Down another road
the latitudes give way
to something as plain
To live in that hotel
and clink glasses nightly
with the old cronies
in the bar downstairs…
The small victories
and the great defeats compound daily
and the cast-iron pen nib
weighs a ton
scratching across the paper
leaving its little river of ink
behind to dry
in the freshening breeze
coming in off the Pacific Ocean
where empty-handed Conquistadors
once turned around in the fog
and sailed for home.
THE TIME BEFORE TIME
Parked in line, red light, waiting at the ferry slip,
towering twin cement grain silos gilded
in slanting rays of late afternoon sun,
an entire lifetime shudders by
in the few ticking minutes
it takes to think about it.
In the time before time
a memory persists
of no solitary entity by itself.
If, like Einstein said, light bends,
then time must bend with it.
Thus the dubious return of what once went forth.
The bright light of uncertainty;
the less certain you are, the brighter it gets,
until all is blinding light.
Some things are what they appear to be;
others are not. The light turns green.
Departure is imminent.
Copyright © Mark Terrill 2016
Mark Terrill shipped out of San Francisco as a merchant seaman to Asia, Europe and North Africa, where he studied and spent time with Paul Bowles in Tangier, Morocco, and has lived in Germany since 1984, working as a shipyard welder, road manager for rock bands, cook and postal worker. He is the author of Here to Learn; Remembering Paul Bowles (Green Bean Press 2002), Bread & Fish (The Figures 2002), The United Colors of Death (Pathwise Press 2003), The Salvador-Dalai-Lama Express (Main Street Rag 2009), Laughing Butcher Berlin Blues (Poetry Salzburg 2010) and several other books and chapbooks of poetry, prose, and translations. Currently he lives on the grounds of a former boatyard near Hamburg with his wife and three cats.