Barry Howarth

L.A. 13th

The Great Society

through the belly of
of the cold February morning—
chaos, fire and steel, like
a missionary, I was
set down in Long Marston,
1945,
oh
Beast of Bourbon—
what have you done to me now?

and,
like all Ann Arbor mornings in
winter at once: this place
finally found me too,
a bundle of papers to
deliver
with a frozen bicycle to ride.

Never complete without
doing
always doing and not
doing without, my way
is the way
without,
we
were lost

damp tent canvas full
of pine, a
cracking campfire to watch
over us,
we slept primitively
under stars we tried to name,
but could not find names for—
thunderous clouds reined
like fireflies—but,
Yosemite summers never cared…

too many ways to express this
whirling, a
constant traverse into
houses
knowing its occupants
will never be seen again,

all of our seasons
run along the tracks as
freightrains configured plans
about our destiny,
opening doors, when
stations were
passed,
like magic carpets being
dispensed through
keyholes you
could only get on
but not touch...

where
praises of mystery
and passion
bled
from the angles of
each corner of your
life,
walls
lined with
accolades of
plaster and steel,
naming names,
listing dates including
those things towed to the edge of
heroism and fear,

for no
reason really in particular,

it stands to reason
that at this age
anyone wishing
melodies to strike
up in unity, was in
another world,
not here,
serious thought went
into this design,


Merry Go Round
you have made me dizzy,
I thought we were here, but now
am nowhere,

listening to these
birds coming and going,
wings through air,
headed precisely
where they should be headed
I will sit and listen
carefully even more

to find my way out
waiting
and listening
while I have no where I should be,

You taught me that for sure.
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