Friday, May 18, 2012


The distance from me to Magnolia lay forgotten
until I would remember that town being there.

I'm sure magnolias grew large in Magnolia,
dark waxy leaves and blossom fragrance.
Mornings there were questions, afternoons equivocal,
evenings held murmurs and fireflies in summer yards.
To think that people lived there
when I wasn't thinking about them!...
35 miles due west of my town,
down here in lower Arkansas.

The distance from here to there was peculiar --
those miles of almost metaphysical journeying,
until arrival in a town shrugging its shoulders.

One morning at church in my town I had a vision
from out of nowhere, of odd gentlemen walking
the streets of Magnolia. Everything was so tall –
elongated gentlemen and curving-over buildings.
All those men were Czech lawyers newly arrived
in that small town where briefcases are anomalous.
The vision also held Jesus floating quite distracted, 
not too far above them in the narrow wounding light.

          Religion gets painted in your young mind
          by Dali's nephew twice-removed somehow
          way down here in Arkansas on a Sunday.

Outlier towns are phantoms on the periphery,
registering just enough to make you uncertain
and off-balance through days, dreaming nights.

I had two cousins in Magnolia.
Cousins are unusual creatures.
My aunt and uncle are now dead.
Magnolia no longer remembers me.

I'm fairly confident magnolias still bloom there
in that town some Southern Kafka miles away.
Blooming for people even if I don't think of them.

But Magnolia is like a god diluted in solution of time.
Or a summons written on a scroll in disappearing ink. 

Copyright 2012, Tim Buck

No comments:

Post a Comment