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Composition in the Wind

Absorbed in some inner composition

I slowly walk the streets

where images merge as in a dream


An autumn wind pipes oboes and bassoons

people dash down avenues like leaves

blown off the trees in gusts and whirls


They dance down sidewalks, linger by lamp posts

cling to windowsills of cottages

linger in doorways, damp shelters from the rain


Fragrances of buns from bakeries

leak out into the cooling air

diners sit around in restaurants


Waiters hurry in with bowls of steaming soup

watercolor palettes of rystafel saucers,

hurry out with towers of empty dishes


Clattering collections on palms

all forearms and elbows, arms outstretched in haste

backing through swinging kitchen doors


In a flash of kinship I become all of them

multiplied and many-hued, their accents, clothing

ill-fitting dentures, eyeglasses, sore throats


Thoughts of furtive hands in darkened cinemas

income tax assessments, laundry lists, birthday cards

on dusty mantelpieces, letters from friends overseas


They are all mine! Rendered asunder by the wind blowing

into every corner of me, I burst apart into a myriad

flying fragments, russet, ochre, black, brown and yellow


I am Norwegian, Chinese, a Welshman on a green mountain

a tribal dancer in Africa, I am children chanting hymns

in wooden huts, white eyes in dark faces, all smiles and teeth


I am a free-falling parachutist, floating down

between the trees, branches almost naked now, their fall leaves

rushing in the wind to distant resting places


I am one man in eight billion bodies

a swirl of flying leaves raked into a heap

the symphony of life shivering into my every open pore

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© Johnmichael Simon



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