Blur Poem by Andrew Hudgins


Rating: 4.1

Storms of perfume lift from honeysuckle,
lilac, clover—and drift across the threshold,
outside reclaiming inside as its home.
Warm days whirl in a bright unnumberable blur,
a cup—a grail brimmed with delirium
and humbling boredom both. I was a boy,
I thought I'd always be a boy, pell—mell,
mean, and gaily murderous one moment
as I decapitated daises with a stick,
then overcome with summer's opium,
numb—slumberous. I thought I'd always be a boy,
each day its own millennium, each
one thousand years of daylight ending in
the night watch, summer's pervigilium,
which I could never keep because by sunset
I was an old man. I was Methuselah,
the oldest man in the holy book. I drowsed.
I nodded, slept—and without my watching, the world,
whose permanence I doubted, returned again,
bluebell and blue jay, speedwell and cardinal
still there when the light swept back,
and so was I, which I had also doubted.
I understood with horror then with joy,
dubious and luminous joy: it simply spins.
It doesn't need my feet to make it turn.
It doesn't even need my eyes to watch it,
and I, though a latecomer to its surface, I'd
be leaving early. It was my duty to stay awake
and sing if I could keep my mind on singing,
not extinction, as blurred green summer, lifted
to its apex, succumbed to gravity and fell
to autumn, Ilium, and ashes. In joy
we are our own uncomprehending mourners,
and more than joy I longed for understanding
and more than understanding I longed for joy

Seamus O Brian 19 July 2017

Each day its own millennium. I remember that frame of time in the structure of my life, when the far edge of summer sailed beyond the horizon of my understanding of time. It simply spins, It doesn't need my feet to turn it... The gradual appearance of comprehension, first of my own existence, then the reality that my existence is not, after all, the center of purpose of the universe, but in actuality a minute, inconsequential side-effect. Profoundly and strikingly expressed here. We are our own uncomprehending mourners... This piece concludes like life itself, somewhat abruptly, not wholly satisfying, a hint of what was unlived, and yet, a continuing progression in which our existence was only a small fragment of the whole.

1 0 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 19 July 2017

The oldest man in the holy book.... Thanks for posting...👍

0 12 Reply
Susan Williams 12 January 2016

For the first time in my life I stepped inside a boy's mind. Incredible experience. The power of this man's pen rivals the great literary giants throughout time. Tell me. there are more of his poems out there

28 3 Reply
Lantz Pierre 19 July 2017

The experience is not similar for girls? I assumed the driving force of what is described is innocence and exuberance, nothing gender specific. A zest for life undiminished by analysis and logic. Learning about life and about the world through experience, through sheer, inexhaustible acceptance and motion. Except, in the end, of the day, or inevitably life, exhaustion cannot be evaded. Is it the sense of the mindless attack, the living to the limits of one's energy, that you find specific to a boy? Or the fierceness? They may serve to qualify the gender identification, but I think they are mere mentions within the greater compass of the poem. Or maybe it's just because I've always been fond of tomboys.

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Andrew Hudgins

Andrew Hudgins

Killeen, Texas
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