seth howard | 3 new poems


That time when you asked me
In the darkness

Shadows from the paper door
And the light that glowed
Cherry blossoms
In the darkness
And streets where we
Never would roam

Down passageways
Leading nowhere
And nothing in between
I glanced out
Into empty streets
Before the
Sun had rose

And the everything
That is, exhumed
In the darkness
My mind lingered
In longing
As the clouds obscured
The moon

Waiting in lines
To reach old wooden temples
While trees loomed
Lining our path—
Some overwhelming
Question came to rest
On the tip of
My tongue

You said you knew
The place, I’m asking
Who and why, how come?


There was a rattling
In the background
Perhaps it was the sound
The wind made against the window
Every now and again
Like a constant reminder
In the back of your mind
Of wakefulness
Sleepless hours

Huddled in storm
I lay there on my bed, reading
Or scribbling something in
My reddish notebook
My insect like writing
Somehow familiar
Yet always a task
That I had to undertake

Here, a thick candle
Stood, propped up on my desk
Burning, for all it was worth
Orange wax and a bluish
Flame, that turned into
Light, rising, just the same
The fire reaching toward
The ceiling, the wax
A muddled wash of tears

I listened again for that
Undefined racket, the shake
And vibration on the window
Pane, (if that is what it was)
The pathetic sufferance
Of a noise heard in the night
Like a stubborn remonstrance
Or the flicker of a shadow
Proving the glow of light


It seemed not long ago
That we walked through
Parkway paths of falling leaves
And we talked about ourselves
Me, because I was American
And you, because you
Weren’t, but
Knew who you were
Talking to

Loose petals fell off
Branches one by one
Floating in the air for
A moment before coming
To rest on the ground
And each blossom
Seemed to remind us
Of the springtime of

The brevity of beauty
Just coming to be
Lasting only an instant
A mere blink of an eye
Before it was gone
Like a fallen petal
Blown about by the wind
What a tender moment
It had been

But this had been
Your home, not mine
Alas, I could not stay
A traveler mustn’t
Hang his hat on a hook
For too long
Before going on
His way

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