the man on the park bench

beneath the spreading branches of a scotch pine tree
he finds silhouetted beauty
seated – still – solitary
ships slip past the watery horizon
beckon, then roll softly by
he captures the canopied nature of the nothingness then-
the way a hallowed archway enchants and frames her
like the anointed subject that she is
he returns here,
to the wooden bench
beside the crooked tree, often
to photograph
and reflect
but mostly to just be
with the marvel and the wonder
of it all
in time he reveals it was never the bench’s seat
or the lookout of its maritime splendor that drew him to this spot,
it was the totality of a moment
the things not found on film or in words even
it lived there, in his heart; the parts we can’t see with our eyes
or understand with our minds
it’s what kept him coming back to this peaceful place of ponder,
where rocky shorelines and shooting stars roam free.

by sidney rosen

i wrote this poem earlier this summer for a man who i didn’t know well while he was here, in his body but who i’ve come to know quite well in spirit through reading his words, looking at his photography and spending time with his family; (which coincidentally is my family!) i am easily inspired by the ways in which he moved in the world and his view of things and so i used some of his words (like ‘the anointed subject’ & ‘hallowed archway’) and a lot of his spirit here, the photograph is his too~ it felt in many ways like we wrote the poem together and as if that wasn’t magical enough, the poem was also the first poem i read publicly at my first poetry reading yesterday evening! what a joy it was to share him in that way & of course equally to share him here.


3 responses to “the man on the park bench”

  1. thank you for creating this, I am deeply moved….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sidney would’ve been moved beyond words to know you chose one of his photos to write about and then spent the time to read and honor his words. Wherever he is, he’s got a big grin on his face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. love that visual 😁 thanks for the kinds words & encouragement!


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