Seeking and Running

Small Boy With a Stick Going After A Wolf
by Tim Joyce

reading by Jeff Murray

Going on six when Aquinas says
Conscience comes for ill or good
He’s visited by the clear voice of a woman
The youngest daughter of Jove called Imagination
She whispers in his ear
Granting him a wish he never asked for
In a voice of such sweetness
It raises the hairs on his forearms and legs
And thus he was cursed or saved
No other gift could he ever accept
He would say he wasn’t worthy
The truth was the one he received
Was so great and terrifying
It was all too much
He’d listen to her run blurring fingers
Across the tops of bare trees
As if she were trilling the strings
Of an oak wood harp left out in autumn
He’d catch her drift at the edge of small lakes
When swans would circle and stir the slow water
No human gift could ever measure up
He would chase off good will like
A mad boy with a stick going after a wolf
Mary, his aunt, had made him once the green costume
Peter Pan wore. That was close to the enchantment
But it didn’t grow like the magic gown of Jesus
They say it grew as He grew
So he knew he was neither God’s son nor
Leader of The Lost Boys
When he was seven he saw an image crudely
Cut with a knife into the playground swing
Which he thought was the letter M
Later he’d learn painfully it was the bewitching
Pomegranate seed shape
Between the legs of women
Thus he lost Imagination; she disappeared like a sad lover
Mystified, he went off on a quest from which he never returned

Seeking and Running
oil on canvas
81 x 12”

Tim Joyce. Stone Mad, Poems by Tim Joyce, Murphy’s Law Press, Lee, MA, 2009. pp. 2-3