I lit a candle,

Not for scent nor sight — to curate repose

Nearby I sat, bathed in flickering glow, shrouds constricting darkness,


Did I brave night, Autumn chill, solitude?

Lone wanderers seeking mountainside escape?

Reason unclaimed, yet wisdom.

Surely, I’m a stranger here.

Past darkness there dances across walls

Shimmering reminders, proximal memories.

In night, it rests or runs, sings, or listens

One for whom the world stills.

I lit a candle,

What for, never mattered.

The flame gives but shadow

Of starlight, night’s giver.

Memory: my greatest regret.

Never would I take back when met

The barrel of a loaded gun

Future pain, joy, and fun

Time — all we would risk,

For what was my heart it brisk.

I look upon a night so starry,

Safe — would I be sorry?

I think of you more than I ought to,

A shadow in my room, abandoned like a drowning sailor.

Could I reach, be you my savior?

A lifeboat in a sea bitterly imbued?

I pray for you more than I ought to,

Beneath canopies in stone arbor, Davidian relative.

The lost lullaby, withered willow, youthful skeleton,

Tokens of plain truth.

I see you more than I ought to,

Akin to warmth, unforgiven summer.

Mended fractures and faded scars from jilted lovers,

Keepsakes, oft torn anew.

I miss you more than I ought to.

My naïve dream of consummate escape,

A tapestry shred, and I lie awake,

And think of you.

That charming sea of orange, yellow, brown.

Farewell to old, prospects renewed,

Through earth fresh buds grown.

To me you liberally gave smiles, gifts, hands.

No return asked, no presumption made,

Like effortlessly waving wand.

Withal, neither was I courageous, sure, nor kind;

For your offering, my derelict blood,

And possibilities swept up in wind.

In years since, in memory, mind, thoughts,

I take back lies, give you love;

Rain down on the forlorn droughts.

Bring me now to a field, loft, or grove,

Teach me again, lend me aid,

Lift me somewhere above.

Behind rests fading chronicles, anecdotes; a history.

Look at me afresh, your notions preclude,

Know me and give unto friendship victory.

From morning rise,

The son patters, shouts without warning,

Birthed in silver cradle, riotous child

Irrational, predictable, precocious,

In search of a fight,

An adventure,

A cliff and summit,

Inexhaustible spirit, fearing not plummet.

At vesper’s hour, he kneels for a moment

Supplicates for peace, words quickly spoken,

Then in…

Evolution is a well-established notion. From its etymology in Darwin’s studies of Galapagos finches down to the extrapolation of “missing links” through fossil comparison, we can clearly observe evolution both across time and between spaces. The term isn’t as stringently atheistic as the reputation it has garnered, however, though it’s…

A crooked nod,

And footprints swiftly erased –

We were children

Scoured from eons of sun and snow.

An hour spoken

Yet countless verses unsaid.

A phantom now

Traces notes on mirrors.

I am warmed

By what you leave behind.

Lingering –

Fading echoes cry from distant shores

Drizzled as rain,

Sharper than spear.

Stop, chime,

Let me hear life continually renew

Long after dusk,

Folded in copper.

Return me

Back from weathering despotic time –

A Noel carol

And springly hymn.

Ring on,

Watch over my treading beyond the night.

To bereft soul:

Bell, and dream.

Photo by Author

Thank you for your golden years;

Abandoning expectation and future’s clutch,

Pedal to the floor, hand out the window,

Sunset, summer twilight dividing river and hills -

Naked on grass, blinking fireflies,

Kisses and tears — a bag of memory,

Fortunes gambled on a single hand,

Glory seized right and hung left,

A prayer for nothing that truly mattered,

Faces painted on limestone cliffs,

Hands dirtied in peach-rust clay,

Days on the water burning in the sun,

Places now that bear the name home;

There and to them:

Thank you for my golden years.

Marshall taught me how to mourn. Following a significant loss, be it the end of a promising relationship or withdrawing from my chosen program of study, I cast my burden upon on him. He listened, reserving judgment and exuding humble compassion. I recounted my tale of woe with exaggerated despair…

Ryan Vergara

Alabama raised, at home in Washington. New posts every Saturday

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