The Studio presents ~ I Saw You Today

By: Les Bush, April 13, 2014

Courtesy Stacy Garrett, Photographer

Courtesy Stacy Garrett, Photographer

I saw you today, as if for the first time;
I heard someone else’s voice
come from your lips, Your penumbra
looked darker, faint echoes stirred the air.

The presence of another intruded, strutted proud,
then retreated. I heard someone else:
your mother, father, sister or brother;
a love long lost, a departed lover.

I heard echoes of arguments long unresolved.
You looked at me; your eyes were not your own.
They berated me, scorned and scorched me;
stripped me bare. Am I yours to disown?

I have seen you, young and vibrant;
no dark cloud. You held my hand, lead me to your bed;
impassioned embrace, a simmering heat expand;
proud and erect, you could say I made my stand.

In the morning light, what did we say?
“Hello, did you sleep well?” You smiled.
Why now do I see your brow creased,
has some sacred memory been defiled?

You look at me as a stranger,
I hear another’s voice. You look at me in wonder,
as if, “have I made the right choice?”
You speak of things that haunt you,

that will not let you sleep, bind you:
shadows of a dark keep. Shards of pain
bite deep, sharp and diamond hard.
You are lost for the moment. Let me help you regain

the path to the light; it is your right.
Is it not the mystery of living that deep inside,
the product of tradition, DNA, and chance
there are too many lives to take in at one glance?

Lives, real or imagined, from which to hide;
so many voices demanding, ever ready to chide;
we are a product of the ages, aware or not;
layer upon layer of consciousness and meaning.

I’ve seen your face before; I will see it many times again.
It will not be the same; the difference might lie in your eyes,
the tilt of your chin, the shy smile, a wondrous grin.
We fight a battle of sorts; one we can never win.

Pause for a moment, take a deep breath, open your eyes,
hold my hand; say “look at me”: I will. Locked in silence,
our eyes connect; no need for words, no need for pretense.
Embrace the present. Perfection be damned, etiquette an encumbrance;

we try, struggle, sometimes we win. Where there is an obstacle,
there is also a place to begin. The spectres are patient, ruthless,
will not retreat. Here, together, we create our own legend,
write poems in the sand, sing our own song.

I saw you today, as if for the first time;
I found melody, a sweet sound; asked for neither reason nor rhyme.
We spoke of ghosts, voices in the dark; demons that dwell in the night.
They can stay there. We are lost in each other’s sight.


les photo

Les Bush lives in Auckland, New Zealand. He was born in Christchurch, then the most English of cities. His love of reading is rooted in his childhood, and he began writing poems in his youth. His love of language is eternal. Eleven spellbinding years participating in all aspects of live theatre (including acting, backstage, front of house and management) gave depth to his ability to communicate emotion. Beginning at a time with the home video entertainment industry was merely a startup and continuing with first a free nationally distributed monthly magazine and then a trade magazine, writing became his passion. His flare gained him a commission to write for Variety and several magazines in New Zealand, and Australia. In 2011 he returned to his first passion, the joy of writing poetry. As in many cases, it was partly therapy (tragedy is a cruel and whimsical mistress); partly, re-discovery of the inestimable pleasure of self-expression and, quite simply, the sheer need to articulate that which resides in his imagination.