By John David Higham
Traveling to Montreal in dreamland,
I lived a life of possibilities then;
Of a spacious home in which I wandered about
In the early morning light
As the sun arrived, illuminating mansions and skyscrapers.
Meals were made as my family gathered;
Stories and jokes retold.
Then, morning arrived
Bringing in the mundane waking world
As annoyance rapidly blossomed.
A thousand times yes into maybe into no into never, never, never
As possibilities dropped from the sky as if leaden flocks of birds
That brought their lifeless heaviness into my heart.
So quickly the ground beneath my running feet softened,
Swallowing me up to my waist,
My every movement hastening my inertia.
Ones are bad now and I see them all around me:
Tasks daunting, even the pleasurable ones.
People annoying, even the intriguing ones.
Obligations overwhelming, even the simplest ones.
Might I be still and surrender to the quicksand of my thoughts
Creating perfect reasons to become even more daunted, annoyed, and overwhelmed?
Going neither left or right, forward or backward?
I embrace this muck clinging to my soul;
My mind continues producing multiple webs
Of knotted tangles that form a dark soaked fabric
Now covering my head as I submerge further into my living grave.
Who has done this to me, I wonder.
How did this evolution take place?
Such useless questions give rise to nothing.
I am nothing when stuck.
I am not serene, I am not alive.
Stuck is not stillness, but freezing.
Freezing is not surrendering,
But the soul’s suicide.
I go back.
I go back to Montreal,
Returning to the feeling I was
When I looked out and watched the sun begin
The city’s day; the dream world’s breakfast
Filling my senses with anticipation of nourishment.
A stir of amusement passes through my consciousness like a leaf drifting by on the wind.
I am the leaf.
I am the wind.
I am the muck…
And, then my soul breaks free;
As my poem makes the birds
Once again fly and returns me