Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Where was my name before it was mine?
It lay in a ditch
Of rotting reeds
Beneath sloughed reptile skins
And pine cones

The clouds that hurried
Moonlit above dark earth
Knew it not
Neither was it voiced in thunder
The wind did not sing it
Nor was it found in the split of a stone

It did not appear on gym kits
Or school registers,
Tax forms, toothpaste surveys
It was not entreated to store credit
Nor digitally encrypted
Nor found on long-expired leases
Nor etched on bone

Other Roger Stevens
Smugly created complicated computer systems
Or archly textured buildings
Or kept themselves to themselves
Or wrote learned theses

Once called, the letters crept from dictionaries,
Or well-worn shiny-edged spelling Bs
Were lifted from lexicons
The Es swanking about, always popular
The V skulking in the corners like a thief

And my name was conjured
From a backwards echo
A retrospective prophecy
A splash of sunlight
On a passing gull’s wing
An overheard remark

In a darkened room

And my name was written
As a forgotten footnote
On the afterward
Of a tumbling leaf


Amie said...

I wonder if I can make a poem out of my name
Probably not ‘cause poetry is just out of my league

Syl said...

sounds like the poetic version
of evolution

Stan said...

Wow!!!! Incredibly beautiful poem, Roger!! This is by far the best of your poems I've read since I've been visiting. Very impressive!! Yes, you are one serious poet to be reckoned with. I'm going to study this poem and hopefully learn from it.

Roger Stevens said...

Thank you,Stan.

the wheel said...

Great poem Roger, very good stuff indeed.

I was a little confused when I checked my e-mail and saw the comment you left in an older post, but then I realized that you must have entered my blog via the profile. I actually have been posting fairly religiously since then. Something is wrong with the profiles on Blogger and no one's has been updated since then (it lists your most recent post as November 4th as well). Also, the stats (including posts and words written) in the profile list haven't been updated since then either. To go to the most recent post from the profile you would have to click the blog name at the very bottom.

This link explains all the issues blogger has been having (and there are plenty of issues----confounded Blogger!!!): http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=791&query=profile&topic=0&type=f .

At any rate, I like your writing and will be checking in from time to time. I have a love for all things British ever since I studied in London for a semester during college.

Hans the Destroyer said...

Lovely poem. There's really nothing else to say, it's just awesome.

forgottenmachine said...

Will just re-iterate the above comments. Really well written and phrased. Sometimes I wonder if Identity is the only topic worth writing about.

(I see Chelsea are still on track.....maybe for the league, but I think it's a little to early to call anything else)