Dwelling Places. a poem; another poem, entitled Memory: Lost and Find. but first, a different poem, entitled Between. by Alan Cohen

“Five minutes more now.”
“Only five? I’d like
To stay here all day—please?”

I sit eyes closed
In sunlight

Father, daughter
Rise from the pool
They, in this moment, guiltless

Have no pain
And their desires
Seem so benign

One can in no way gauge
What they may suffer
Suddenly my arms grow cool

And the red flood
Behind my eyes
Diminishes, turns yellow, fades

I see
A cloud
And yesterday it rained all day

The ground’s still wet
New voices from the pool now
Sun returns

It’s time for lunch
That moment
Haunts me

“All day”
“All day”

Dwelling Places.
The skin of a lake
Is, like a face
Engrossing; all day
We can watch the ripples
Scintillations, ducks and geese
Go boating on its surface
Comment on the trees at its shore
The clouds, the breeze
The birds and dragonflies and reeds
And it is enough for some
Simply to see the variations
To watch and monitor
For a lifetime

And yet, beneath that surface
On a still day
In a clear lake
One can enter another world
Just beneath the skin
Lit by a different light
With different creatures
Living by different rules
A world we can visit
Even live in for a time
But never be entirely at home in
Or understand
As we do the one above
In the sunlight

Yet further down
At the bottom
Are hills and ditches
Rocks and ridges
As on the surface
But altered
Covered with seaweed
Slime and debris
An old bicycle tire
A straw hat
With fish and rock crabs

But just when we are beginning
To experience the analogy
It starts to rain up top
The world goes dark
And mud, stirred up
Obscures the sight that remains
Living here on two senses
Like a dog on two legs
We float and dream
And have to conquer darkness
Changing what we know is
To what we know should be
Without the use of the faculties
We foolishly trust most

Memory: Lost and Find.
There is a word inside
That I can’t quite access
Like a

This word is
Like a sneeze
Just beyond
Almost in my grasp


I almost had it
The word that
Like a stalled sneeze
Has been evading me
That bitter root…
Starts with an “h”…
Some kind of animal
Suddenly there’s a spark
A fire
A seizure in the brain:

Alan Cohen/Poet first/Then PCMD, teacher, manager/Living a full varied life
To optimize time and influence/Deferred publication, wrote/Average 3 poems a month/For 60 years/Beginning now to share some of my discoveries
Married to Anita 40 years/in Eugene, OR these past 10