Melancholy : LUSENET : FRL friends : One Thread

Its been a strangely beautiful day. I sat on the bayou dock for a long time, just letting the wind whisper to me about fall and the season of reaping. I wanted to hear something in the rasping of the sawgrass, to learn some secret held in the ripples on the dark water that Ive so often watched.

Fishcat Charlie came and sat with me. I tried to write a still life picture, just to allay the nagging of my own persistent muse. The yellow of the young chrysanthemums in the huge old clay pot I fetched from Mexico so many years ago; the lingering purple of dwarf snapdragons, and the pumpkin I bought early, in premature anticipation of Halloween; the peachy orange fur of Charlies tummy turned up to the last warmth of the afternoon sun, struggling through the elderly and ragged Chinese Tallow trees.

But an awkward melancholy kept creeping up to my shoulder. It would steal my thoughts and hide in the darkness under the dock, where the wise old turtles stick their snouts into the forbidden air of the upper world.

Finally, an old poem came again to me. I had written it many years ago, when a young friend of mine was going through a divorce. It was one of those friendly partings, with no children and little property to contest. She would assure me that she was fine, that they would stay friends, that everything was exactly as she wanted it. Yet, I saw. I saw the sadness in the back of her eyes, heard the tears hidden in her laughter.

I loved her, but could not touch her. Could not hold her hand; could not steady her as she stepped into a fragile neverland.

As I watched her redefine herself, I felt the chill air in the void she left. Perhaps that is why she comes again on this autumn afternoon.

I went to the beach back then, and thought Id write some of my usual drivel about the waves, warm sand, noisy gulls. But the poem that came that day was different than anything I had ever written, different than anything I understood. It has always been a little disturbing to me, and I have never shared it before now.

Perhaps it will have a meaning to one of you.



She walked slowly into the surf-edge,

unaware that I watched.

She faced the sea and sank down to sit upon the sand

almost sadly



Her children played nearby,

but she was



The tiny wavelets ran up the sand

among her


The larger ones foaming the flatness

of her



Her breasts lifted with each new wave,

and her head fell back like

a broken



Her legs had opened themselves to the waves.

I wondered how long since she had known

the rhythm of a



There are monsters at the borders of old maps.

Sea serpents with the faces of men.


I eat women like the shark.

I, too, wait at the edges of the world.


-- Lon Frank (, October 01, 2000


my apologies, should my melancholy prove contageous, or should you be offended.

Kit and I leave tomorrow for three weeks mostly on the road. Up through Texas across the sliver of Oklahoma and into western Kansas, before coming back down through the broken and lonely country of the caprock. Be well, everyone, and keep the forum alive. I know I will be missing all of you by tomorrow afternoon.


-- Lon Frank (, October 01, 2000.

Lon, that was beautiful. Have a safe trip. You aren't contributing to my melancholy. That came from hearing the song "You Got A Fast Car" last night and realizing that with a couple of minor detail changes, it's my life.

-- helen (home@home.home), October 01, 2000.

Lon, I love your poetry... I love your prose too, for that matter. And I hope you have a wonderful trip and get back safely!

-- Tricia the Canuck (, October 01, 2000.

Thanks for sharing this with us. I think it's one of your best works.

Godspeed, Lon and Kit . . .

-- Brooke (, October 02, 2000.

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