What I Kept

I have been doing a bit of quick editing on some of my un-posted poetry from the past, with the mind that I am ready to share some of them. Still trying to find time to write new, happier ones. In the meantime…here’s this.

What I Kept

One last glimpse of sun filters through opal clouds.
For a moment, the world is tipped with transient gold.
Then, time is ink bled from heaven to drown all light.
I measure steps, and walk into an endless dream.

Is it you, or some fanciful resemblance?
Reassurance?  Whatever the reason, it is desperate.
But my hand trembles, becomes a fist, as I recoil
from the frozen indifference in your eyes.

Morning offers no gentle awakening,
save an intangible memory of movement,
of firelight licking across liquid skin.
Some dreams cannot survive sunshine.

An ardent hunger rides the winter wind,
borne from these dreams, sorrow, and guilt
of a young girl grown fragile too quickly;
of memories that never were, or will be.

You gave me a love I can never breathe to life;
a dream reckoned to angry reason by time.
You left me.  You left me when I needed you.
My heart grows small, and I am much afraid.

Shirley Alexander


Filed under death, life, love, poetry

10 responses to “What I Kept

  1. Tino

    “I measure steps, and walk into an endless dream.”

    I like the image that conjures up in my mind.

    A very powerful poem, sensual, but ending in heartbreak.

    • “smile” Thank you for reading, and for the kind comment. Those kind of dreams do feel like you walk into them.
      Yes, it did end in heartbreak, but that’s okay. It was a while back, and one more lesson learned. What happens is that you think you will die, and maybe hope for it. Then, one day you have to realize that you will live despite all your efforts to resist it, and that living with your reaction to the pain is worse than accepting the pain itself. Blame does not erase pain. Then, the most amazing thing happens: You live, and it feels good. 🙂

  2. Elaine Randall English

    I’m liking it.

  3. belfastdavid

    This is a beautiful atmospheric poem, but I am left with an ache after reading it.

    It is good to have you posting again even if they are older poems. The habit of posting might prompt your muse to start writing again. 🙂

    Look after yourself

    Much love to you

    • Thank you, David.

      It did feel like a step in the right direction to post something…anything, really. And this one leaves me with an ache, but not so much as it did when I first wrote it.

      Going through these poems has given me a new understanding of my own character, and helped me develop the tools I need to make my life better.

      Yes, “the person I wanted to ride off into the sunset with rode off with someone else” :), so maybe he wasn’t the person who was meant for me after all. Anyway, he’s happy, I’m happy, he is still my much appreciated and loved friend, I survived, and I often remind myself that the night is always starry long–regardless who is walking in the moonlight beside me. *smile* You see, I am still the eternal optimist.

      Much love,

  4. Hi Shirley,

    It is always such a pleasure to read your poems. Even in the depth of heartache.
    I’m completely in love with the lines,
    “Then, time is ink bled from heaven to drown all light.
    I measure steps, and walk into an endless dream.”

    For completely different reasons I relate strongly to these lines. They re-capture imagery in the mind and the picture you paint in your poem is very much a space I feel. The heartache of loosing someone you love so much. Sunlight itself can be too much to bear let alone determining the emotion of whether your wants and needs were all illusion or had some sunstance in reality.
    I know though you’ve come so far since you wrote these words. 🙂
    I look forward to seeing what you’ll be inspired to next. Sometimes looking back helps with moving forward and being in the now. I hope your muse lights a strong fire within for you.

    with much love

  5. Tikarma,

    Thank you for your generous comment. Yes, I have come a long way from this. This was a dark place for me, and it’s good to look back on what I was experiencing and appreciate the outcome in a better place. I think I learned my limits. *chuckle*

    My muse has been busy poking me in the shoulder and pulling my hair (metaphorically) lately–so many new ideas streaming in now! I’ve been busy planning my class reunion, and I have a few trips lined up–one this weekend. I have to jot down lines as I find time, and put it all together later. I have one poem, which I finished last night. I might post it tonight or tomorrow morning. With me, it’s all in determining when I will have time to answer comments and read other poets’ work. *sigh*

    The farm is keeping us all worrying and busy now too. Drought seems to have set in, and the hay is cut, fluffed, and still on the ground. It’s too dry to roll. Hay needs a bit of moisture to make rolls, and the only time we have that is after sunset and before sunrise, while dew is still on the grass. Two tractors are out rolling now, and it’s 9:30 p.m. here. They will work until midnight, and go out again around 4 a.m. If the hay stays out on the ground in hot sun too long, it loses nutrients, and basically gets converted to straw.

    In other news, after reading your latest post: I want some chickens! 🙂

    Much love and many thanks,
    (((BIG HUGS)))

  6. Thank you for stopping by! I really do appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment…I read each and everyone of them. I hope your day is a good one and that you will come back again soon. Take care. Nelson Souzza 🙂