Memento (mori)

“Death closes all: but something ere the end,  
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,  
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.  
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:  
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep  
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,  
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.  
Push off, and sitting well in order smite  
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds  
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths  
Of all the western stars, until I die.  
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:  
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,  
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.  
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'  
We are not now that strength which in old days  
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;  
One equal temper of heroic hearts,  
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will  
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
I’m at work
Walking the library aisles
In its subdued silence, which
Are permeated by a faint
Musk of wood pulp, returning books
To their places in handfuls
From the work cart
Patrons circle the DVDs in groups, far
Fewer in the stacks
Huddled over laptops wearing
In the private booths
I step amidst the tall shelves, eyes trace
Authors, titles, searching
Verner Z. Reed, Tales of the Sun-Land
Mark Reefe, The Road to Jericho, The Valley of Hinnom
Mickey Zucker Reichert
My eyes fall across The Last of the Renshai
We read, chapter by chapter,
Mailing a single copy back and forth,
Underlining passages, notes in the margins,
Little quips and queries,
How now brown sow? Low brow belated prow?
Weeks of anticipation between,
Makes each new discovery,
Letters inserted like bookmarks,
Become lifelong treasures,
He calls me Rache, I call him

After work,
Walk over the bridge, many pavilions
Erected in the usually tranquil
Park, across the Halifax
Wind begins to carry the sounds of many
Voices, some few augmented
Closer still, the throngs
Dissolve into individuals
And groups
Many of the men wear kilts
Axe throwing, pint draining
Competitions, savory smells of roast
Meats waft from
Bemused, I pay the nominal
Fee and enter the Celtic
Purchase a pint of Guinness
Stand about with a group of men
Singing along
To a cover band
I join in
I’m back from college, he’s back
From the Army, all our old
Friends suddenly
Reunited, the past decade becomes
A half remembered dream as all our old
Asserts itself
Without missing a beat
Gino and Jamie wrestle across the cement
Denting storage unit doors
In their struggle
Hard cider runs out, all night
Liquor store yields tequila, vodka
And whiskey
Shala pees on the grass for lack
Of a nearby toilet
Laughter stills as Burton fingers
The guitar
We stand in a semicircle, sway and bob
On our feet, I raise my voice
In deep
Pure tones, which pour
With feeling
Unwelcome dawn
Over the horizon, signaling an end
To our reverie
One by one, our dissonant
Voices raise, join
A harmony

Leave the festival,
Walk down the avenue, the noise behind
Dims to a murmur, then is
In the din
Of wind
And traffic
Make my way
To the beach and sit
Down at a picnic table, overlooking
The vista
Folks in the water, laying back, enjoying
The sun, washing themselves
At the shower
Throwing a football around
Wind brings me smells
Of salt
Hot dogs
Suntan lotion
Cold brews
And sweat
Each mingled and yet
Upon my palate
A boy releases a cry of
Shock as the warm
Waters wash over his sun
Bronzed skin
I was him, and I remember
I’ve never seen a beach like this
Before, the sand in Brooklyn is
Coarse, strewn with jagged bits of
Shell, seaweed ropes lay moldering
About, their carrion stink palpable
Ugly horseshoe crabs in their unfriendly
Armor, warding spikes dot their
Length, here, the sand is
Soft, pure
And white
It stretches for unimaginable
I run with glee to the warm salt
Waters, crash into the surf as it crashes
Into me with a rough
Embrace, droplets of salt launched
Skyward by force of
Collision, burn my
Eyes, nostrils, overpower my

