The Blackboard [Poem]

Erasers whirl chalk traces across blank canvas
Blurring space between words written and unwritten
Spoken and unspoken
Cascading phrases already made and unmade
Fading and unfading by the light of chalk lines
The confusing currents of meaning and unmeaning ever intertwined

Those scratched out lines are tapestries of lessons learned
and the first traces of un-thought-out thoughts revised
by many hands comprised
The secret sign language of daughters and fathers –
sons and mothers – scribbled across time’s expanses
reveling at the beauty of its own becoming history dances

These world-weary chalkboard markings are reminders
of all things under yellow sun born and re-born
the past the future mourns
but how could we be without that which was before
we are not cosmoses born of stardust alone
atop a thousand generations of history we build hallowed homes

Our land has been carved by memory waterfalls
that flung themselves down unforgiving cliff faces
making new old places
the sound of cliffs falling is a thousand years long
the waterfalls told this tale so long before we
the cliffs – in untold pieces broken – crumbled and slow returned to the sea

There are traces of those cliffs held behind our eyes
holding back a mother’s tears before her son’s grave
his name in stone engraved
stone that will crumble under the force of raindrops
and flow across forgotten stones becoming streams
that the mother can still picture her son splashing through in her wildest dreams

Almost against our will we find ourselves thrown forth
cast to the world like paint across Pollock’s easel
sequel upon sequel
our time cascades like linear waves down mountains
and the fountains of our eternal youth run dry
there is nothing at all peaceful about living knowing you will soon die

Still there is something seductive in good endings
for in eternity living loses lustre
with no strength to muster
to fend off the fear of eternal sleepless nights
when faced with the certainty of endless slumber
we lay our weary heads against the eternal blackboard and find comfort

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

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