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Glimpses of the Soul
These poems were written under different circumstances and different times. Solace and Sand Castles are recent; Enchanted Engine and A Day at Inspiration Point were written under an enhanced euphoric state half a decade ago, and Smoke was done over 40 years ago while living alone for the first time in my life in Boston. All but Smoke, a sonnet, are in variants of free verse some have limited degrees of internal rhyme, not especially patterned. Solace does not refer to a specific real incident but I think many of us might well relate to it.

All material on this page © Ross Chamberlain 1999


She weeps on my shoulder for a time.
Inarticulate, her grief
Leafs through the volumes of her life
But reasons, explanations
All elude her, standing clear
Since though she gropes for them
They cannot solve her need
Nor can I, regardless of my own desire
Save as some warmth
Some strength to cling to.
There is no place to go to from here
Not now, not yet.
Philosophy will kindle at a later date.
Here only souls communicate
The rest is a timeless moment
Before the heart gains second wind.

    Ross Chamberlain July 10, 1999

Enchanted Engine

Don't you hate it when a train of thought derails
And plummets down the cliffsides of oblivion
Dreams are like that, which sometimes
Explains (or makes) the dreamlike state we wake to.
Good or bad, you miss it like a lover.
That lonesome whistle haunting like a distant call
Long distance: the voice of one you used to snuggle to.
Sometimes she flirts and flits it hurts
As she turns her face (and waist) away again.
A waste of one good thought, you think
And think again some ramifications of that thought
Which multiply like rabbits
Or echoes in the canyon, of an old refrain
That train...

The sad thing is, you know
It had been going somewhere...
This is just the echo.

    Ross Chamberlain 4/8/94

Sand Castles

Unearthly whispers echo in the void
Where no one goes save those
Whose souls yearn for the unattainable
Who dream beyond the means
Of their imagination, who seek
Beyond the bleakest boundaries
That limit those who would tell us
Where we cannot go, and so
The mind unwinds in corridors
Crusty with the shattered elements of sense,
Perceptions reaching into depths of thought
And outward to immensity between the stars.

Some we know there are
Who have the power to shape the detritus,
To mold and realize some thing
That's new and wondrous
From the dusty stuff that in another's hands
Crumbles like the sands
That cascade in an hour glass
And as elusive.
No use is practical
No base for enterprise
The shape that's wrought of soul and heart
Cannot be bought.

Only an imperfect rind that's tied to time
May come into the world
Bounded to such form as all may see
Born and laid within staid boxes
Marked not for fragility, nor free
Then may the gazers flock and bid
In hope of gain
Some think they'll own a glimpse
Beyond that rainbow veil
And never realize, until it's way too late
If ever, that the gate was ever open
Their eyes are blinded to what lies
Beyond. This is the tragedy
They'll never see
The panoramas of the greater world
In which they exist; the night
Is darkest in their inner sight.

    Ross Chamberlain July 10, 1999

A Day at Inspiration Point

Behold a written sky of cloudy words.
Sometimes a clear blue thought peeks through
And in rare moments a satorial sun
Illuminates the day, bon-motley hue.

Strange how the night may creep
Into that domain of thought and hide
From the insight of light, and weep
Or bare one's eyes to luna and the stars.

    Ross Chamberlain April 8, 1994



When I have spent another day alone
With only dreams to serve in place of friends
I watch as from my cigarette smoke blends
Itself in curling stillness where it's blown.
I see that I, like smoke, am often prone
To drift a dreaming wind, and where it tends
To go, I go, and care not where it ends
Save that the end of dreams remains unknown.

A siren whines somewhere within the night,
And chapel bells with strange solemnity
Intone the time, while intermittent light
Invades my room. Is this reality?
Who knows? Are fact and fancy what they seem?
Or only Smoke Wisps from a Greater Dream?

    Ross Chamberlain 1958

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