Being Distant: The Mind of a Poet

May 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm (The Mind of a Poet)

This poem is a new one. It is my hope that my continued work on imagery that both stands alone and represents other things is developing. It is, afterall, a particular element of poetry that separates the bois from the men…so to speak.  While I am not the world’s greatest poet, I do at least strive to create literary work that follows the elements of poetry. I believe it is, like any craft, a thing which requires some practice, some attention to form and function, to style and use of tools, and a willingness to learn, to study, to work at it. There is a cliché that states that a writer writes; that is, a writer practices. Practice makes progress. But,  truth is, a writer also reads. Just as the art student studies the masters, a writer reads. A writer–as opposed to a person who puts words upon a page to communicate thoughts–studies. I am saying all of this to say: you may begin to see that there is a movement in newer work to become more minimalist and more imagery focused. Feel free to let me know how you think I am progressing. I hope you like this poem.

Being Distant

This distance wears on us, tires
us as we seek to close it, move to
step again into the light of presence. 

It is a large, dark, watery cave;
we slog through mud, slip on rock,
become disoriented as lamps flicker,
our voices echo dully, words run
together like the pinging drip of water
all around us; we reach for footing. 

We have told ourselves, told each
other, these times are necessary;
there are things to be done, a way 

to be made. Like rocks in a river,
we are being polished, made smooth,
perfected by these separations. Like
pilgrims returning to a sacred well,
each coming together nourishes our
thirst, confirms us and our commitment. 

There is truth in what we tell ourselves.
Yet, the making way is hard; the tools
we use inadequate to move the heavy earth

between us and daylight. When I am
there, or you are here, we are deepened
like a tap-root pushing down for growth.
Apart, we cover up in the silence of our
longing alone, protected, and struggle
not to become the thing we must endure. 

In still moments, quiet with wanting, we
live with this being distant, and reach out
to touch through dreamy air thick like fog.

There will, soon, come a day when
the leaving is only dark cave-like memory,
when we will rise together in the same place
knowing we have been perfected—we have
pushed our roots deep, watered them well,
and sent strong branches high into the light.

NOTE:  This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.


  1. Scintillectual said,

    Your expression of this time apart is exquisite and painful. This has, by far, been the hardest time away yet. Because of the stress of the move, I take little solace in the fact that there will only be one more leaving between now and the time I arrive forever. I have become that which I abhor—snappy, short-tempered, ill-mannered, shrewish. I have become overwhelmed and at times resentful that I have made this decision at all.

    But throughout, I know what life awaits us. I know that we will be able to lay our heads down together at night and awake together every morning. I know that we will create our homes together so that they don’t feel so much like separate spaces. I know that we are everything that is right with the world and all will indeed be well.

    Bear with me darling. The water that threatens to drown us, will actually keep us afloat. And while I may tread and fight and nearly blind you with my splashing about, I will calm down eventually and let the river carry me to you… and more peaceful waters.

    I so love you and I so appreciate that you love me even when I slog about and curse and moan and fret and kvetch. You rock, baby. Seriously.

    Always and in all ways,

    • androgynonamous said,

      And, you rock as well, baby girl. This time apart has been the most difficult…for each of us in different ways, and for different reasons. You know [we know] those things that have shaken us, rattled our footing at times. I do indeed love you. And, I can honestly say, that when I listen to my own instincts, and do not allow the rumblings of outer influences to shake my sense of things or disorient my bearings, I can be still with my sureness of us and of what I know to be between us. That said, in those clear moments, I embrace your “splashing about” as you put it…because I know where it comes from. I know it, just as I know where my own tendency toward masking or over-reaching comes from. We express the same desires and fears in very different ways. I know that, at the core of this thing between us, lies a deep and unfettered, passionate love born in knowledge and acceptance of each other that is, indeed, “everything that is right with the world” and it is good. We have waited so long to be here, to have this chance together, that it seems impossible to me that there would not be moments of urgent, frustrated, need to just get it all in place and be in the full presence of the thing. To be: “in the light of presence.” [to quote myself…] I appreciate that you, too, love me when I am not myself. And, I know that all of this will be resolved when we are in the light–it is not here with us when we are together.
      The truly beautiful thing to me is this: given all we survived to get here, all we worked through in our own past so that the way was clear to begin with, any trials and travails we suffer now but do not allow to best us, only make us stronger and assure that we can–together–weather any storm. No quaking earth can sever our foundation. No wind can rend our roots. No outside force can push us. We are solid, but able to bend like the willow and to send down a deeper root on the windward side the oak. I am here building the fire that will be our heat and our light. I will–and do–not only bear with you, but will bear you as needed–as you would me–and I will hold your hand as we float together on choppy waves and peaceful waters. I am yours, now and ever, come what may. These are my vows to you. Always.

  2. Blazer said,

    I think you are progressing just fine buddy. But you had me a few poems back.

    • androgynonamous said,

      Happy am I, buddy. I feel, actually, like quite a success given that you are not only reading poetry–at least mine–but might be coming to like it. As they say, if you touch one person…
      Thanks for the support. Talk to you soon.

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