Poem: The Knowing


The Knowing

A dark hallway of shops.
A place of stories.
Even though nothing is open you can hear a piano playing,
a slow bluesy riff.
At the far end of the hall, the beach,
the waves a slushy counterpoint to the music,
messy, like life,
ebb and flow,
dark hallways and a faint light at the end.

Not quite sunshine.
Not quite night.

Your footsteps ring against the walls.
You may be alone.
You may not be.
Each step brings you closer
to the knowing.

About this poem

When I was young, and through my teenage years, my family used to go to White Lake, North Carolina, a small lake near the South Carolina border. We stayed at a place called Lasley’s, a collection of ramshackle cottages with an old hotel in the center of the property.

On rainy days, everyone staying there would gather in the lobby of the hotel, a place right out of a Raymond Chandler novel. And right on cue was a tall walnut bookshelf along one wall that was chock full of old detective novels from the forties, fifties and early sixties.

Voila! My love of film noir novels was born. And now, as I approach sixty-three years old, that influence is still with me. I am sure it always will be.

The poem? It can be read literally, or as a metaphor for dark periods in my life. You can enjoy it either way, I hope.

The picture was taken in Provincetown, Mass.


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