Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Podcasts in the Dark

Waking in the cold and dark
nudged from sleep by the rain
which drums for a measure or two
its part well rehearsed
and worth a listen
if ever I should so choose,
but not tonight
there is no comfort in this storm
and being alone
and suddenly awakened from a queer dream
I put the buds of the music player into my ears
looking for comfort and companionship
and the relative safety of stranger's voices
because their distant words can refocus my thoughts
lull me
distract me into a better place
or at least guide me somewhere safe from mid-night thoughts
which spin an anxious fabric
and then as quickly unravel
into the fog of fear
found too easily in regretful dreams looking back
and night visions searching blindly into some dim future.

I hear the podcast voices talking and telling their stories
of how they came to be themselves
through journeys of gender, color, location, and fate
and so I think
-prompted by their examples
 on this soon so sleepless night-
of my tale
of things that I have said to others and myself
trying to explain
hoping to lay easy claim to my own identity
the compilation of my times, thoughts, and experiences
of what I chose for myself
what I declined
and others things that were forced upon me
All of it
the will and the way
the making of a man.

And sometimes I offer a simple glimpse
to others
by explaining
Where I live and where home truly is
Noting the differences between my residence
and my roots
revealing a little
and maybe at the same time saying nothing much
a small confession to all that listen
wanting for both you and me
to know some of it
the who I am
and how I got to be this way
and why it matters;
it is both a game of show and tell
and hide and seek.

And as my mind wanders on the edge of returning to sleep
I am somehow reminded of standing on the January ice
of a nearby beaver pond
Solid and almost clear as glass
Looking down
and knowing there is more there than can be seen
below the cold transparent surface
that there is in the depth
murk churning
dormant and potential
strata that has issued from above in the years past
and decades before
filtering down and now below
mostly hidden
waiting to be revealed
-or not-
knowing that I may someday celebrate the dragonflies of spring
witness the methane bubbles rise
and revel in the frogs, the turtles, the watery minutia
by probing the mud and mire
looking closely
and perhaps even to sculpt the muck into something new
while looking closely to learn the secreted ways of the past
and how it has made today
this day
more fearfully
out of habit and instinct
I may just shiver and glance away
staying at some safe distance
cautiously peering through the scratch-glass lens
surviving in the neutrality found in the late gray day
leaving it all
well enough alone.