ISSN 1630-7712
Organdi#6 : le hasard

Words Never Ending and other poems

par Doug Tanoury

Words Never Ending

A Wedding Wish For Stacey

I remember

There was a time once

In the smallness of new beginnings

Where every heartbeat brought new wonder

And each day uncomplicated joy.

I wish these gifts of childhood to you,

Just as I feel them now,

As I see you flower- like and

Wrapped in white blossoms.

In my chest this instant,

Coursing through a cloverleaf-

Of arteries and the figure- eights

Of blood vessels,

Intertwining and wrapping their way

About my heart, like snakes on a caduceus,

Is the sure and certain knowledge that only

The pure certainty of love in us

Is undying and eternal.

So it will be this moment,

Here in this church,

That will stay with us forever and you will

Hear me whispering for a lifetime,

My lips endlessly forming these words,

Just above a Bach concerto playing

Sweetly in the background,

And you will remember

The little bits of us

That never die

My shirts In the laundry hamper, Their arms folded across the chest In the contrite pose of monks Filing into vespers.


Understanding is a creative act,

And like all such things, I suppose,

Only comes of its own volition,

Seeming quite arbitrary and

Wholly independent of one’s self.

I would venture to say

It is something that happens to us

For recently I too have fallen prey

To an understanding that I have managed to

Elude for an entire lifetime.

Anger gives way slowly and

Ever so reluctantly, as hard feelings

And old hurts soften somewhat.

Jagged edges are worn smooth

Like rocks along the river.

Forgiveness forms

Like the first warm day of February That melts the last of winter ice

On the lake and thaws the frozen earth

Along its shore.


Sometimes I wake from a sound sleep

And wonder if I have died, for I rise effortless

And seem more to float than to lift myself

From my bed and the house

Is a silent as a tomb must be.

I must remind myself that death is uninterrupted

But sleep is not and a glance at the clock which reveals

It is slightly after 1:00 a.m.

It is as if when my death comes

I will somehow be unaware of my passing

And it will be somehow unbeknownst to me

And revealed as an unexpected surprise.

The story will be recounted

With all the per functionary phrases and

Obligatory exclamations :

"Honest, I was minding my own business

And all of a sudden I was mortified."

In the hallway, somewhere between the

Bedroom and the kitchen, the words of

A Gospel comes to mind :

"He who loves his life will lose it and

He who hates his life will find it."

I whisper them through the darkness,

Like a chant, an incantation :

"I hate my life.

I hate my life.

I hate my life."


It was sometime ago,

Before my life became a short story

Written by Gogol,

That I was afraid of the dark and

Would often sleep with the light on

And the television playing some

Black and white movie starring

Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney

Into the early hours of the morning,

So that snip-its of the dialog

Would drift eerily into my dreams.

Somehow, I have become Freddie Bartholomew

And Spencer is speaking to me :

"Wha you tink a dat, leetle feesh ?"

I have come to understand

That the only way to fight fear

Is to whole heartily embrace it,

To make it your friend.

Now, I love the darkness, relish its peace

And wrap myself in it. Yes, I wear it

Like a new Brooks Brothers suit.

I spend the evenings sitting in the house

With every light extinguished

And emanating only darkness.

When I sleep the television is off

And it is quiet except for the dialog

In my dreams, spoken in the little boy voice

Of Freddie Bartholomew :

"Manuel, please, please don’t go !"

Retail Egyptology

In the supermarket

Where navel oranges are stacked high

With great precision

Like the great pyramid of Gaza,

And Santa Rosa plums

Form a lesser monument

For a more mediocre monarch

In The Valley of the Kings.

I am the jackal-faced god,

A duster of old bones

And petrified flesh,

Who breathes the desert air

At 5:00 a.m. and peers wearily

Over the meat counter,

For a fleeting glimpse

Of the floating head

Of Queen Nefertiti

In hopes her regal gaze

Will fall on my English cut roast.

Awake Osiris to the sound

Of the Nile’s water

And sea birds calling from the reeds

To catch the gleam of light

On stainless steel countertops

For it is the deli meats

Hanging in long strands from the ceiling,

Indeed it is the garlic bologna and hard salami

That unites the upper and lower kingdoms.

© Doug Tanoury / Organdi 2000-2006