Le Penseur


Google images (source unknown)


“…just beyond the bruised lips of consciousness.”

— Jim Harrison


So, I tired of walking – sat
at the edge of life, hung
my feet out and waited.

The trick was not to look:

Don’t look over the edge.
Don’t look at those passing.
Don’t notice the broom.

Who knows how long a person has?

As I contemplated how
endless the span appeared,
I realized the illusion.

Every bridge begins
on one side of the chasm,
ends at the other.

I’ll remain as long as I am invisible.

The game is not to cross,
but not to have
wasted a life in the crossing.


* * *


For Day 10 of Jilly’s “28 Days of Unreason” challenge, I return to a loiterer from my poem “Span” (Day 5 of the challenge) and “En Passant” (Day 8 of the challenge).  It wasn’t my intent to write this into a suite.  However, it’s entirely possible that another poem may raise its ugly head before Unreason’s dust settles!



14 thoughts on “Le Penseur

  1. “I’ll remain as long as I’m invisible”–and those last lines. I think this is true of so many people. That photo is scary–because I wonder what she does next. It’s perfect with your poem.


  2. Tight — well written. I like the return of the bridge theme. I like “don’t look at the broom”, which raises a question until the next line, which pops us with “oh!” Most interesting is that line “I’ll remain as long as I am invisible”. Still mulling that, since your craft is always subtle.


  3. For me, the trick is to not look at that photo – gives me sweaty palms! Seriously, it is so cool that you are connecting poems together in a suite – very effective! This morning I was reading Harrison’s intro lines in his compilation, The Shape of the Journey. He talks about the dropping away of the “I” in life as he aged and about not paying so much attention to “me” – this poem of yours reflects that. Profound and simple. Really well done, Charley.


  4. Of course one sees the picture first and it produced a sharp intake of breath! The poem was beautiful. The last stanza took my breath away differently. And as to ‘the Keeper’ … ‘Keep Her fits the Melody in my ear. 🙂

    Great poem Charley!


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