"Months Looking Back"

This poem is both way too obvious, and not obvious enough. It was conceived first as a sonnet, then a slightly longer conception looked at six quatrains, one to start, one for each of the four months, and one to end. It was originally going to be fairly structured in rhyme. In some ways, the poem discusses itself, it discusses the coming into being as a poem (hence the crack about "semblance of rhyme" right after a quatrain that has a soft rhyming scheme of "sand" and "pen". Of course, there is the Bolden humor by making a half-line about writing unfinished lines, which is irony, only, I assure you, because the line is finished; but it makes you chuckle.

The poem is mostly about stages of my youth, up to this point in time. While I thought about coming up with accurate descriptions, I dropped them for general ideas. January was too young to know. February was where I learned first of the duplicity of things. Mater familias is a play on Pater familias, "Father of the family", an old word for gods of the household. Of course, I mean my mom who dominated a lot of the structure of my youth, but also my father and the understanding of love and hate that I learned, then.

The later potential two meanings of "stain the sheets" was intentional, by the way.

When, at the last full turn of something like youth, looking back, Staring my younger self in the blue of the eye, contemplating, Pouring my mind over what is now quite familiar tracts; I am lifted into a state, a feeling of faint fascination. Here is this child, despisably bold, who in Janauary laughed Down fear with Godly armor, loins all wrapped in brass. Who roamed tiny fields, such small facts of land, chasing after Nothing more than a moment of pretend and play. Comes into February, with its warmth in its cold, And there the youth learned something of quietude. To the field were added books, and everything spread, Doubled over, a month where Janus finally came. Where the doors to and fro, fully open always, Finally felt closed, or at least a long way to go. There were loves, and there were hates barely known, The Word, Salvation, Mater familias; spread like a calm. In poured the leonine March, soon transmorgrified Into sheepish quaint perturbation, a woolish wind, A diquieting storm, a kind of anything but, woven and taut, Spreak like a sail over hundreds of sunset walks. And if one, upon paths often tread but never before walked, Might stumble, might spend time staring at roots and sand, Can we really judge in only unequivocal ways, what stupid things Might spew from their mouth, might pour from their pen Might stain their sheets, all white lines and black, in some faint Imitation of poetry? Some quiet, impossibly held guilt, Appearing mostly as prose, with some semblance of rhyme? A collection of unfinished lines Lastly, April had come, and with it a calm, a chilly displeasure With all of the warmth, but a hushed respect for the dew. Comes the morning, earlier than before, with sunlike respect For things down below, and everything rises up, exceeds the world. Comes the pink beginnings, the blue of the fog, with carhorn sighs, The bit of quiet a man can walk through, the beds still Full with their dreamers, the street lamps still on, gone are the Omnipresent trees, so common before. Gone the knowing For sure what is is honestly unknown. Gone is the Winter Which begins all things, the cold unreasonable youth. Gone the long smiles, but short ones remain, with a sense of self-worth One is unable to have wrapped in babes clothes. Silkenly. Now this young man, up to the past few minutes, stares back In my eyes, unafraid to see me, and I, at the cusp of some age Never yet reached by me, embrace him at last, then leave Him behind, knowing he will wait for me. I will meet him, again. We will toast to those days, yet to come. We will drink to some earlier time.

This poem written by W. Doug Bolden.

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