Poem: “I am away from my computer”

I am away from my computer
for Nancy – happy birthday

It is always lonely online.
There are only thoughts:
words and pictures leaving this world
cold, electronic.
All of it conspiring to say
I don’t know what I want,
I don’t know who I am,
I need to learn to be happy.

Joy is truly not felt alone,
but found in laughter:
love and friendship keeping this world
warm and sensual.
Only – once at the diner
They laughed, but I stared out
at a streetlight at night.
In darkness you realize you’re alone
wherever you are.

1 Comment

  1. My Father Calls Me Every Sunday Morning

    My father calls me every Sunday.
    Floating up out of sleep,
    I can feel it coming.
    He’s been awake for hours.
    He checks his watch
    pulls the phone onto his lap
    like a recalcitrant child,
    punches his Sprint code into its dumb face.
    Lying in bed, I can feel each note – clear, blue as a vein –
    Pulsing:
    through 200 miles of tense wire, my father’s idea
    of fatherhood speeding toward me.
    And every Sunday it explodes precisely on schedule,
    in the black box nailed to my wall.
    We start with the weather: what it’s doing up here,
    what it’s doing down there.
    My father knows: everything of consequence
    happens first in Baltimore, consequently
    elsewhere. He instructs me on storms,
    cold fronts, travel advisories, heading steadily my way.
    What does he want? I’ve learned one trick.
    I tell him a story – almost any will do –
    as long as I’ve done or said something in it
    that makes me sound like a fool.
    This always works.
    My father laughs.
    His laugh is gorgeous.
    It starts from somewhere
    deep in his chest, billows up and up into the world.
    Whe you hear it, you think of a man
    striding through deep wooes,
    swinging his arms in the wintergreen air.
    And hearing that laugh, the rise
    and the rise of it,
    I love him so madly. Like the tree
    loves the man who comes to fell her,
    her long awful groan
    as she goes reeling toward earth
    indistinguishable
    from the lumberjack’s
    long roar of delight.

    Ashok, Twink loves this poem because it reminds her so much of her father, who died four years ago. He called, or I called him every week, and usually on Sunday. He always opened with the weather….. like a diarist, or a farmer’s almanac. Then he’d tell me what the fish were hitting – whether it was mayflies, or early nymphs, and then he’d ask me “so, Sport, when are you coming fishin again”……. it was like a ritual.

    And I miss him. This poem evokes that immense love for a father, and the incredible sense of loss, when it it is lost.

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