Monday, November 28, 2011


Photo by Bobby Wong Jr.


This is the game/ we keep engaging in, Finding/ a Good Stopping Point by/ Seeing Clues in the Universe./ Tell me when, that’s us,/ grinding, waiting. Say when. ---Hannah Stephenson

Looking for a good time to stop,
is to stop looking like slumping
on a fallen trunk or a trail rock
jagged and jutting out of the bluff. 

Morning walks get longer along
empty spaces before familiar curbs
signal a turn to what we wait for:
the final bend. We are back home. 

Now Albert is coming back,
make yourself  a bit smart.”* Eliot,
of course, said it for me earlier. 

How long ago was that, when I
read those Wasteland lines? How
long have I waited to use them?
Is this a good time, yet? I waited. 

Because we have seen the clues,
because we have seen them all
already, I feel it is time to stop
waiting, sum up the bill, and go. 

What was I given to bear the pain
of knowing that I did not know?
Or build a home I could not live in?
What tools must I now return? 

In summing up, I will discount this,
in the game of haggling for a place
back in the Garden. Our stay here
was overpaid. We waited too long 

for that room with a better view,
that terrace with a canopy of roses,
and blue birds trilling on the sill.
O, for a touch of that distant sky! 

Next time around, if there is one,
I will be smart. I will settle only for
a room where I could see the sky
and the sea conspire to eat the sun. 

---Albert B. Casuga

*T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland, II. A Game of Chess, T.S. Eliot, the Complete Poems and Plays 1909-1950

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