Time Dancer

 
 it feels like a dance
Doesn’t it?
                   feel-
                           like a dance?
 
 
There we were-all of us
sitting around the fire,
talking, laughing, drinking wine,
smoking, thinking about life-
each of us- a Universe of our own
all of our worlds suspended
for a while
while we lived in a moment
too fragile to touch
too real to question
you got up- and
Turned-
to the West
 
                                 I rose and
turned
to the East
 
                  Everyone stood and
turned from our
circle
 
We stepped into shadows
to find the worlds
                               we thought
                               we wanted
 
we danced
through darkness
                      and moonlight
 
                                                                     through deserts
                                                                            and sunlight
 
through cities
              and lamplight
 
                                                                  through mountains
                                                                             and starlight
 
across oceans
and fire light
 
                                                                          through garbage
                                                                            and candle light
 
But-
every once in a while
                           one or more of us
                  lost interest
                                       in the dance
 
                                                                                No,
                                                                                this game
                                                                                wasn’t enough
 
too many dreams
had died
 
we stumbled
back to our circle,
fanned the embers
relit the fires
 
we met in twos and threes
and almost remembered
who we’d been and
where we’d started-
 
we talked and dreamed and
caught a new idea, a vision-
 
                                   Then, with our
                                   New Vision, unspoken
                                   we found new strength
 
                                                                               and fed each other
                                                                               on our bright new
                                                                               enthusiasm
                                                                               as we cried each other’s tears
                                                              over what we’d lost
 
                                    and we usually agreed
                                    there wasn’t enough – out there
                                    to hold our attention
                                    for long
                                    but then again
                                    we kept on
                                    getting back up on our feet
 
and danced back
                         into the shadows
 
perhaps I
stayed away the longest
perhaps
I danced the farthest
from that light
that always
called us back
together
 
                                                                  perhaps I
                                                                  watched my dreams
                                                                  too often
                                                                  go up in smoke
                                                                  too soon-
                                                                  – I
 
learned to hold on
-maybe much too tight- ly
to each second I
spent
in your company-
-with any one of us
I’d accidentally
learned to recognize-
-in chance meetings
in the strangest places
 
where and when our
dancing
brought us
face to face
with anyone
we thought we
-knew from somewhere-
 
like the free and easy
celebration of spring
where somebody who knew somebody
let a friend tag along
and I’d barely seen her
when my heart wanted to soar
to leap with joy at the idea
that she was actually
in the same world with me-
but then, some guy I
probably would have liked
came back from somewhere, and
put his arm around her shoulder
and grinned at me as if to say
-look all you want
-she’s mine tonight
and I wondered why I
wanted to
tear his heart out
on the spot
 
and me, I-
tripped over something
in the dark
 
and rolled to my knees
in some
strangely lighted fog
 
I stumbled and called
and whimpered
and screamed
 
I stood up
and listened
 
and walked
against the wind
 
and maybe blinked
once or twice
 
and found myself
back here
where we
started
 
I looked around,
                     there was no one
here-
                I struck a match and
lit a lantern
 
and sat down and
waited
 
-You’re the one -I
came closest to-
          -most often
 
stumbling back home,
in your own trajectory
– you looked a bit like
maybe you
were almost ready
                to join me
 
and I thought about us all
I remembered every shadow
every light,
every flicker of joy-
every mountain
                            every pit
 
every dancer
             every sanctuary
                              and I felt
                                            every dancer
                                                       dancing through me
 
turning and leaping
                                                        stepping and falling
phantoms in a shadow land
                                                       everyone a little sick
of spiraling so far out
 
Everyone a little closer to knowing
what we’d gone off to learn
                          -That everything we really wanted
                       we’d all had to begin with
              so long ago
with each other
 
I closed my eyes
and felt a restless tide
swelling through our
empty spaces
 
washing all the lands
we’d ever visited
 
I saw the restless thoughts
of every dreaming phantom
falling lifeless as the core
of our existence
refined the hunger
we’d been feeling
 
I reached for the light-
 
I felt you- all of you-
all of us dancing
all of us turning
and missing the beat
 
dropping our hands, disgusted
 
one by one returning
 
to the center of our circle
 
where I guess I’m
 
the first one back
 
sitting here with a silly grin
 
waiting to greet you
 
with this universe’s greatest laughter
 
crying,
             Welcome Home!
 
-Where in hell have you been this time?
 
