THE SPECTER OF ACTUALITY

for Doug 

Everything is caught
in the undertow
I think music captures
this truth best

I keep moving 
until I match
the speed of life
Then I let go

The point is not
to pass or avoid
failing the test
The test is merely

The true measure
of one's worth
Taking it or leaving it
has always been our choice

A voice will dissolve
into mist, haunting 
harbors and homes
Scratching at steamed 
windows in the snow

Emitted from the creaking
of anchored chains
The whispers of the dead
fall upon emptiness

I try to become familiar
with these empty spaces
I try to remember these
lost voices once belonged
to different faces

Individuals forgotten 
in time. Yes, I can 
imagine. No countries
Only land. Listen to 
the whispering wind

It only tells of friends 
lost or gained
All these leaves
are carried downstream
Headed toward the same sea

That's the message carried 
in the chuckling laughter 
of a babbling brook
It is the secret
in the book

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