The lonely Koi in the pond
slowly swam unseen, unsung,
below the new Moon, beyond
all glimpses, alone among
a garden long neglected,
a house lost and forgotten,
and so the Koi reflected
on his little life, caught in
this clandestine little pool,
wishing to be with others,
to be free, or in a school
with his sisters and brothers,
just to swim broader waters,
to follow his own streams
and beget sons and daughters
and what he could of such dreams,
for he felt the subtle song
of the Moon, that coy mistress
and, thus, longed and longed ere long
she caused him much in distress,
for the Moon governs all fish
in pond, lake, river and sea,
and he felt keenly the wish
to be elsewhere—to be free.
Nonetheless, he died alone,
belly up in the small pond,
his deep dreams never his own—
hopeless as each new day dawned.
In the smirksome depths of Saki
I find a handful of dead dreams:
some slips slipping out to mock me,
business cards and their stillborn schemes.
“Marshall Arts,” the little cards read,
with my phone number down beneath,
the cards now only serving need
as cheap bookmarks between each leaf.
I was once an entrepreneur,
both an artist and optimist,
who saw flowers in all manure,
but needed an optometrist.
I told myself I was sober
about my prospects and my “skill”,
but like a man in October
planting seeds when the winds go chill
I hoped an Indian Summer
would save me from the coming Fall,
but that proved me all the dumber
as leaves fell for a fallow haul.
Debt begets debt, lest we forget,
and excuses lose all value
as we spend them, more and more, yet
there is wisdom gained in one’s view,
meanwhile menial labors call
and these cards are but dreams deferred,
throwaway slips of paper, all—
my dreams dying still, word by word.