2022 · Poems

“Wind Phone”

“Winding Wind” ©️ C.P. Hickey 2020

“Wind Phone”

I had heard tales of a wind phone

Somewhere in Japan

Talk to your dead loved

They said

I bought a plane ticket

I flew on the wind

I found the wind phone

It was somewhere in Japan

I waited in the queue

My turn finally came

I approached the booth with trepidation

It was white

That is to say the booth was dreadful white

And there was a small neatly organized table

Organized in precision in only the way a small Japanese table could be

Upon it was a phone

Black and dull

What was once shiny glossy

Passed through thousands upon thousands of hands

Hand to ear

Mouth to word

Word to air

Not ears…

Wind phone!

Talk to your dead loved

They said

Only, I chose differently

I didn’t talk to my Father

Dead these eight years

I didn’t talk to my Mother

Dead these twelve years

I didn’t even speak to the baby we lost between my first son and my first daughter

Perhaps, his name was Hieronymus

No, I spoke to no dead loved

But, I put my words into the wind phone

Hoping the wind would find the ears of my second son, Paul

He is minimally verbal

But, luckily for us, more verbal than most

I try to persuade the wind with my silver tongue

Persuade it to unlock the mystery of my second son

Who often releases words on the wind,

Hoping those words unlock some type of understanding between us

As I look out over a Japanese valley

The wind carries my words away

Not to be heard,

Nor understood

The wind phone holds me silent

As I wait for a connection

Whether my second son was there

Or ten thousand miles away,

Our words are carried over the wind

And, pass us by.

Blowing fierce into the stratosphere

Carrying our DNA back to the stars that we came from

Out to somewhere where our dead loved

Are rejoined in a Big Bang connection

As I hung up the phone

I looked backward at the queue,

And felt shame for my wind blasphemy

I had to try

Before I myself become dead loved

I hope they can forgive me—

I hope Paul can forgive me—

I then thought to myself…

That maybe sometimes not being able to talk to your dead loved

Is not as bad as not being able to talk to your alive loved

2021 · Poems · poetry

“Stripped of Memory”

“Light Lit” ©️ C.P. Hickey 2021

“Stripped of Memory”

The memory of this place consigns its pain to me

A bunch of grapes plucked off,

Empty sprigs form quiet stress

Place-holding taunts and barbs,

The burnt toast ghost of treasured anticipation

Who will remember what I can’t?

When I can no longer bear witness

Such is the narrative:

A leaf blows off a bridge

After having been stuck

And dances the air

Until it comes to float on restless waters

Carried away to be counted among other forgetful forgottens

Poems · poetry

“The Quiet Man”

“The Quiet Man”

“The Quiet Man”

Working hours on the day,

Commute seemed long and drawn.

Intentions dreamt and paved the way,

For moments long past gone.

Laughter lilts and lingers on,

Despite a darker sky.

It’s much less blue than once before,

No reason, sense, or why?

Traveled with, for much the way,

A journey shared in common.

Absence carves a heart dismayed,

Off-stage, but not forgotten.

Occasion brings on thoughts of you,

Long memory’s pure insistence.

A life lived well is never through,

Imbued by love’s persistence.

Quietly, a Quiet Man,

Walks through life majestic.

Laughter lilts and lingers on,

Remembering poetic.

Anecdote

“All The World’s A Stage”

“All The World’s A Stage”

The funny part about Saturday morning ballet?

Not the pink stretch of leotards.

Not the lobby antics of children just emerging toddlerhood.

Not the eleventh hour rush to the bathroom necessitating the peeling off of pink leotards, despite the sincere queries in advance designed to avoid such calamity

But, rather the stories . The stories from oversharing mothers.

An inescapable drone.

Not the ones that prattle on about their exceptional children.

No, in fact, the blessed mothers who prattle on about themselves, and regard all within earshot as caring listeners.

Which we are clearly not.

A truly captive audience.

For instance, on this particular morning, the performance (and it is a performance) entails a detailed account of living life with the affliction of rosacea.

Too much information is an understatement.

Everything from checking account balance, to birth control status, to dietary habits, to carnal preferences that cause flare ups of said condition.

The collective we, know more about this woman than ancestry.com

And being captive, I became a sponge and absorbed it.

Then, somewhere between Pliés and Tendus, she took a breath, and I experienced her face in vulnerability.

The veil had been lifted, and I saw her for the first time.

Her voice lost its droning tone, and I heard between the lines.

I can’t speak for the collective we, but I heard an isolation of loneliness on the edges.

A loneliness that made me lonely as well.

I wondered if she had a best friend, or if her husband listened at all.

Did he throw in the towel and busy himself with other things?

I learned more than I care to know about rosacea.

And about a great many things of which I did not know about someone I didn’t know well at all.

And as I drifted from being present back into the fold of the group,

I became complacent within myself, and heard the drone again.

The doors opened, our kids came out.

We dressed them and then headed for the exit.

I saw the woman and her daughter at the elevator waiting area.

I smiled as warmly as I could.

She held her daughter’s hand for life.

There were tears at the back of her eyes.

You never know how hard living lonely lonesome can be until you walk a mile in someone else’s ballet slippers.

Poems · poetry

“We About Lost Our Minds”

“Gummed Up” ©️C.P. Hickey 2019

“We About Lost Our Minds”

Trying as might,

Crawdads and doodads.

Believing poor sight,

Wiper blades move fast.

Seething from sight.

Who does? Who has?

Wrong is now right.

A taciturn morass.

Seeing one’s plight,

A blinding illusion.

A ritual rite,

A land of confusion.

Losing the fight,

Abstract pollution.

Born into plight,

A harbored delusion.