Things Mended, Once

Newness and time and
Days spent wandering wild by
Things not said and cannot be
Said… by trails taken and paths gone
Down just once. I

Have been gone and silent. Quiet
Thinking on ridges and long walks up
Boulder-studded hills that take us to
Songs in the wind or

A sun-bright cold day in Rockies and
Beer bought on holiday days near
Hotels lost to time
And space. How do

We begin again? Is it just picking up
Broken things and mending them
As best we can? Or something

Deeper, more profound, more
Struggles to find old things in closets we
Cleaned out long ago. A shoe with

Holes in soles that was thrown down stairs
I cannot find.

Visions of Soundless Nights

Deep down and distant
Days of thunder-struck
Senses and sounds of sweet
Rain coming from clouds that

Part from towns we hear as
Motion from meadows and
Birds that call to calm and
Curious shapes that fall

Like sound in scented barrels
Of time.

A Mountaineer’s Lament

Found on a ridge on
A lonely trail.

You cannot find it if
You looked even so
Hard. Down deep tunnels in
Quiet mountains. In
Trees and lakes in
Towns that died long
Ago. You cannot
Find it.

More so think to see
It in sunshine mist on half-
Cold winter days. The form
Far off on hills that almost seem
To wave,
To us…

A lone bird that sits
Pensive in the cool
Morning air. You

Cannot find
It even if you looked even
So hard,
So still.

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Once, In November

In a room somewhere I see
A silent image of people who
Cry but do not talk and it

Seems to be all in
A great, white and frozen snow
Globe… a stage, a

Lone woman and nothing
But silence and hands and
People hanging perilously close

To the edge of
A railing. All,

All like a dream on a long night
Of numbers and colors and
Soft footsteps in a locked room

Where we only hear the rattling
Of ice and the purr of taxis
Waiting far below… Such a

Quiet night in a room,
Somewhere.

A Poem Found Beneath a Tree

I like to think of it as
A king in a bed who
Never wakes up. A kiss
Good-night and then that is
All… slipping away in

The dead of night. A
King, once. Or

The lone splash of lines falling
Into cold mountain water that
Came from a frozen pond by
A mill that ground stone from

An old mine with loose, lean
Floor boards. So much

Time and memories of trains
On tracks that creep across
Mountain-sides that we cannot
Take anymore. Just the sound

Of birds in bushes and the
Soft rustling off of little pale
Forms that whisper of

Time in bottles that we float
Silently downstream.

Boxes and Batteries

Matthew Henningsen's The Literary Doc

On a bus in a deep Asian jungle,
Full of rain and wet,
I thought of a time when I
Held my memories in my hand,
Squeezing them and squeezing them…
So alive.

I thought of a box with a lid
Cracked open, a gap where we see
Time walked in parks, hands held in
The fading light of a distant day. Hollow
Trees on campus greens, places where
Gold was hidden. Moments so
Fragile, like plates thrown into
The air, suspended.

People I wave at, smiling.
I knew them once.

Yes – a kiss hurled by the hand,
Like a football toss in a game. Looks
Before lights dim, glimpses and
Memories trapped, sealed in a box I
Hold under my arms on days when views
From cars mingle with my mind, and
I’m taken from jungles to dry moments when
People waved, and I waved back.

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In Search of it, Still

Out there in the far-
Away fields there is:
A pond by a lake that
Has a trail that climbs
Up to the highest peak.

I have seen it. I
Have been there, once.

Near to a half-
Tall tree that rests by:
A boulder with mossy
Growth that covers
Nearly all of it it
Sits and waits. This
Small, sleek, and frail,
Little thing.

You have seen it. You
Who were once so close
To finding it, once.

By a place by a field that
Has so much strength and
Great little things that sit
And call out to the night-
Time skies so full of cold,
And stars. We

Search out for it and know that
It once was here and yet we
Call out to it, again.

Songs of the Road, Lost Somewhere

I wonder how it sounds after
Darkness falls, and
There is nothing left by
Pale whimpers across
Steep mountain hills. The

Pools puddling
Over beaten rocks. The
Wind whipping over
Narrow ridges. I

Think that we must
Take all of this with
Us somehow. To

The songs on silent
Nights. The sparse words
Spoken at sunset in
Red desert lands. The
Image of shadows. Wind.
Such quiet late at
Night. The rain

That falls and falls outside
Starbucks by harbors with
Great white wings spread
Wide. This must

Become our song, our
Memories of life lived
Out on blue horizons. The

Streams that just go on,
And on…

Quick Stanzas on Travels Past

III.

Gone are nights in
Antique beds by open
Windows that look out to
Water and waves and

People jogging by
While I eat boiled eggs
Coffee, and cream.

V.

The chill nights in red
Lands. Quietness and views
And thoughts of rugged holes
In rocks that we cannot take
Pictures of but see…

Out there in the distance by
Stumps of time that twist
Back on bushes that blow
In winter winds.

Long Ago…

Ages ago, long on
Green grasses and hot
Sparkling waters were
The losses and gains of

Whispers and looks in
The dank dead of night. All
Asleep and aware of
Fragility. Chipped vases

Just hanging on to
The sides of cold
Counter-tops. Ready,
Almost, to fall to…

A song sung in an under-
Ground place. The visions of
Heat and mountains still left to
Climb. All… all is gone

Somehow, like bushes pulled
Out and tossed to grow in
Slowly moldering woods. The
Groans and wastes. The pleasant,

Sad knowledge of the shattered time
Piece. The bolts scattered across
Barren floors. The…

Tap of an unknown foot
In a room we just
Can’t find.