Senses, senseless

He sets his life down on the cold concrete
A dark dirty sack, spilling clothes out
Like Saint Nicholas’s sack,
Laying out a blanket, rough and scratchy
The blue now faded to black
Crusted by the soil,
Tattered from too many years use,
The fabric has become a part of this ritual,
He settles in on the sidewalk
Hard and unforgiving below him.
His back is sore and he hates the jab of the
Concrete creases,
He feels the rumble, the sounds of the rails
That lie below
Filled with ant-like people
Scurrying home for the night
From the corporate stone and glass castle jobs,
He knows because he has been there before.
The ground vibrates slightly as the metro
Zooms off into the night.
He feels the dampness in the air
Land upon his stubbly beard,
He shivers alone.
He closes his eyes and inhales
There is something clean and light
And he hears them talking, laughing,
The sounds of her heels clickety clack
As she tries to keep up.
She smells of flowers,
He remembers this scent from when he was a boy,
He would bring his momma lilacs,
Reaching up high
He would snip off the pretty tiny pink ones,
Yes, she liked the pink ones the best.
Yes, that was it. The smell of spring has come to the
Air that he is a part of.
He is ashamed and thinks to himself that
Tomorrow he will go to the fountain
And try to clean up a little,
Until the police show up of course.
His clothes smell of piss and decay,
This has become a part of who he has become,
He is dirty but that is how it is.
He is tired and he looks up as the couple passes by,
Clickety clack the scent of blossoms
Linger behind,
He reaches up to touch her coat and she
Pulls away but he has felt the fine smooth silk
As she gently steps aside
And continues on her way,
She looks back once
And then forward again,
He is already a forgotten memory
But he is now lost in his thoughts
Of a childhood
Of life that is no more.

The man in the story was a homeless man in Washington DC, summer of ’85. We called him Joe.
senses, smell, touch,hearing, and sight. Photo from internet, not Of Joe.

Today’s (optional) prompt is to write a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses. So, for example, your poem could carefully describe the smell of something, the taste of something, and the sound of something. It might be helpful to pick things you have actually encountered during your day: a cup of coffee at the office (“burnt, flat, and joylessly acrid”), or a hyacinth in the neighobr’s yard (“riotously curled petals shading violet-lavender-white, against the dark-green glossy-smooth leaves”). Happy writing!


He waits for her at
The edge of her dreams,
Standing guard as she moves
Silently about
Her prison.
She hears the horses
And hopes that today is the day
He comes to rescue her
And her lonely heart.
The pounding hooves circle
The fortress walls
She calls to him
And the echo of her voice
In the empty halls
Sound so foreign
To her ears,
Is this me
She thinks to herself
As she listens for a reply
But all she hears is the
Thunderous beating of her heart.
He will come she thinks,
He must she says
Though no one is there to hear
Her words,
He sits beyond
A glimpse of her at a window
But he knows it can never be
When she is locked inside her madness,
Still he loves her
And will wait
For the moment
When she will say yes,
I am ready.

Thoughts on fairy tale princes and princesses, madness and sadness
Of two doomed souls to be apart.
Inspired by what I see in the photo,
Fantasy worlds of the mind.

Deepest heart

Hidden away
Far too long
Stumble across
The unknown heart.
Mountain runoff drips to fill
This heart,
Created by natures forces
Swim in the depths
Turquoise blue tranquility,
Wet in the waters
Of the unknown heart.
Where are you my love?
Do you spill over with
The joy of abandon,
Dive down to
See what lies below
Teeming with color,
Sun reflective
Off the surface
Illuminating the waves
From above.