Poem: Means and Magic

Means and Magic

You go in.
In the factory, long abandoned,
long enough the paint has peeled
and the clapboards stained by sun and weather,
daylight between them.
Windows empty. Doors empty.
A few unrecognizable hulks of machinery.

There is a water marked mattress in one corner.
Paperbacks and beer cans scattered around it.
You are surprised at the titles. Classics, all of them,
pages earmarked and passages highlighted.

One part of the ceiling has caved in
and saplings grow through a hole in the floor
reaching for windows, oddly twisted in their yearning.

There is a wind outside and the walls move.
They groan.
It is as if the building itself mourns its lost life.

It is in the teetering place.
The place we all come to when we are abandoned long enough
to life’s weather. When no one cares
enough to shelter us, restore us, the spiritual
maintenance that keeps us strong and useful.
The teetering place,
when one last gust can push the walls an inch too far,
one gust can reduce all to rubble.

You linger. Just a little danger, you say.
You linger. Aware this will likely be your last visit.
Lacking the magic and means to save this one
you imagine instead, what it once was,
the bustle and life and purpose that filled this space.

Your imagination is strong, and for a moment
the life of this place becomes real. You smile.
Perhaps you have the magic and the means after all.
You pull out your pen, and write.

About this poem.

This one just arrived, gift wrapped and ready this morning. A poem for all of us who share memory: writers, poets, painters, photographers, memoirists, lovers and friends.

Be well. Travel wisely,



  1. Tom,
    Another wonderful poem! I can’t thank you enough for all that you do. I love being good friends with an outstanding artist, poet, and believer.
    May God bless you and your family and keep them safe. Again a special thanks to a very special person!
    Dr. Jim

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