A girl sits against the water line, legs out
Flat to the sides, feet
Touching, water
Pouring over her slender
Legs becomes trapped into her
Momentary atoll
She dumps dark, saturated
Sand from a bucket, upside
Down, lifting it
Away, to reveal a slumped
I was her, and I remember
Our boat rental business on Lake
Osborne has been ransacked
By the hurricane
The simple log cabin with its greenish
Hues and semi scraped
Barnacles lay
Upon itself, looking drunken
And defeated, a sight all too
In other context
The hobie cats are dragged
Far inland, perversely askew upon
Their sides or
Flipped over, sails
Rent or missing
Dad rants and raves as his gnarly
Little dog, happily
Chases him
About, sharp retorts from its noisome
With unbelievable dignity
And strength, mom rallies my brother
Alfred and the hired hand to help her
Right the crafts and
Drag them
To the waterline
Alfred leaves Florida behind
Later that same
Day, his eyes
Forlorn and saying
Another familiar sight
I fill and dump my plastic
Pail, making a line of dark and
Slumped watchtowers
Across the shore
The first begin to
Even as I erect a second
Of defense

A group of boys tossing the
Pigskin back and
Forth begin to rough
House, blows exchange, sand kicked
Up in each other’s
Faces, feints, retreats, snarls of
Insults and barks of hoarse
I was them, and I remember
Driving up and down the strip for
Hours, hollering at girls, laughing
Our asses off as Steve does his
Jim Carrey like spastic
Dances, on command
We park well after
And walk along
The shore, shouting our
Banter over the crush
Of waves
We’re approached by a gang of
Hoods that demand money
And attack before we’ve even
Had a chance
To respond
They’ve got us at least
To one
Burton gets his glasses knocked
Off and goes into
A ball
Frank fights back
To back with
David, both receiving
And dealing tremendous
I hold one of these nocturnal
Pirates in a headlock, pounding his gasping
And screaming face in while
At least two
More batter my head, primarily
From the
And sides
Dominic fights from his back and
Fends off all
Blood fills my mouth and foams
Out between my clenched
Teeth, like wave crests pouring
Against shoals
I go into a void of utter
Horror, lanced through with streaks of pain
Lightning, an animal rage
Rises in my belly like a dire
Sun, even as stars begin to pour
In slow and
Around the edges
Of my vision
A fat molar lodged in my
Knuckle like a battle
Crown will not be discovered until
Our attackers have fled
And adrenaline
Ebbs, many aches and
Pains growing  
Bold in their internal

A couple hold
Hands as they enter the
Sea, alternately floating and
Deeper, bobbing with head
And shoulders above
Water, they hold each
I was them, and I remember
The heat of her presence begins to
The bonfire, which holds the
At bay, it’s flickering
Tongues raise their lithe
Arms into the sky in a primal
Burton keeps a cold beer atop his
Amplifier as his fingers strangle
Raucous chords from the belly of his
Her eyes are daggers of
Desire, demanding my full
Attention as I sing and walk around
Those gathered
Slapping shoulders and receiving return
Blows of a more
Or less
Friendly variety
As the small hours
Approach, our coterie begins
To thin, as individuals
Make their subtle or
Dramatic exits, in
Or pairs
I take her hand and we
Walk into the
We push out, past the violent
Breaks to the deep and
Her arms across my
Shoulders, lips tasting and sucking my
Own, I caress her
Beneath the warm
Waters, pull aside her swim suit and
Her legs come
Around me
Powerfully as she lowers her hot
Our kisses are
Breathy, torsos grind and
Below the dark

And I remember
The sun glows upon my
Shoulders and back through my
Black dress shirt with the
Warmth and mild discomfiture of a
Cat, kneading before settling
To rest
I rise and brush the windblown
Silt from my black
Dress pants, turn and
The way I came
And I remember
A solitary purslane bobs in the
Unburdened by
Memento (mori)
Daniel Christensen
Written by DanielChristensen (The Fire Elemental)
Author's Note
A memento, as most know, is a keepsake that triggers some associated memory. Memento by itself in latin means "To remember." When you add mori, you get the popular phrase, "Remember that you must...
A memento, as most know, is a keepsake that triggers some associated memory. Memento by itself in latin means "To remember." When you add mori, you get the popular phrase, "Remember that you must die." This poem is about how we, as creatures of awareness beyond that which is entirely necessary to survive in our various environs, are continually assailed by memories of the past. I hope you find this very intimate portrait into my life enjoyable, relatable and perhaps even endearing.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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AEMelia564 Amorous_tryst Tallen
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