November 25, 2008


I wish that I would have been there to follow you to the bars
to hand you pen and paper to capture your stars
instead of clowns handing you demons inside glasses
that made you more evil with each passing possession

been a tape recorder for your burning vibrant mind

been the sky for you to speak your stars onto

been the blank storyboard for you to glue your
cut-out cartoon characters and captions onto

been the empty notebook pages for you to sing
the symphonies of your mind and heart onto

been the film for your camera eyes to burn
hot stares and hotter pictures onto

captured these flashes of brilliance

caged your words before they flew away
to islands of forgetfulness to roost forever out of reach
and then released those words onto your mind's island
to where you could travel, aboard ships of your imagination,
to call their names -those birds- to your hands
to sing once again to you
to project those songs into the skies

but now, those birds will never sing for us
we will never hear their songs in your words
we will never hear of those other trips to your inner islands
or to the outer streets, vibrant and charged with electricity and souls
we will never even know where to find those birds to call out to them
to have them perch upon fingers
to educe lost, fragile, unknown songs from their throats

because the map to your inner islands - it was stolen
by those demons inside glasses
lifted from your lips before you could even
plot the coordinates to draw that map
stolen from inside your mind
melted into candle wax puddles
drowned in the alcoholic flesh of those demons

so we -I- will never find the way to your lost treasures

and I can only hope that there is some truth in reincarnation
some way that souls revolve in grooves on records
are songs spinning back around to be replayed
in diamond needles as the records turn

because if that be true
then maybe one day
I will hear you sing again

nicole nicholson (Milwaukee, WI, 1976)


chad said...

there's a musical thing going on here that i like, and it somehow softens the bitterness of it all. it's an elegy after all... right? would love to see other comments on it.

(is it me or nobody cares to go beyond "i liked it", "good work" and "well done"... oh well...)

Crafty Green Poet said...

I like the musicality of this, also it operates at three levels for me - the individual person the poem is addressed to, but also makes me think of the death of a language and the loss of bird species

jack sender said...

The various objects you brought into this, the pen, notebook,recorder, etc, create pictures and actions to further the story. It is written right, well caged words, as you so aptly stated .

Brings to my mind the mockingbirds in Ohio that were so plentiful when I was a child, and are no more.

Pam said...

Congratulations on the publication of your poem, Nichole. The struggle you portrayed between self-medicating and finding a different way to express a gift is well written. Your poem wishes it could have provided just the right tool to become the savior. You carried your themes all the way through the poem. Well done.

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

Hello All:

Thank you for all of your comments on this piece. It's my way of mourning the loss of a person and the loss of potential. He was a writer and I am convinced he had a lot more words gestating inside him, ready to spring forth into the new, and we'll never know what those might have been.

This poem is my best effort to light a candle in memory of him. I don't know if it will ever be good enough to capture what I feel and what we lost, but it's what I've got right now.

I'm not saying that us creative folk are the only ones that self-medicate, but we seem to fall prey to it more often. And this can kill the very gifts inside of us.

I know that you can't save everyone, but here's hoping that many more gifted souls are saved from the brink.

Thank you, all.


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