——— Jim Wellington  -some time between 1983 & 1991-
Advertisements

A Song That Jim Wrote —

Saturday, August 2, 2014. ( 10:30 pm in Ithaca, NY )

((( I do not believe the following deserves to be hidden away at the bottom of an archive of old poems from a literary magazine that is still more or less floudering along, now on our websites, then in hard copies we used to print out on the best printer we could get our hands on, or our files into.

I checked the archives of the magazine and noticed that Jim had added a song he wrote way back when.

I remember I asked him to sing it. He said he can’t sing, he has a weird problem with a ‘deviated septum’ that makes it impossible for him to regulate his voice box and stay on tune. I pressed, he tried. He played his Ovation guitar and sang, and I thought he did a good job, but he gave up, not even halfway through the full song that’s listed here.

He had more or less spoken many of the words and they sounded fine to me. I remember thinking this was a song about how my daughter had saved my life by needing me when I thought I’d hit rock bottom and had nothing left to live for. He told me it was a song that was supposedly written by the main character in his ‘Great Un-Amerikan Novel’ about the counter culture in the 60’s and 70’s and the main character who had supposedly written the song couldn’t make up his mind as to whether the song was written about a composite image of a couple women who had been in his life or was it about God? And he wasn’t sure where the title had come from.

I can remember him playing his guitar and singing parts of this and thinking he really had something there. )))

———djo———

=====

I think this might be a song I tried to write on a piece of cardboard that came inside a new shirt.

—–>

 

“To a Waterfall”

You kept my love alive—

Sometimes the slightest thought of you
Could tear my crazy soul in two
When I’m —
too far gone to cry

But you
You kept my love alive
You
you kept my love
alive

I saw you
in another time
when I was lost
inside my mind
you shook me
to my hidden roots
and on that day
my love came loose—

Ah you—
you kept my soul alive
you
you kept my love
alive

The night sails away
and time flashes free
then the world of man
took it all from me
my dreams all died
the world went mad
I tried to believe
I was all I had

But you-
you kept my soul alive
you
you kept my love
alive

I found my wings
I loved the sky
alone I flew
I thought I knew why

From time to time
I looked your way
I felt your tears
and flew away

The higher I flew
the deeper I went
the more I knew
I was nowhere yet

I watched you stumble
I watched you fall
You screamed in the night
I heard it all

And you-
you held my fire for me-
you—
you kept my love—
alive—

I stood in the wind
I heard life begin
I watched through the rain
closed my eyes to pain

And you—
you kept my soul alive
You—
you kept my love—
alive—

a million years
fall away in an instant
and all the earth
opens to my heart
one word rushes in
like a flood from a trumpet
I see life end
—and start—- Again

And you-
You kept my soul alive
You
you kept my dreams
alive

I knew you from a timeless dream
I didn’t know what you would mean
to me
I asked the sky
what everything means
-saw the universe die
in one violent scream

And you-
you kept my love- alive
You-
you taught my soul
to survive

Out here where there’s no life to be seen
you die in your own ashes
or live your own dream
the dreams you resurrected
led me straight to you
I don’t have to tell you
that I didn’t
know what to do-

But you—
you kept my soul alive
you-
you kept my love
alive

and me—
I was running from day to day
feeling empty and starved
I turned to you
in the dark – no one there
I closed my eyes
and I saw you smile

On the edge of a cliff I took the plunge
through life and the cold
past caution and fear
to the bottom of the lake
with no hope of ever
reaching fresh air….
But I rose somehow and I saw you
there

And you
you laughed my soul Awake
You—
You kept my love
alive

You needed me
you know
I needed you
and, no-
we were both afraid
of fear
we were terrified
of love

but you
you took my hand and cried
and you-
you brought my love
to life-

and where?
from deep inside you
where?
When your life was hell
from where
did you find the strength
to try
in a world so ungrateful
why?
cast your lot with the dying?
why
do we keep on trying?
why
when everyone’s lying–
why
did you look at me and smile?

You might have saved both our lives with that smile-

Times haven’t changed
they’re getting worse
you ask for a blessing
they give you a curse
all these lost crazy humans
we’re all dying of thirst
and your brought them your water
and a smile full of grace
and the way that they thanked you
was a slap in the face

But you-
you kept my dreams alive
you-
you kept my love
alive

I hear you crying
once again in a dream
your soul is on fire
and your mind wants to scream
your wings are unfolding
there’s a light in your eyes
and I know you are ready
for the view from the sky

And You!
You kept my soul alive
you- you kept my dreams
alive
You!
you taught my heart
to survive
You-
make my pain feel like nothing
You
taught me magic is growing

You!
You kept my love
Alive!”

