Dead Reckoning

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Contributor: Richard Hartwell

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Waking each morning, still-life, still asleep.

Slowly, agonizingly, massaging it,
drawing blood of day back to the surface.

Tingles of self-satisfaction indicate
the Big Sleep has not yet arrived.

Creeping pain waxes throughout
emotional nerve endings as ebbs the
intoxicating numbness of night.

Dead leaves swim across the surface of the pond
obscuring red, gold and cream flashes;
flecks radiate from unseen mossy depths,
break cover, snatch insect mouthfuls, then sink
beneath the safety of parti-colored leaf flotsam, patiently.

Ahoy! Decadent Rimbaud’s drunken boat sails again,
joy comes to those on the quay who salute adieu,
but you, lunatic-tocking away, still wait for sun.

Steep waters heaped high above,
deep thoughts beckon from far below,
fair wind lost and family mates cast asunder,
only prey now for the family few left lashed tight,
daring piratical advisors let go their night moorings.

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Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity.


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