Presence in Absence

Who stalks the night so silently

that even the neighborhood dogs

don’t stir from their sleep to bark?

Yet in the twilight between dreams

I hear unmistakably the soft steps  

of your passing The brush of fabric

against a lilac branch The silence

of breath held too long in stillness

The tapping knuckle on the siding

which upon inspection is delusion

The absence that is ever present

The presence that is ever absent

In the night our spirits take flight

We soar so easily into heaven

We spiral so anxiously into hell

And all in a moment irresponsible

to the clockwork physics of time

when in the darkness we listen

to the longing fears of our minds

to the fearful longing of our hearts

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About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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9 Responses to Presence in Absence

  1. Morgan says:

    wonderful peter :)

    Like

  2. really enjoyed this – these fearful ruminations about what the night may behold seem hardwired in human brains

    Like

  3. “The absence that is ever present
    The presence that is ever absent”
    “to the longing fears of our minds
    to the fearful longing of our hearts”

    I love how you reversed these lines and they worked so well. :)

    Like

  4. There is such a softness to the brush of fabric against a lilac branch.
    http://www.awordofsubstance.wordpress.com

    Like

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