……….Jim Wellington (duh- I think I started trying to write this in the early 70’s and wrote it out in this form on that piece of shirt cardboard around 1989.)

—Added 2 of —djo—‘s poems from a back issue of the Magazine to the Magazine Archives Page here-

Thursday, 31 July, 2014. -( 26˚C / 79˚F @5:55 pm up here where the people are nice and I never get tired of that…)-

—I don’t know if subscribers get updates when we add something to one of the ‘other’ pages here- and we have a couple new subscribers whose blogs are described as ‘Literary Magazines’. I’m pretty sure they will get this note.

—If I discover that I did get subscription notice that a page was altered I won’t have to bother anybody with notices like this in the future.

———thanks,

—————Jim

Swapping Old Poems

Monday, 28 July, 2014. -( 21˚C / 70˚F @ 11:00 pm in our neck of the woods. )-

I think the following is actually the first poem that I’d written that Doug ever saw. (it was not quite all the way out of the typewriter when Doug stumbled onto it.) (I hardly ever left stuff lying around like that where just any weirdo (( who would have had to been let in, or broken in, or invited – in this case )) could happen to glance the wrong way and realize I wrote poetry now and then. Most of the guys I worked with in those days would have respected the hell out of a porn writer, but would have stepped a couple steps back and wondered how far they were from the nearest door if they know I wasn’t afraid to write poetry.)

 “Grey-Hounded”

Evening
       from a bus
sunset
                and its many meanings
(armies of idiots smiling
blank
at something they know
but couldn’t understand)
                while many of our good ford’s cars
                string home with
                     how many
                telephone wires for guides
to how many
         finite kitchens
dining rooms and
smiling drunk barbecues and
back yards full of screaming kids and
         “EXIT 4 THREE MILES”
wives who love
         “ONE WAY”
or nag, depending
         “GO RIGHT”
on how long
         “JUNCTION HWY 1 SOUTH”
their marriage has lasted
         “NEXT EXIT 2 MILES”

—————Jim Wellington (1970)

=====

I had typed this on my old electric (suitcase model) portable typewriter. I don’t remember the make or model, but I do remember it was light blue in colour.

Both Doug and I were feeling dumped by our ‘significant others’ (but I had no idea at that time, that he’d been married and forgot something on his way to work, came home to get it and caught his wife ((Now ex-wife)) emptying their house and about to run off “with a van full of crazies from some whacko California Evangelic Christian Commune” with their daughter in tow. Doug, a security guard with a license to carry firearms, was in uniform with the gun on his hip and the crazies took off in a hurry. His wife ran out the back door and across a couple neighbours’ back yards and jumped in the van and left the baby in her car seat on the kitchen table.) So Doug’s suffering was a whole lot deeper and more profound than mine at the time. I hadn’t had a clue.

I also didn’t realize he’d read the piece of paper in the typewriter until a couple days later when he handed me one of his poems (and swore me to secrecy, the company he worked for might not trust a gun toting poet to guard their clients in those days ((1991-ish?)) )

—————Jim

Let’s see if I can format this for Jim…

History

Walk the northern summer
above an angry sea
lean out over the rocks
your hair flowing regal
your sweater almost forgotten
as the chill can’t touch you now
you’re dreaming
of blond and bearded warriors
laughing drunk
bragging of their adventures
to claim long awaited pleasures
from wild eyed women
spirits high and willing to wrestle
long hours, days of loneliness, over

Viking Princess
your line disinherited
by ancient enemies
long before the twentieth century
revealed madness to the world’s eyes
fires burn within you
you’re hungry for things
you only feel
through fuzzy memories
no man can free you from your questions
But what of this country
this wind swept afternoon
are they not yours to love
doesn’t that lift your spirit

too long without a lover
to help them celebrate this life
to comfort your ghost filled nights
float languid above, away
find a reason not to see
stand with your heart impaled
the smoke behind your mind
moves in ever tighter circles
reach for meaning ( for power and riches? )
stretch to own the sky
call that cosmic consciousness?
curse the devil
he’s you when you keep your heart and mind closed
don’t blame me for your losses
You’ve been looking in the wrong direction
 
you know love can go stagnant
turn to greed
when you try to keep it
all to yourself
when you value being loved
more than loving
You can’t own anyone
you may only know yourself
but you’ve been through a lot
and that breeds understanding
and understanding can
stop a war before the shooting starts
open your heart
someone will touch you
something will free you
live in the moment
turn your heart
to the sun
;
I’ll love you
in spite of your efforts
to block out the happiness
you feel too guilty
to accept.

…..Jim Wellington ….( circa 1971?)