Audience of One

the man who could dream a poem

As he sat in his comfortable chair, the night
spread out before him like a blank page,

or as he walked, words would peel from his face
like petals, falling to arrange themselves

into living creatures composed of the dust
of an age past, of his own life and the petals,

some following, trotting at his heels,
some snapping at them like a running flame,

others would wind their own course to find
autonomous life in gardens far from him;

when he looked at the world, it would turn
into his mind and there would be its pools,

and mountains, deserts and houses and histories.
and something vaster still, if he stood back

far enough, which was his whole self
in it—the world, his mind and the poem—

and then the sense would come that it was right
and real, that his being in and part of it,

too, was real, that somehow the order
of things is correct, inverted: imagination

is road, destination and traveler,
and that other life, false pilgrimage;

then, lifting his head, removing the plugs
from his ears and taking off the sleep

mask from his eyes, all around him
there was nothing more than reality

and nothing more than himself there in it.

Kevin Cornwall © All rights reserved.

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