Thursday, March 31, 2016

Poem of the Day: “Ghosts from the Past” by A. D. Winans

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Ghosts from the Past” by A. D. Winans.  Winans is a native San Francisco poet and writer and the former editor and publisher of Second Coming Press.  He is the author of over fifty books and chapbooks of poetry and prose.  In 2006 he won a PEN National Josephine Miles Award for excellence in literature. In 2009 PEN Oakland presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  A song poem of his was set to music and performed at Alice Tully Hall in New York.  He is on the Advisory Board of the New York Quarterly and the proposed San Francisco International Library of poetry.

Ghosts from the Past
A.D. Winans

I sit here at my favorite cafe
with a cup of coffee wearing
the early chill of morning
like a quilt of stitched memories

the sun a lunar graveyard
shines its eyes down on me
the months the years
a revolving door
like the trick mirrors
at the Funhouse
at Playland at the Beach

friends fewer in number
camp in my dreams
like ducks in a blind

left with a cup of morning coffee
a spoon that stirs memories
of  young women
the pleasure of warm flesh
on fresh linen sheets
hot as an iron pressed
to a singed garment
the conversations that lasted
into the early morning hours
turned to idle chatter
with ghosts from the past

Poet’s Notes:  I don't consciously sit down to write a poem.  They come to me from voices inside my head or unique circumstances I encounter.  One day I was sitting outside a cafe enjoying a cup of morning coffee. I was thinking about a friend of mine who had passed away, when a young woman walked by who looked a lot like a past lover of mine.  I am nearly eighty, and suddenly images of my youth swirled around inside my head.  I began writing them down on napkins, and thus the poem was born.

Editor’s Note:  I like the dreamlike mood the poet creates here as well as the way he plays with time. 

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