Spoonful: A Gathering of Stone Soup Poets

An extension of Cambridge's Stone Soup Poetry Venue.

Poem by Jade Sylvan

Photo by Caleb Cole


Somewhere I lost track of the country.

The crisp panoramic Technicolor graffiti
blossoming on stone walls suggests Germany,
but sheep carbon copied still graze
in cloned green hills, and in the constant change
only my searching remains the same.

I am too old now to believe in the myth of the city.
That psychic place of filth and lights and sex
where one escapes to, an empty dreaming teenager,
only to be filled with new, unique deceptions.

The late night diner. The starving in the attic.
The smoking of stale cigarettes under flickering neon.

This type of salvation is far behind me.
I watch it shrink to nothing in the distance as I write this.

Nor do I believe in escape from the city.
My walls have been made of cedar and pine trees,
my roof of leaves and the starry sky, but walls they were still.

And my feet keep moving, step after stilted step.

Here, the lambent night light of Paris paints the buildings
along the Seine silver and gold. There is one star in this place,
whose name stretches too far to leave anything but ennui
in the cafes, the brasseries, the bakeries selling the long French loaf.
The leaf-thin people snort on the streets walking tiny dogs.

Creator of Romance,
                 Paris! If you
                 do not cradle me,
                 where can I rest?

Will my beard grow long on the road,
white like cotton, coarse like twine,
my crooked back supported by a crooked stick,
one clear ocean blue eye looking over a new land?

I will resign myself to searching, relinquish myself to fate.
No place holds That Answer, but each teaches Something New

and maybe these steps and these questions
will lead somewhere after all. Until then
I have a hundred friends with houses
and can live for months on bread and cheese.

Do not cling to me. I pass like the thinnest vapor.
You who love me, would you tether me to a rock
when my name is shouted by the road, the sea, the sky?
By everything which moves and leads and changes?

Would you follow me like a child, plead with me on knees?
Curse me with red eyes and spit? Mock the answers I seek?
Name me capricious or juvenile or lost?

Would you shoot me in the hand to make me stay?

Or would the touch of your hand over mine
be my cradle, your room contain the doorway
to all of creation – the destination
of miles of lonely road.