Wednesday, August 31, 2011



The soul within, smooth, reflective curve
glossy with the sheen of old smokes;
Something about the light, he said
There is a wild piece of it in the dark.
It winks in the corner of the mirror,
an absent flame, the memory of a flame
whiskered by the haze.
Reaching out to touch it you feel
first the illusion, then the fingertips finally
the smooth cold feel of the mirror
asking which is real.

It’s over, the light show,
Peace and love 
take your pick which is
only a curve reflecting forward,
which some piece of light
kindling the backward glancing eye

January 1988
slightly revised August 2011 

Image: Mirror in your eyes by ~h318 (Harshita) on deviantArt
Shared under a Creative Commons 3.0 No-Derivatives License


  1. well...a light show (illusion) is not a lot of fun heat from the fire, just the cold surface of a mirror reflecting what once was...

  2. I never thought of the coldness of it compared to real life. Great juxtaposition of temperatures, both emotional and physical. I can feel the cold glass...thanks!

  3. You little turd, you tried to sneak this past me! I like it, dearie. Especially the "asking which is real" and the final line.

  4. I don't bother either to polish the hazy glass, makes no difference it was all illusion anyway, the glass was honestly blown then Madison Avenue had to get hold of it and use it to reflect the future which we were mostly to stoned to see.

  5. This is a light (though not as in not deep, which it is, quite) and winsome gem. You had me with the first line. Then the second is a soft surprise. The quiet wildness here is so attractive, and it has me thinking about aging, and growing up, and how nice it is to be who and where I am now, at this age, when flames are not as much of a pull as peace and love are. Very nice.

  6. (Hey, exciting! I was able to post a comment ....)

    I'll catch up with your interview soon.

  7. Yay, Ruth! Blogger likes you today! I sent them a nasty email yesterday, and I'm sure it went straight to the top. ;_) Thanks for reading and I'm glad you like this one, written when I was 39 and losing that hippy buzz, beginning to realize that the future is just now one day removed. Thanks for reading.

  8. wonderful imagery and mystery! love it! ♥

  9. I love the ambivalence of the reflections and refractions here, quintessentially in the lines Something about the light, he said. / There is a wild piece of it in the dark. Sounds like Goethe's Mephistopheles in Faust who thought God's darkness was worth a peek -- with dark eyes ... and still worth it whether for better or ill. So much of what we see in the mirror is what we decide is there. Lovely little resurrected poem. - Brendan

  10. Thanks, all. Appreciate you stopping by for a blast from the past.

    @twm: truer words, never spoken, etc.

    @B: Yeah, every time I think I've gotten them all on the slab and applied the electrodes, I find another one in the decaying journals hidden between dark lamentations on my job sucking, and lustful reflections on what I would rather have been doing with my time. (This one needs the 'jazzman' tag as well; as always, the Meph figure.)


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats