James G. Piatt is a poet and novelist, who lives in Santa Ynez, California, with his wife Sandy, and a dog named Scout. He has published five collections of poetry, The Silent Pond, Ancient Rhythms, LIGHT, Solace Between the Lines, and Serenity, over 1775 poems, five novels, and forty short fiction stories in scores of national and international literary journals. He is a twice-nominated Best of Net nominee and a four-time nominated Pushcart nominee. He earned his doctorate from BYU, and his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, SLO.

 

Waiting for incomprehensible Answers to my Unanswerable Questions

As I stand unsteadily with my face looking to the West, I watch the sunset melting into the crimson horizon like wax melting down the sides of a candle flowing into the edges of eternity. My eyes, fatigued from beating back the weariness of breathing, press against the imaginary crimson line that holds the last moments of the day. My heart faintly beats to the pulse of the trembling rhythm of lingering memories, and I wait for soothing thoughts to tell me I should not be afraid. I know it is true, but still fear the passing of time. I remember and forget yesterday, even today, and can seem to even forge on to tomorrow. The wind arises from the North shaking the shingles on the old house, tearing leaves from their anchors on limbs of the ancient sycamore trees, waiting for the evening to smoother the din of the day. I stand at a window looking into the past, trying to remember old memories lost in the mist of time. I saw an elderly homeless woman in my mind’s eye; she had no windows and was lying down on a cardboard mattress in a dank alley, trembling in her futureless world of cold, penury, and pain, and I feel ashamed that I am warm, and content, listening to the warbling of tiny birds. I sigh and realize, as the blossoms die in the flower garden, that winter is coming to reclaim the air and land, and the weary thoughts, of old men like me. My mind no longer hears what it caressed as sacred when youth reigned and I harnessed the wind as I climbed to the summit of life. My questions are different now. No longer do they scuttle happily along the shores of heated sand and cool ebbing tides, or along the pebbly paths in the woods next to softly flowing streams that I enjoyed in my youth. The images now linger in the grayness of the early morning mist, waiting for incomprehensible answers to my unanswerable questions.

© James G. Piatt