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Poetry Magnum Opus



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In the half-night I sit by black windows,

seeing only tigers’ eyes of dim street lamps.


Safe and warm in my swivel chair, I wait

for pills to carry my too-active brain

and weary body back to a soft bed

filled with nothing but thoughtless time.


My fingers push keys to form words

that cannot re-create the fear of unknown

realities that overcome me when they will,

strangely, my brain not letting my brain

know what it will soon discover hidden

in aged crevices and cracks in its former

smooth walls of carefree youth.


I sip the sour wine of hope and listen

to the rumble of a train, the engineer

shattering the solid quiet with long

bursts of his air horn, as required,

but no doubt enjoying the rage of those

he wakes to join him as he flees

past the other limits of this small town.


All day the sky has been heavy

with cold gray, hiding now all

stars and planets, only faith

keeping them in their westerly swim

unseen. Surely they are there,

Cassiopeia up forty-five degrees

to the north, Polaris unmoving.


My nightly Earth turns and wobbles;

the stars move in the opposite direction,

firmly on course.


Quite often, one tires and flares

as it gives up its orbital effort

to streak gloriously for a moment.

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David W. Parsley

Carries a hint of the mystery that carries Keats' "Bright Star". I like this meditative piece very much, the way it touches profundities in the glancing way characteristic of insomnia. Sometimes it is here that we most certainly know of these wobbling, shrouded ineffables and the effect that persists long after, voice like the train wanderer vanishing quickly down its other set of rails.



- Dave

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Please accept my thanks and apologies for being remiss in responding to others. I will try to do better. Dave, your critique seems better than the poem itself. Thank you for "seeing" the meanings and not just the words.


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