February 2022


© Matthew Word Bain

we used to hang
under the bridge
on summer nights
six packs and reefer
nobody to bother us
but an occasional train
nothin’ else to do in town
an’ better than stayin’ home
nothin’ to gain, nothin’ to lose
I guess those were the days

these days now are different
though this place ain’t changed
I come down here to walk the dog
and get out of the house a while
never think about those days
or these days much either
don’t see no point in it
‘tsall the same now
life just goes on

Into This World

© Matthew Word Bain

such a strange array
of goosenecks and elbows
so orderly as to appear
ornamental, though

possessed of
that particular
brand of beauty
arising at the
confluence of form
that serves function and
being brought about by care

A Wonderful Disguise

© Matthew Word Bain

I found the entrance to this alley
on the level of the main drag
on a previous visit, months ago
it did not look inviting
I did not enter

the light at the top of the steps
shines down from where I stood

stumbling upon this same place
with a line of sight to the sky
from the lower level
of the service road
out back
it turns out to be
as inviting as it is
strewn with debris

multi-colored brickwork
and even the arrangement
of all these spare tires
evoke an aesthetic
that is somehow alive
evince the personality
of a genius loci

I wander through
humbled by the beauty
in such an unexpected guise

How Did You Get to Be So Beautiful?

© Matthew Word Bain

an ancient sign
a symbol and symptom
of a time long since gone by
days of enterprise and success
obscured by the purely pragmatic
hvac appliances and power distribution
successfully covered by enterprising vines

no one made this scene on purpose
and yet, by the way they were
just being in the world

vines climbing
workers working
time just passing by

there is a certain purity
just waiting to be noticed
by some lucky fool foraging
for photos out back in the alley

well – would you just look at this?
who’d a thunk I’d stumble onto this?

this scene changes every day, no doubt
I’d wager the trash is a recent addition
and those leaves are not long brown
on this day, in this light, I’m glad
I found it just the way it is here
and I wonder how it looks
in the middle of summer…
I may have to go back
just to have a look
through a lens

Gone Are the Days

© Matthew Word Bain

with a corner angle that’s just not right
this Irish inn looks like it’s leaning
lost in the Alleghenies, waiting
for better times and fresher paint
maybe even a revitalized downtown
train traffic isn’t what it used to be
and the kids all want to leave
as soon as they have the chance
and it’s hard to argue with them
there’s not much happening here
which is why I always love to visit