Fiction and Poetry

Three Poems

A selection of poems by Jeffrey Stewart.

By Jeffrey Stewart
Published March 19, 2007

Hearses Don't Hurry

Hearses don't hurry
they travel at a leisurely pace
like the feeling of earth subsiding
into inevitable traction.

And she was beautiful
and content heading
in a northerly direction
rejoicing in all the things
she had failed to notice in life.

"I am not the remnant of someone
who might have been. I was.
My life had taken place
and I had my moment
and moved like random rain
that knows no boundaries.
The dirt I rode over
made me feel
that I was enough
and could last forever,
a sad reminder of a room
that remains unchangeable but changed.

A blue sky passes above me."

* * *

Time falls away in afternoon disclosures.
At the funeral there were few flowers.
Towns of light - cities of blindness -
Her friends simply looked astonished.

* * *

The howling of dogs
seemed to say "darling"
at the night's arrival.
Wheels settled in the drifts
of sandy roads.

And here we sit: the hearse
and you and I and the sign -
of rapid overcast and panic,
that you might have been right,
that I never really loved you
and the hurt of how false life had been.

The Hangman's Room

after a poem by Janos Pilinszky

The smell of bacon. The scent of geraniums.
You cannot view the sea from the window of the hangman's room.
The water is owned by God,
and the window is shut.

How different the odour of the gallows,
and the lamb, when they come for him.

Bright, A Star Came Drifting....

"They sweat grief and granite,
granite and grief,
those laminate stars....,"
the stranger observed
as he pointed to the dark abyss
suspended above us.
But to his audience of one
there had always been a space
reserved in this skull
for their special arrangement:
their illuminate tangle
spread out against
a black background
that once might have been
a city, a planet, filled
with the tenderness of voices,
the harmony of a tiny people
a million years old
and ten thousand miles away,
yet not really so far
that a man needs to weep
in this place of loneliness---
take off your glove, friend,
and lend me your hand,
so many stars to count
on only ten fingers

A low-key Hamiltonian who has been amassing poetry since about the age of 15, Mr. Stewart has worked in various careers including managing the classical department at the downtown Sam the Record Man, operating a catering company, and managing an out-of-print bookstore. Mr. Stewart enjoys life with his wife and family of cats.


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