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Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who’

River and the Doctor

Gilded hands and golden hair, I knelt
on the stair and shed a series of potentials,

all my gleanings, all my means bestowed
in one bright river undammed, given freely

on a promise of worth,
a hidden hope of return,

equivalence, some similar sacrifice.
But once we traded stone for stacks

you sounded me into a shelf, a memory’s memory,
its timeworn cover shut

before a series of smaller, metered dreams,
inconsequential as a slip of gossamer in a stream,

one raveling corner pebble-pinned.
These memory-minnows spin

in the same vortex as that inevitable
shear on the silent shore,

serrated before it was subverted, but not
subverted before it scarred.

My echo cycles there in the library,
burnishes persistent circuits storing

what I ceded, dreaming of an equal gift
and another end.

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Irrelevant. Irrelevant.
A joy of my invention,
engendered and gestated in
a polycarbide bell that rings,
persistent as a nightjar’s trill,
as Pseudacris crucifer crucifer’s pipe,
at the strike of my mind
advancing on the thought of you.

Impaired, I cannot see the sense of how
my shrill and tinny timbre might
speak anything profound enough
to draw you near.

The lack of limb I must account for.
Vast flights between we two I cannot scale.

But suppose a pose, a fond exchange,
a cleverness of thought, might shape the crucible
for your own mind’s reagents to conspire in,
inspire you to reciprocate. But even then

deciduous affection falls like teeth of mammals
grown too old for fairy tales,
bone and ash to soil and loam lain fallow
‘til a new admirer cultivates attention there:
a memory to eradicate, a notice to exterminate.

Liner note

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In memory of Elisabeth Sladen

Inevitable as invasion
of mint through the rose,
ivy crowding out the mortar:
the moment of companion left behind,
every instant after buckling
under fragrant weight of stem and vine
rooted in a deep transcendence of time.

Unpullable tenacity,
from under leaf and stolon to decide
to love an absence from next week and yesterday,
from the outer fling of time and space, and say,
“I can save the universe without you.”

Yet, processions of moments still precess,
the thread of time,
the hedgerow trained in vine,
all spiral out, undone.  The instant of companion gone
beyond the reach of age: inescapable
as mint usurping rose,
ivy undermining wall,
inevitable as invasion.

Liner note

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Briefly immortal in the penumbral
hush of a library –
saved there as memory – in a life unreal
but not unforgotten.

Did those virtual moments,
that shelved span with no knowledge of
TARDIS or Time Lord,
soften their eventual erasure?
The walling off of a stellar existence –
companion to the Doctor –
a life pursued not
as rescue or escape,
but premeditated adventure,
planned and packed for?

Your final disembarkation
to fixed time and dimension
may have left you, again,
just a temp,
too loud, too coarse,
but even then, you’re the only one
(since the Doctor came around again)
not to be besotted, the only
one to have been, briefly,
a Time Lord herself, the
only one without the luxury of memory.

 

Liner note

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