Poetry by David Filer

Dedicated to The Imani Project

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Itinerary

Seat belt signs are off,

cruising altitude

32,000 feet.

 

United Flight 628,

heading nearly due east,

Portland to Chicago-

 

O’Hare.  Above a light

haze that obscures most of

Washington, Idaho,

 

rumbles up into a

towering summer storm-

front over Utah,

 

then thins out again

and breaks here and there

to reveal patterns

 

familiar from our previous

crossings, South Dakota’s

dark scrub hills and gritty

 

canyons, creeks already

dry in July, giving

way to something more kept

 

in Iowa, plowed squares

and rectangles pocked

by cloud shadows, straight

 

county roads, houses

and barns in their marked

corners, a few small towns.

 

            ●

 

The Missouri, and now

we start to think about

why we headed this way,

begin to remember

where we put our baggage,

consider our small spaces.

 

Time collapses against

us like a quantum wave,

and we are in all

 

places at once as we

move into past and future.

As the soul, sometimes,

 

in its free-ranging flight

sees in the space below

how life is configured—

 

how it is in the moment

it spreads and swirls back,

how it begins in dark,

 

unravels into light

and how it threads back

into the coming twilight.

 

            ●

 

It is as you once said,

nothing lasts but something

like light moves ever toward

 

us, even as the same 

light moves away.  Thus our

continual dilemma,

 

on sleeping and then

waking, looking ahead

and sorry for the time

 

we so spend, mourning

what we have lost in the

spaciousness of our dreams

 

while aching for deliverance. 

So we ask for time to

continue on and wish

for it to start over

again, that we may finally

get the memories

 

right, get the meaning right,

order the details

before we forget them all,

 

            ●

 

as we propel ourselves

forward into the next

day, while behind us

 

the day we have just

lived separates again

into its various moments,

 

one of which—all of which

we follow, looking both ways

into raveling time. 

 

We ask only another

day, and already we

fly against it on our

 

way to what we could

not imagine even

days ago.  First the light

 

then, increasingly,

the dark, the wings out

there flashing warnings


now, as below us,

across the horizon

and on beyond our

 

sight, town after town

begins to shine like

a prairie of stars.

 

(published by Tiger's Eye

 

—David Filer