When I turned 21, I was living in Washington D.C. working at the DSCC. Inspired, I guess, by A Child’s Christmas in Whales, I starting typing this out, followed soonafter by Thursdays in Late November. Obviously no comparison to Dylan Thomas, what I find interesting, as several of these words come up red on the Spell-Check, is the “Impressionistic” meaning they retain, (at least for me), separate and apart from the formal definitions you would – or, more to the point, would not – find in Webster’s.

November 22, 1989.

You’ll have to excuse me this day, if I seem a bit remiss, if I forget to tip my cap or throw a kiss your way. You’ll have to let me be this day.

My thoughts, you see, this day now plunging into caverns deep and dusting on its way the tales of sheep and shepherds who now stand before the dale with staff in hand to sum the sums of all the land this day.

You see I throw myself today into the land of Now whereas the yesterday somehow was yesterday. And for twenty-one years now this day my hair stood on its end, my blood flowed to the ends of time and pumped of thunder now to what unfolds this day. And when I think about the ways in which we played so often there in other days, on reigns of horses trodding ways through paths unforged and waves paid no attention to our crashing sandcastles, or the rainy rivers riddenover with winded winds and fire flies. You’ll have to excuse me this day you see, if I am a bit remiss, forget to tip my cap or throw a kiss your way. You’ll have to let me be this day.

The ghosts are rising now today, they flutter on the wing and sing of songs unsung but they were hummed before. Maybe. This day. And conscious races now this day into the fields where once I’d play with octagons of rolling drumsticks kicked pygmalion pigskin pigs down into gulfs of glory that I missed, somehow remiss, as if to be this day. And if I seem to be looking down into footsteps I follow to the ground, marking once where I stood and did not walk, and did not cross nor twist and toss myself into the earth. Or if I pull my eyes up to the sky the stars that shoot aglowing in the light of winter, sourceless lifting off the sea and know that it is me who rises on the wind, now; and frees conciliatory condors from their cages bare, of listless life Lesuvius lonely this winter night, her passion spent, all bubbled up and drowned in heat of her own fire, meat that spoils not today.

So if I look this way, you must forgive me now this day you see (and only on this day) if I seem a bit remiss, forget to tip my cap, or throw a kiss your way.


© Copyright 1995, by Steve Herman, (The Collected Poems of Timothy Stone).