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Here you will find the writings of the poet Theodore Waterfield

Summer in Sandusky

Sandusky is changing,
putting on a new face.
Parks have replaced fisheries,
suburbs,
the corn and wheat.
The giant elms have long since vanished,
and the malls
have become mini circuses.

Even the Soldier’s Home,
a campus of gray limestone
with its hundred buckeye trees,
is a denuded memorial.
Replica of the Civil War,
housing old men
who stay indoors for shade,
speak in whispers,
as if prisoners
of their own government.

The town has lived two centuries
and never matured.
No cathedral or stately avenue of homes.
Inlets dotted with battlements,
statues gathering moss
or bleached by wind.
A town that never held a ball,
danced through the years,
gave its youth balloons and confections.

But the wind
curls over waves bearded with foam,
the bay howls and sighs,
with a purity of place,
stones set together,
moldering iron,
light rising from its face,
singing the song of summer.

The Gift of a Day

The rain is coming.
The sky is gray as a tarnished spoon.
To the south is a horizon of blue.
So day starts.
Earth divides its territories.
In the far south of this world
is snow.
In the far north…
is snow.
The constellations lie in a box
of diamonds,
the planets are a broach of topaz.

I do not take this timeless place
for granted.
Like a mouse I gaze upon a mansion,
and nibble at eternity.
I see the tapestry of a great kingdom
and go through doors.
My mortality is measured
by the coming of ages,
each living
in a day like no other.

The Meaning of Life

Does life advance like a novel?
A story with beginning and end?
Hellos and farewells?
But I know that is not so.
Life looks one way and another.
It’s what flies overhead,
stops at a curb, flirts,
or calls from a distance.
It’s why I sing, become afraid, cry.
It’s because life happens and I find it.
It’s because life is beautiful and disappears.
It’s because life breaks
and I can’t put it together again.

It’s because I find love and it finds me.
If this were a story I would not read it.
If this were a story its logic would elude me.
But, if it is a poem, I would recite it.
If it is a poem I would search for words
to describe it.
If it is a poem I would want someone
to laugh with me and say beautiful things,
make love and quarrel,
and never say no if they want to tell me
why they are alive,
and want to kiss me before they leave.

Rain Walking

Walking in the rain
I leave no tracks.
I don’t want to be found.
I want to live a day
where only I and time exist.
I want to look off
the edge of the world,
and be a virginal star,
and find out
what my heart is made of.

And after the rain
I can come back
and see with eyes
that belong to peace.
Understand places
without human folly
and disappointment.
And treasure love
for what I have found of it,
that we need absence
to understand
how we come together.

Where To?

I have almost stopped singing.
Words don’t come to me.
My fingers are cold,
colder than stone.
I wonder what will become of me.
I stand waiting
and go with the wind.
My clothes do not warm me.
Arches and porticos offer no shelter.

What direction to follow?
I envy the potter,
his strong hands,
the wetness of his clay,
the curve of his joy.
Or the painter with his windows,
his infinite colors,
the palette of his eyes,
mixing and stirring.
Or the philosopher
with his text,
his boundless logic,
his structures of order.

I exist in shadow,
the nuance of phrase,
a terrible longing.
But the world does not cease.
It invites me,
whatever my mood,
like a friend,
who will listen
even to silence.

Votive Over Dinner

Watching candles
I understand
how people walk beyond the shadows.
We’re dimensional beings.
Can you grab your soul?
The thought between a bell
and its ring?
Enter the interior room
of a mirror?
What ignites the flame
in moon fall?
The place between
your eyes and mine?
Wherever we go
we find ourselves impossible
to catch.
Except,
where shadows made of candlelight
gather inside each of us,
and turn them into love.

The Election

If heaven were a democracy
would God be elected?
I cast my vote today for one person.
One soul out of three hundred million,
to wisely lead brothers and sisters,
friends and children,
my most precious loves
through the wilderness of earth.

I have committed an act of faith.
As if I threw a stone
in the water of a vast ocean
and raised its level.
That what I pray for can be done.
Preserve, honor, safeguard, lead,
and keep well the little band of people
who are worth the universe to me.

That are loved by a God
whose household is bigger
than all that can be imagined,
more sacred than the most holy
arches of the world,
and like this candidate on earth,
for whom I pray,
that in the wider realm of heaven,
my fervent prayer,
that God for immaculate purity,
be elected by unanimous consent.

Inside the Open

Does the ant know the sanctity
of its underground cities?
The bee,
the glory of its hive?
Hexagonal arches?
The nectar of its cellars?
The spider,
the poetry of its web?
In the autumn,
between casements of sticks,
holding the opals of the sun?
Are they chaos?
Happenstance?
Do they matter because they are beautiful
and ring with a song?

Of all the books I have seen,
why do they say nothing of these
in their pages?
Taking apart the wing of a fly,
what could I learn?
That light traces the pathway of dawn
and gives me a path?
That empires rise in the surf
of the sea,
and make me a citizen.
That truth has no words
large enough for truth.
That paradigms are bridges
between the seen and unseen.
That I am more wonderful
than my wonder,
a snowflake’s creation.
That the book I read daily
is constantly rewritten,
and nothing is small once it is open.

Real Time

We went to the theater
of real events.
It was sun melted on the sidewalk.
Nothing happening
that should not be happening,
and we listened to the street
cough with noises.
It was my life and your life
written on receipts.
Violets grew by the sidewalk.
I picked a whole bouquet
and threw my eyes into the center,
then gave them away.
There was a sound in the distance.
A bird with a broken wing.
Or was it a child calling to another? Saying,
come back to me someday!

But the direction was lost,
and I wouldn’t go and lose you,
seeking someone else.
Instead,
we walked on a shore of shells,
without shoes.
Collections of scrolls and spoons
and spirals,
though the ocean
had long since turned into stone,
and the smoothness of the shore
caused no pain.
By my door,
I showed you artifacts,
fossils older than the moon,
which I touch when I go in,
before retiring.

End and Beginning

Love at first sight
and I close my eyes.
I have lived too long.
What have I lost?
Did a part of my soul
go to sleep,
and never wake up?
Did a riptide
pull me out to sea?
Did a book tell me
when to die,
and I said, enough!
I can’t make it
back to shore. Enough!

The book I was reading
is the book of the dead.
Enough!
A shore is one thing.
Its grains of sand another.
Enough!
There is one lonely place
in my world, without end,
between end
and beginning.
Love at first sight happens.
It happened and may again.
But is once all there is?
Who knows,
when enough is enough.