Like something I didn’t understand.

I have edited the “introduction” to this poem because I have a confession; I wrote originally that “Like something I didn’t understand” was written in 1993 after an unhappy love affair. Well, I have to put the record straight and admit that it wasn’t.

I started writing “Like something I didn’t understand” in 1988 but never finished it. It came to light again last November (see “Spaces”) and I thought about finishing it off then, thought about it but didn’t.

Then when I picked it up again last week it was mixed in with yet another poem, the one that I did start to write in 1993. I was sloppy, I didn’t read through all the sheets of paper that I had unearthed in November, I relied on memory and that memory was found to be wanting.

In the 1993 poem however I had recycled quite a few of the lines from the 1988 poem so maybe that’s what threw me. And if I may paraphrase Stan Laurel in Sons of the Desert, that’s my story and I’m stuck with it.

Ah well. lesson learned, probably. Pay more attention.
Anyway, I’ve edited the introduction to this poem, just in case you visited here before and read it and were wondering what’s going on. So, here is a poem that I started to write in August 1988 and eventually finished off in April 2023.

Like something I didn’t understand

It was something I didn’t understand,
left me standing there,
like a rush of warm air through the rain.
I stood, another court jester.
And yet if I had only…

Like something I just didn’t understand.
Unfocused for a minute,
wounded but not yet feeling the pain.
Stooped, too tired to care.
But just suppose…

Cold in the moonlight, called on to be,
Like the flowers plaited in your hair,
picked and placed and waiting to wilt.
Obscure, profound, yet…

It was like something I could have held in my hand,
like so many grains of sand.
I stood, another caught jester,
facing the spectre of all this again.
But just think, if only…

Warm in the sunlight once more,
coming to rest, here I stand,
wondering what good is all this strain.
Like something I didn’t understand,
so many grains of sand.

Turning your back to me,
you said it was something I couldn’t understand.
Turning my back on you,
like something that I could’ve held in my hand,
something that I couldn’t understand.

In articulate anger,
like something you won’t understand.
Not here and now,
the trust is broken.

Facing the spectre of all this again
But just think, if only…
But like the flowers plaited in your hair,
Picked and wilted.
Stooped, too tired to care.

Well, I saw you the other night,
you had your face to the moon,
and I bet you felt so right.
But did no one ever tell you,
it’s only reflected light?

Inarticulate anger,
like something I can’t understand.
Just here and now,
the hatred spoken.

Well, I’ve seen those colours of the rainbow,
and no, they’re not asleep,
they’re running fast before the clouds,
that block the light we seek.
Caught in the rain, lovers of light.

Caught in the moonlight, cold, dark filigree,
Like a rush of warm air through the rain,
wounded but not yet feeling the pain.
Obscure, profound, like something I didn’t understand.

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