following: Wisconsin Review, Nexus, Main Street Rag, South Carolina Review, Poetry Nottingham, and other publications in the U.S.A., Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.
Winner of The Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest, 2006. Poet of the month: Sept., 2009, fullofcrow.com.