The Afterlife of Ideas
If we have names,
given by stars, neighbours,
passports, plastic cards
there isn’t so much more
to give, to take, but
silence, but company of strangers.
If we have homes,
crests of rose-harp
and half-sarcastic maple,
cliff and burren shorn of all
but colonial signpost to mark,
what need we ferryboats?
If we have titles,
embossments made in tusk towers
to choose between a kindly construction
of worthless parchment transformation,
squeegee wash dish platters pushed,
are not we emboldened by them?
If we have capitals,
red brick lake places in hearty cheer,
celebration of frontiers unconquered,
empires deceased, imagined, decayed,
are ever-fleeting these joys as
passing stations, professorial notions?
If we have moments,
tenderness by Turkish candlelight,
the switching magnetics of traffic
din symphony, couch-bound war cries
for struggles ever-far afield,
what use is there in lifetimes?
And if we have long evenings,
spent in tradition revival of
intellects, lovers beyond ourselves
let them last,
Carter Vance is a student and aspiring poet originally from Cobourg, Ontario, currently studying at Carleton University in Ottawa. His work has appeared in such publications as A Swift Exit, (parenthetical) and the Scarlet Leaf Review. He received an Honourable Mention from Contemporary Verse 2's Young Buck Poetry Awards in 2014. His work also appears on his personal blog Comment is Welcome (commentiswelcome.blogspot.com).