Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘The Ocean Between Two Souls’ and other poems

By Nolo Segundo

The Ocean Between Two Souls

When you try
to understand another
and find a wall put up in haste,
come upon an old moat
with more mud than water
yet still impassable
you wonder once again
why there’s always
an abyss
between you and the other…

But it must be so,
for you are
the castle
whose walls you
you alone can breach.


I sit at the table,
breakfast just done,
a few moments before
going out into the world
by way of the cyber genie
[whoever thought we would
work from home as our ancestors
did for thousands of isolated years?]

I look out the big bay window as
the snowflakes glide gracefully
from heaven’s only seen face
earthward, each snowflake
pirouetting as in joy as
it falls quietly, gently
onto an ocean of
whiteness cold
and pure but
not eternal….

Why I wonder is a
snowfall so sweet,
so sad, when rain
is always prosaic,
sleet harsh, gales
so fierce—but I
suppose the real
question is, why
we love it so….

When Time Melts

When time melts
50 years will shrivel
to a moment, less
than a nod of the
head it will seem
as you are again
and teaching your
native language to
young people on
the other side of
the world in a land
at war with itself….

Then I did not know
of the evil coming
to my students,
a tidal wave of
murder, a self-
inflected genocide
the world had never
seen before…
the killing of old
and young, the
wealthy and the
poor, the holy and
the profane…

And if I could have
skated across time
back then, to see
what was coming,
would it have made
any difference?

I still can’t believe
the Killing Fields
could happen to
my earnest students,
to a people I came
to love… and yet,
time melts for me
everyday as my soul

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