This old house

Forever, an old house has stood in a field,
A grey silent sentinel ghost of the past,
It stands consumed by the morning fog,
Leaning imperceptibly, it is unperturbed,
The house knows its value, its purpose remains,
People may forget history, the house will not,
Lives passed through  its doors and rooms,
Children once scampered and played on its porch,
Lazy hounds escaped the summer heat there,
How many meals were cooked in its kitchen,
What joy gathered there in its dining room,
It has seen men go off to war, never returning,
It has heard the moan of birthing pain,
Then, swelling with the cries of a newborn,
Silenced, Sunday hymns once sang its song,
Where old men whittled, a possum or two live,
A tree is growing up  though the porch floor,
Now forlorn, passed by, it is indistinguishable,
Time is swallowing it year upon year,
That boundless cavern has eaten its heart,
Its eyes to the outside world hollow, glass-less,
The house will slowly collapse into the earth,
While it stands, it holds the vault of memories,
But, just as the house, memories die with time too,
When they are gone, only the debris of life remains.

©2015, Donald Harbour

Tricks of the mind

Often, drifting on the edge of sleep, or
wakefulness, I am visited by ghosts.
Diaphanous images floating across memory,
lost to the passage of years, but now found.
As after a rain, a desert springs to life,
there grow long dormant seeds, friends and
lovers, words and deeds, sorrow and gladness,
pain and pleasure, all the dichotomies
of life resolved to join together again.
I find them a reassuring comfort, they are
glimpses at treasures buried by the mind’s
age, cloistered in a monks habit, hooded
by the cloth of years, gliding for an encounter
to shine their life’s lantern light upon my path,
for a moment pushing back gathering darkness,
then fading toward a sunset, into forgotten time.

©2013, Donald Harbour

A thought

This form of poetry is a Sestina. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a moment, bound by a proffered thought,
I was caught in its golden fleeting hold.
An eventide breach of my consciousness,
a vaporous single wisp buried in my mind.
It is a mysterious breeze, I must confess,
the wind of time has challenge me to know.

I felt fear of learning what I might know
nature’s mysterious parlor trick produced by thought.
Do we by a slight of hand, our secrets confess?
Or, do we strive to release our tenuous hold,
allowing some dusty forgotten corner of the mind
to sweep away, that grain of consciousness?

This bright pebble picked up in consciousness,
that flowing stream passing, rushing to know.
I am stilled by this hidden sacrament of mind,
a tarot card born of a single unread thought.
What fortune of the future does it now hold?
To gain it, to read it, what must I confess?

It is not as from a void the dying confess,
it is a shining diamond of life’s consciousness.
I wonder what telling my last breath will hold.
Yet I dwell upon this passage to feel, to know,
to search the foot paths of my soul. That thought,
runs wild across the aging pastures of my mind.

From somewhere in the misty past of the mind,
the fog of time has hidden things not to confess.
As water begins to boil, heating the caldron of thought,
it pulls those diaphanous  vapors into consciousness.
At last what was unknown becomes mine to know.
Something I had lost long ago, in vision I now hold.

From a dawning portico your half-light shadow I hold.
You who are a hallowed spire of a youthful day mind,
you have awakened dim memories I did not wish to know.
This is a receding tide of my heart I cannot confess,
for it lays bare the dark that fell between our consciousness.
In pain, my companion hearthstone, you rise to thought.

You are not a keepsake to hold, forgetting you I do confess,
banishing you from my mind. What was a challenge to consciousness,
I not want to know, remembering lost love is a foolish thought..

©2012, Donald Harbour

The Soul’s Poetry seeks Absolution

I once faced this world bound and cast in a pit
of despair.
Words saved me.
I do not claim poetry,
it has claimed me for good
or worse.

The ache with in pounds upon my soul
seeks absolution through its complaint,
those observed moments of life
where truth
meets the lie.

As oil and water separate,
knowing the difference

What I feel is not given to know.

You would not understand.

You would walk along the sandy beach
looking only at the placid surface
of that which is me beneath the waves.

Never knowing the depths.

Never knowing the leviathans there.

My greatest fear is that
there is more.
Something in the dark depths of me
that must be,
should be written.

My greatest fear is that you will never
Reach out and grasp a drop of this water.
These salty tears that would give meaning
to the poetry
I was given to give.

The fear that you will pass by these words and
they will die
as each sunset does,
never to be seen again.

Will you
remember only the sunset?

©2011, Donald Harbour

Who will remember

When sunset fades to night
Will you remember it
Can you feel the beginning
Of its day, its journey
Will you reflect on the moments
Of each melody it sang
The tinkling distant bells of wind
The crystal magic of its light
Painting azure skies with white clouds
The green of the grass and trees
Flowers yearning for a bee kiss
Ripples in a brook, ocean surf
Life awakened, vibrant, joyous
These tracks in time never again
Each minute of each day different
Each sunset a unique treasure
Living and dying in its course
If not you, then who will remember
When you can no longer remember
Who will remember your sunset
When sunset fades to night

Night will catch him

I watched him go,
That shy young man.
Watched him from the safety
Of memory’s silent cold room.
He walked with purpose,
Though, he did not know his purpose,
He was too inexperienced,
Too optimistic, too open.
The world would take care of that,
Push stones in his path,
Rain on his parade,
Give love, then snatch it away.
Watching him, my heart was heavy,
Not for the doubts felt,
More for the envy of his adventure.
Life immersed in a can of peas,
Which delicate green morsel is his?
Will he swallow it whole,
Or, hold it in his mouth, savoring?
There is only one globe offered,
It holds all there is to be,
All the nourishment a body needs,
Life’s perfect seed so easily consumed.
He is distant now, a mere speck,
Yet he strides down the narrow road,
The dust of years follows his heels.
Soon night will catch him,
Swallow him in a cloak of journey.
I strain to see him and wonder aloud,
“Will the dawn remember his footsteps?”

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour