"The Flow of Things"
The original name of this poem was to be "a note to a suicide that never occurred", which sort of spoils what the poem is about, and so I changed the name. Plus, the poem is no longer quite so simply about a person who tries to commit suicide but changes their mind, it is a little more complex now, so the name never quite fits. Now, it is more about life changing decisions, and those points where good and bad must be weighed, and how the "simple decision" might be the hard one to make because a lot of good things hurt like hell.
The rush of water overhead and underneath, the topsy-turvy blue,
The sense of return, the womb, the Eden,
And all a great big laughing thing,
Teary eyed and half drowned from the onset,
Deep in the wellspring of the rapidly descending night.
And you see them wondering,
You see them mouth the words,
Could this be,
Would this be
On purpose, or just another accident
In a life composed of bridges and the rivers flowing under them.
Hands and hair,
Free flowing ideas grasping at passing currents
And you count the breaths not breathed, the seconds flee,
And small pebbles on the clay bank shore, submerged
This time of year,
Feel like little marbles in a childhood game,
A form of glee, years ago,
The liquid shape of memory.
Then the stars are coming, the warmth of the moon above,
Half to wane to wax again, like a burning
The body ascends, the soul emulates a living thing,
Clings to the earth that bruised its knees,
And Janus himself, back and forth, can scarcely count the quiet minutes
Of the end of new beginnings,
Decided in a flash.
The whisper of ghosts passing you by, trapped like you,
This great watery show.
Then the silence becomes quite wide,
And your many open eyes,
Trapped in cliche,
Down where the maelstroms go to die.
But might that be a frown, a bit of life still inside?
A sigh, held in at the last of your lungs' capacity?
With all them asking
Do this thing at this time?
And you answer "no" in a sadly tone,
Or at least mouth the words, floating up to the riverside
Like the Spirit to meet Jesus that baptismal day, like a dove
Wing white just another name for that which,
Would seem repetitive.
Suffice it know the soul, even when just a daydream,
Always has a name.
Your face surfaces last.
Cool wind, colder now, catches it, holds it and
Caresses it dry.
You leave your river behind.
Could you have,
Would you have...
Breathed it in like wine?
Back in the blue of day, a melancholy face. Just a moment,
Then no more.
Then you make your dive back into the flow of things.
This poem written by W. Doug Bolden.
"The hidden is greater than the seen."