Posts Tagged ‘searching’

Fishing for Answers

Posted: October 5, 2022 in Poetry
Tags: , ,
By David Allen

There’s a man I always see
standing at the end of the pier
when I take my lunch walk.
He holds a long pole
and occasionally casts
the line into the bay.
There's no bait on the hook.
The creel at his feet is empty.
Almost as empty as the look on his face.
His eyes are fixed on the horizon.

One day I asked him what
he hoped to catch.
Without a glance at me, 
he pulled his line out of the water 
and cast it back with a slight groan.
“I’m fishing for answers,” he said.
“I tried books, schools, the streets, 
and even turned to poetry.

I felt bad for interrupting his search.
But I had one more question.
“Answers to what?” I asked.
“Everything…nothing,” he said.
I walked on as he recast his line.
His search tormented me.
Was there really something there
in the cold, blue waters of life?
The answer to everything
and nothing? 

The answer hit me 
like a slap to the face.
The search is the answer.

I bought a fishing rod yesterday.
There’s plenty of room on the pier.
Care to join us?



Posted: September 1, 2020 in Poetry
Tags: , , , ,

By David Allen

It's a wonder my parents
didn’t get in trouble 
for letting me run free.
From as far back as I remember,
I did things that could have 
brought charges of child neglect
for allowing me to run wild.

I am the oldest of seven children 
and gladly surrendered the role
of mother's little helper
to my sister, two years younger, 
while I discovered the world. 

Trespassing was my usual crime.
Abandoned homes, factories, 
military bases, and the estates 
of Roaring Twenties millionaires,
decayed after the Depression.
They were my playground.

I never knew what I might find
Signs of a ghost?
Old books, photos?
Remains of animals?
Forgotten paintings?
Broken statues?
Stairways to the sky?

I once found the blackened
remainder of a forgotten pie
in an old wood oven.
In a mildewed closet,
I discovered a half-filled diary
that ended with a huge 
hand-drawn exclamation point.
In a flooded factory basement
I used a wooden door as a raft.

I was lucky no one
ever confronted me
as I sought what remained 
when life moved on 
to other structures
and other worlds.

Unable to Help

Posted: November 30, 2018 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , ,


By David Allen

She stood alone on a deserted beach
shoulders slumped, looking out over the still sea.
Nothing moved and the blazing summer sun
beat down on her unprotected brow.
She was searching for something, someone.
I wanted to run to her, tell her the weary waves
would not always be empty, surely her lover,
son, or savior, would return some day.
But I could not.
Instead, I moved my gaze
from the decades-old painting
in a weathered frame
and returned my attention
to the TV show as the commercial
that distracted me ended.