Allen C. Fischer
Four draft horses haunt my
sleep like old locomotives
retired on a railroad siding.
Thick legged animals,
they recall a time, when wagon
teams moved lumber to mill,
pulled a winch, carted stone
and mortar to building sites.
But now, caught
in time’s alchemy,
their cargo is so light, it floats
across the mind. Horse power,
I marvel as the white steeds ascend
on the wings of my imagination,
the night reborn.
Pegasus of my muse,
it rides my poem over
the mind’s planetarium
like a shaman’s mount.
In the cutting room of my memory,
my mind’s camera refocuses and locks
on a point of view. Its conviction shadows
me, faith a feather in the wind, everything
else hot air and hogwash, a mix of
medicine, game theory and cold comfort.
Where shamans once practiced, there are
factories. Power brokers clock long hours.
The world is a snapshot, our lives a click.
But the mind’s camera cannot capture
the dreams trolling my thoughts and
feelings or detect who I am.
The lens scans body & soul like
a 19th century glass. I appear to be
elsewhere, maybe in Berlin, off in a book,
the tenant of someone else. I am AWOL,
beset, beside myself on parole in Peoria.
I am privileged, lord of my i-phone.
I am overboard and swimming for my life.
But none of this is taken. An idea
in motion, my life is a long shot. I circle
myself like tomorrow stalking landfall.
Though my inner eye remains vigilant,
its pixels may have dimmed, their macula
degenerated. I believe in my conscious muse
and in what lies beyond. Belief is
my host, faith a wing in flight.
Grazing the outer limits,
a hawk soars, then circles,
lets out its lifeline and
trolls the clouds angling
for an invisible prey, perhaps
a spirit, the very outcry of the soul.
The day is deceptively deep,
its dome clear and daring.
In the sky’s upside down sea,
the bird struggles, then breaks
with gravity and, for a moment,
ascends, only to plummet
into whatever waits
where dreams bottom out.
I fell asleep with my glasses on.
Dressed in vision when I wake
in the morning, I will wear the room
around me, clothed in its upholstery,
curtains and carpet. Out the window
will extend an optical sleeve: lawn,
garden and woods in summer foliage.
And in the sky, the sun will radiate
a palpable heat, an imaginary cloak
so that in my mind the chill of the
Autumn that awaits me will be less
and the days ahead shield me
from the anger of Winter and
the collisions of outer and inner space.
I’ve got a gun that can
put a hole in someone’s life.
I’ve got bullets, each
with a message to deliver.
I have a voice that’s loud
and clear so no one can say
that I swallow my words.
I have two eyes to find what I
want and a brain to pinpoint it.
I’m equipped to search & destroy.
I am a man with the equipment
of a man: the body, power and
brains to be other than I am