Time Dancer

 it feels like a dance
Doesn’t it?
                           like a dance?
There we were-all of us
sitting around the fire,
talking, laughing, drinking wine,
smoking, thinking about life-
each of us- a Universe of our own
all of our worlds suspended
for a while
while we lived in a moment
too fragile to touch
too real to question
you got up- and
to the West
                                 I rose and
to the East
                  Everyone stood and
turned from our
We stepped into shadows
to find the worlds
                               we thought
                               we wanted
we danced
through darkness
                      and moonlight
                                                                     through deserts
                                                                            and sunlight
through cities
              and lamplight
                                                                  through mountains
                                                                             and starlight
across oceans
and fire light
                                                                          through garbage
                                                                            and candle light
every once in a while
                           one or more of us
                  lost interest
                                       in the dance
                                                                                this game
                                                                                wasn’t enough
too many dreams
had died
we stumbled
back to our circle,
fanned the embers
relit the fires
we met in twos and threes
and almost remembered
who we’d been and
where we’d started-
we talked and dreamed and
caught a new idea, a vision-
                                   Then, with our
                                   New Vision, unspoken
                                   we found new strength
                                                                               and fed each other
                                                                               on our bright new
                                                                               as we cried each other’s tears
                                                              over what we’d lost
                                    and we usually agreed
                                    there wasn’t enough – out there
                                    to hold our attention
                                    for long
                                    but then again
                                    we kept on
                                    getting back up on our feet
and danced back
                         into the shadows
perhaps I
stayed away the longest
I danced the farthest
from that light
that always
called us back
                                                                  perhaps I
                                                                  watched my dreams
                                                                  too often
                                                                  go up in smoke
                                                                  too soon-
                                                                  – I
learned to hold on
-maybe much too tight- ly
to each second I
in your company-
-with any one of us
I’d accidentally
learned to recognize-
-in chance meetings
in the strangest places
where and when our
brought us
face to face
with anyone
we thought we
-knew from somewhere-
like the free and easy
celebration of spring
where somebody who knew somebody
let a friend tag along
and I’d barely seen her
when my heart wanted to soar
to leap with joy at the idea
that she was actually
in the same world with me-
but then, some guy I
probably would have liked
came back from somewhere, and
put his arm around her shoulder
and grinned at me as if to say
-look all you want
-she’s mine tonight
and I wondered why I
wanted to
tear his heart out
on the spot
and me, I-
tripped over something
in the dark
and rolled to my knees
in some
strangely lighted fog
I stumbled and called
and whimpered
and screamed
I stood up
and listened
and walked
against the wind
and maybe blinked
once or twice
and found myself
back here
where we
I looked around,
                     there was no one
                I struck a match and
lit a lantern
and sat down and
-You’re the one -I
came closest to-
          -most often
stumbling back home,
in your own trajectory
– you looked a bit like
maybe you
were almost ready
                to join me
and I thought about us all
I remembered every shadow
every light,
every flicker of joy-
every mountain
                            every pit
every dancer
             every sanctuary
                              and I felt
                                            every dancer
                                                       dancing through me
turning and leaping
                                                        stepping and falling
phantoms in a shadow land
                                                       everyone a little sick
of spiraling so far out
Everyone a little closer to knowing
what we’d gone off to learn
                          -That everything we really wanted
                       we’d all had to begin with
              so long ago
with each other
I closed my eyes
and felt a restless tide
swelling through our
empty spaces
washing all the lands
we’d ever visited
I saw the restless thoughts
of every dreaming phantom
falling lifeless as the core
of our existence
refined the hunger
we’d been feeling
I reached for the light-
I felt you- all of you-
all of us dancing
all of us turning
and missing the beat
dropping our hands, disgusted
one by one returning
to the center of our circle
where I guess I’m
the first one back
sitting here with a silly grin
waiting to greet you
with this universe’s greatest laughter
             Welcome Home!
-Where in hell have you been this time?
——— Jim Wellington


7-9-87 (July 9, 1987)



