I Ask My Soul, a poem by S Francis

Neruda tells us his soul is an empty carousel
At sunset. I ask you what is your soul, then?
You ask me, “and yours?” This I contemplate,
Tonight. I sit in my bed, an unusually warm
December day has turned its axis past setting.
The kaleidoscope horses stabled and the carts
In the garage. My mind, though, still turns,
Thought over thought, the bitter and the sweet,
The hopeful and forlorn, like the carny tune
That radiates out from the carousel’s core.
Thoughts that fail to mate with notes that ring
From one ear to the next before ricocheting
Into the atmosphere. Orange clouds now grey
Just like the purple and the red and the pink.
Have I answered your question, my soul?
What is it? I do not know, I shall sleep
In hope of casting a net in my dreams
Where what lurks behind thought’s torment
Emerges in story more absurd than the life
We haul out each morning to escape the dark
That the empty carousel illuminates when
The sun sets on Neruda’s leaving only mine.

(C) Stephen Fuller, 2019