Poetry: David Francis

David Francis has produced six music albums, one of poetry, "Always/Far," a chapbook of lyrics and drawings, and "Poems from Argentina" (Kelsay Books).
He has written and directed the films "Village Folksinger" (2013) and "Memory Journey" (2018).  His poems and short stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.

To Montaigne

M. Montaigne,
I cannot leave you
despite the repetitions and
perturbations, contrariness
and consistency—
despite your book the
second—about to skip
“Use Makes Perfect,” struggling
to stay awake through
no fault of your own
but a weight on my heart—
light, transcendence, adaptation
suddenly and, spirited,
I thrilled to even the English
of one of your sentences—“a
genius,” I must have moved
my lips—the will is above
the sleep of existence—
despite the weight on my heart
I cannot leave you
for those “who look upon
themselves as a third person
only, a stranger.”

After Lucretius

Believing law to be necessary,
that dark error and light truth
never change; and one lives
not merely lip-serves
these not imposed but sought after
observed principles which bring peace;
one welcomes the nodding lid
of evening, which dreams of night and sleep,
having blinked just to shutter
glaring particles and impediments of dust
and not to live in blind fear.

In the Café

The sounds of solitude are grunts and sighs;
you start talking to yourself
in the indiscriminate way
you look around with your eyes.

Staring, speech, these human acts
are exaggerated
in exact proportion to how the
un-lonely have them underrated.

This solitary man
puts out vibrations in a quavering tone:
or is it the visual
of merely being alone?

Solitude is not loneliness,
say the Stoics—
but it feels like loneliness


You flicker like the candle in the glass
you illumine a few words on the page
but to read them I suffer from eyestrain
and when it lowers you shrink to darkness

All You Have

All you have
is not
all you have
it’s a part
of you
until you die

You think you’re
with a spare tire
and a poverty
of this

But I tell you
in the mind
and it just needs
bringing out

If you want
you can be a
or you can spend

All you have
of patience, freedom, and
it’s a part
of you
until you die

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