A Reluctant Light

I walked to the city limit
And played volleyball
With some seagulls.

It was a no-nonsense game
Without intermissions.

I headed west
To the river.

In my coat
I stood at the water.

The posture of dusk
Ransacked of belongings
Looking over its shoulder.

And though the stars
Come looking for alms I have only the sense
Of infinity.

If I knew how to spell lasso
Or pumpernickel. But I don’t.

It is a reluctant light,
The hardware of the self.







This is an old poem I hopefully cleaned up a bit, and decided to give another try.

20 thoughts on “A Reluctant Light

    1. Thanks Steve! I put in a heck of a lot of time throwing a ball against a wall when I was a kid. We even made a game of it, “wall ball,” with some simple rules. We’d spend entire days playing the game.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bob…Ah yes! wall ball, awesome! we called it strikeout and like you guys, spent entire days forgetting that one day life would end. there would be a square painted against the wall – the strike zone….a ground ball was an out, hit the fence on a bounce-a double, on the fly-a triple and over the fence, well you know. the only thing missing was the home run trot…became more of a home run dance, but it still pissed off the pitcher.


      2. Haha! that sounds wonderful. Yes, no one told us life would end. But man, those days as kids was wonderful. We played baseball in the parking lot of a community center. We used chalk to draw a strike zone. At the far end of the parking lot was a two story chain link fence. Our “green monster.” No one ever hit it over, but we had a blast daring each other to climb over it. Something of an initiation rite for us kids.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Chalking in that strike zone musta made it seem illegal, like graffiti or something and that impossible green monster fence to hit one over. Did anyone ever climb over the fence?


      4. The chalk strike zone was fine with the community center, it washed off in the rain. Yes, most of us did climb it with some encouragement/peer pressure of the other kids.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. terrific, Bob; everything I like esp playing volleyball with seagulls: now there’s an image you don’t see everyday; but my favorite — because I have the same issue too — is the spelling of ‘lasso’ or is it ‘lassoo’ ????

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob,

    I love your use of no-nonsense in reference to playing volleyball with the seagulls, as a game with “no intermissions”, precisely because this poem is so whimsical. Lewis Carroll is a favorite of mine (among many), and while this poem strikes a very different tone than, say, ‘Jabberwocky’, I love the misdirection and for lack of a better term, spirit of independence in this foray to the city limits.

    I adore the idea of dusk, ransacked of belongings, “looking over its shoulder”–with you standing in your winter coat. That is a fabulous, surreal mix of self and world that I really liked.

    Also, the stars who are “looking for alms”, with all the speaker has to offer in a “sense of infinity”.

    I really like the final line. “The hardware of the self” is strongly suggestive, without revealing too much, about what is going on in the poem, titled ‘A Reluctant Light’. This tells me the light is not necessarily literal, and the speaker, or you, are waiting upon it.

    Great sense of whimsy, with a wistful air about the piece–is my take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Holly! I’m a fan of the whimsy/surreal/serious. If that works all together? It’s been awhile since I read the Alice books. But just found a copy of both at a second hand store, and they are on my to read list soon. Thank you for the wonderful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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