Needing out, I dress warmly and walk

Despite the cold, cold rain, the dripping

From limbs and leaves, the brim of my hat.


With absolutely no willingness I think

Of a friend who died a few days ago, I would rather

Think of anything else, and I try, listening


To rain on leaves, rain throughout the timber,

The crunch of gravel beneath my boots—

Why should I think of him—he lived a long life,


Productive with children and grandchildren,

What is there to contemplate? I would,

As Bartleby says, "rather not." It seeps like the rain


Into my thoughts—still, there is room in this house

For more than one tenant, I close the door

On the one is no more as we knew him, 


And shift to sunnier thoughts hoping to drive away

This soul-eating cold which devours me

Degree by degree, I cannot walk quickly enough


To dispel the chill—and think that the adage,
Or the truth, is correct—cold is the absence of heat.

Cold thoughts are, what, the absence of dear ones,


Romance, sunny beaches in sunny climes?

Cold thoughts are little knives lacerating 

Blue-blooded skin, and about as welcome.


At night, in bed, as I hope to drift off, I recite

My litany of thanks, there are four of them.

Here, on this wet road, I invoke a litany of positives,


But, damn it all, they are chased away

By the persistence of cold facts, and maybe

Once a day is enough for positivity‚ it goes against my grain,


Grain as twisted as that of an oak burl,

A hundred years old and grumpy as Hell.

I am not charitable in this mood, I am Magwitch, not Pip,


I am on the wrong side of the Angels, for the moment.

All of this is temporary, it will pass

Along with the shivering, to be cured by the glow


Of light coming from within to welcome me,

That, and tea—hot, unsweet, the essence of warmth,

Bright, welcoming thoughts—Lord, here is positivity


Despite myself, perhaps I'm not as dour as I feel—

Perhaps my blood is redder than I thought, 

That there is warmth in me yet, a beating heart of warmth.










Poetry by jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 84 times
star mini Editors' choice
Written on 2020-10-27 at 17:56

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email
dott Print text

Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
Congratulations! Your poem has been chosen to be featured on our home page by a fellow member of PoetBay. Thank you for posting on our poetry website!

Rob Graber
What a fine meditation! Line 30 i find especially memorable. I often wonder how much poetry, like comedy, is a desperate defense against depression.

Amy Valentina
Sad and yet fond thoughts are the most difficult ones. It's the loss like this like losing your shadow, and reading it brings tears and fond memories of dear ones. Today, I have been writing about loss, and your wonderful poem just intensified my feelings.
Take care.

Ann Wood The PoetBay support member heart!
Sorry for your loss Jim. Lovely poem well done

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
You're fortunate to sustain that saving light.

Beautifully written.You should write a book i think.It was as though walking with you.Excellent work!!!!