Trees and towns
single cabins
whole developments
new communities
a trailer park
a factory
a river
sudden tunnel
high bank
a burnt out bus on its side
stagnant pond
swimming beach
golf course
and through the trees
traces of glimpses
of lives
little triumphs
wasted ages
death and pain
birth and hope
schemes and dreams
honest toil and con

Time out
to visit the
café car

there are a bunch of
French Canadians on this train
I mistook an Uruguayan
for one of them
she’s a writer
I flirted shamelessly
-gave her my name &
address, she said,
I was interesting
maybe she’ll write.

darkness descends
on a world in
two dimensional

the patterns of the
leaves of trees
crawl like snakeskin

dirty towns
dirty factories
come and go

the world has been
on several
opague screens
backlit as we
rush past
to the
rock and roll rhythm
that never quite completely

now the painted
at varying speeds
past the train
while high tech
push buttons
to swing and sway
and rock and
then roll and
to make us believe
in the illusion
that we
are actually

I could fall
in love a dozen times
an hour
on this train
maybe more if I
write less
and watch the passengers
There must be five
young women
on this train, in this car?
I’ve decided
I could love forever
a couple of them
no doubt would be married
there’s one-
3 seats in front of me
facing me-
glancing my way
and smiling when she
catches me
glancing back
Absolutely too cute
button nose
two pony tails
totally baffled
by obstacles like
door release buttons
and luggage racks
fixing her hair by her refelction
in the window
totally ignored by the
guy she’s sitting with.
-must be her brother

-an hour later?

I just saw the
she’s writing away in her notebook
almost as frantic as I am
while the other woman
I fell in love with since, maybe
got up and looked around
stepped over her
sleeping brother
walking this way
almost fell in my lap.
“I forgot-” she said,
“Which way to the lunch car?”

I couldn’t pass this one up
“I’ll show you- I’m hungry too”
She smiles then seems impressed
when I stand up
“You’re tall-”

Her name was Hillary
from Philadelphia
the guy ignoring her
is her cousin
She found it fascinating
that I was a writer
and wanted to know
if she would end up
in anything I ever wrote.

She wrote down her name
and address and
phone number
and then looked sad
and told me
she was supposed to
meet the man
almost twice her age
her family had promised her to
so the mob
wouldn’t kill her mother and her brothers,
and maybe finally,
her broken father.

I blurted out
“Is there anything I can do?”
She looked desperate, then defeated
shook her head, “No- that would
get my family
butchered or worse.”

I paid for her food
on the way back
to our car
she pushed me into a men’s room,
kissed me desperately,
moved my hands to grope her-
then pushed me away,
straightened her
clothing and made me
check to see
that there was nobody
in the corridor
and I walked her
back to our car-
she gestured that
I should stay in my own seat
walked back to her
sat down and hid behind
a “Bride” magazine.

I fell asleep
woke up a couple
hours later
saw her as she
was still hiding behind
that magazine
and hoped I dreamed
the whole trip
to the dining car.

Train rides
will never
be the same.



Very Old Stuff (pre-digital)

August 4, 2014 -(18˚C / 64˚F @ 10:07 & raining here.)


   Never know where to begin-

I thought I’d try to tidy up a bit
    -for the exterminator?-
    as we’re moving me
    into this apartment

We never seem to get Anything done
    when we’re together-

came across an
    unfamiliar box
    contents in a jumble
    -all the time you’ve known me
    there’s been some kind of crisis
    looming very near
    very dark
    maybe it is the time of Man
    maybe it is a season
    for me to dance carefully
    between disasters
    and try
    -not to get crushed

Maybe our lives are
    portable messes
    that we can sort through
    or store as-is
    and maybe
    neatness doesn’t count at all
    it’s how you live
    and what you give
    to each other
    and the world
    around you-

((( Feels like circa 1991 ? )))

((( I don’t know if this is one of the things Jim Wrote and typed and left with me or is it something I sat down and wrote after one of our first attempts at a writers’ workshop? )))