Guest poem sent in by Sitaram Iyer
(Poem #1149) Don't Go Far Off
Don't go far off, not even for a day, because -- because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep. Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then the little drops of anguish will all run together, the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart. Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach; may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance. Don't leave me for a second, my dearest, because in that moment you'll have gone so far I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking, Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?
In passing through a transient spell of self-inflicted grief, I'm finding a certain measure of solace in several of Neruda's poems -- not so much as a distraction, but as a gentle voice that understands and speaks the pain. Although this poem reflects only an approximation of the sentiment, the metaphors strike the right sort of chord, helping convey the appropriate sense of (potential) loss. (I'll get over this bottomless black mood in a few days, so don't bother sympathizing :)) Sitaram