Paul James CaidenPaul James Caiden is a poet, writer, professional tarot card reader, and spiritual advisor who lives in the Hudson Valley area with his family. He has been writing poetry for over 20 years and has been published in a variety of anthologies, magazines, and other poetry venues. He has published several books of poetry including, Corridors At Dusk, which is available in E-book and paperback formats on Amazon.

 

Back Then

Back then
When April sunsets painted the skyline with nostalgic hues
we dodged the shadows of the falling twilight
as we followed a well worn path that led to our sanctuary.
There was nothing special about this place,
a building forgotten by time, with its landscape overtaken by weeds.
Cracks in the pavement gave birth to new life
that where in fact the harbingers of an impending death.
The structure bled with black soot
as the falling rain opened arteries in the cracked tar roof.
Time was the enemy of this sullen abode
the progress of man its greatest downfall.
Abandoned, it wept for those who once held it dear
its jaded tears staining the walls with damage and decay.
The echoes of phantoms haunted its empty halls
as it became the place where bittersweet poems were born.
But we did not see the ruin that threatened all around us,
We only remembered when
And the reflections of our passion somehow kept the darkness aglow.

Back then
Our lives seemed so tragic;
Rebels without a cause surviving on nothing but dreams.
But little did we know, those were the best times of our lives
and we squandered our days with blindness and want.
We didn’t know that one day the world would change
Until the moment we saw the old sanctuary
Surrounded by chain-link fence, facing its final demise.
We gazed upon it through crisscrossing metal
but were unable to go to it and bid our sweet farewell.

I don’t recall you being there at that fateful moment
I only remember standing solitary, witnessing an old friend about to take his last breath
but I mourned for us all.
We were not present when the wrecking ball took its first swing
But time witnessed that moment and it changed the course of our reality forever.

Back then
Can now only be revisited through memories and dreams.
And those long-ago sunsets that seemed laden with gloom
now appear so bright and full of promise.
As the old relic fell, giving way to the birth of a new era
so did some of us fall, some by choice and others by circumstance.
We will never be the people we were when we trod those forsaken corridors,
nor will we ever be able to go back to that melancholy place.
Time and perspective are our greatest teachers
If only we knew it, back then.

 

Your Memory

I saw your ghost today
standing out on the old faded deck;
you leaned against the railing
gazing at the trees swaying gently in the wind.
Through the window glass,
your form wavered as you turned with a smile.
You gesture for me, to come and join you
in that rapturous moment of a golden sunset.
But I sat Motionless, knowing that if I came to you,
this dream would surely fade.
Sadness spilled over your eyes
as you too realized this stark and bitter truth.
No hand can bridge the gap that lay between us now,
and so we must find some semblance of happiness
here together… but alone.

 

Days Gone By

I drove with you
down the sunset roads of summer.
Quaint shops and lunch by the stream;
the water babbling words
of the season’s warm serenity.
July’s haze,
a cloud of dreams yet unrealized
hung in the air like childhood enchantments.
We shared the day,
like a banquet of memories
yet to be pasted in the scrapbook of life.
The unrelenting heat,
shielded by the umbrella of our happiness
as we wasted hours that we never had.

We meandered through the crystal shop
speaking words of unimportance,
we just simply were, in that moment.
And I wonder if those stones
somehow captured our conversations
forever frozen in the shards of quartz.

I drove with you
down the sunset roads of summer.
Quaint shops and lunch by the stream;
the water babbled words
that lay heavy upon my heart.
I gazed at you,
in the passenger seat beside me,
but you were not there.
You have faded,
into the days gone by.