" Our kinship with Earth must be maintained; otherwise, we will find ourselves trapped in the center of our own paved-over souls with no way out."
Terry Tempest Williams Finding Beauty in a Broken World
I would never disagree. I understand the world needs another weedy lot covered with satellite dishes, signs extolling all you can eat lobster and 24 hour hamburgers. I know our cities are sheltering atolls in the wilderness busily excreting their coral rings of big box stores, car lots, and airport hotels to welcome the weary traveller. And I know this is both proper and inevitable, who am I to stand in the way of the organic growth of the inorganic.
But when you have the asphalt ready for the next mini-mall. let me know so I can descend into the excavation past the condoms, cable lines and storm sewer pipes. There I will lie down among the grooves left over when the last glacier peeled clean the world. And let me take with me the unneeded, the unwanted, the dispossessed fox, the back porch skunk, fast food gulls and the crow with the broken beak. Cover us with the hot mess and let the world wake us when your done.
“ like an inlet’s cutting edge:
there are dunes of motion,
organizations of grass, white sandy paths of remembrance
in the overall wandering of the mirroring mind: “
Days hot as a train burnished penny,
small footprints traced in asphalt.
Stop and go, hide and seek
childish shrieking until the streetlights come on.
Sitting on the porch while the day recedes
cats drowsing in the heat of a window ledge
nighthawks rising to the currents of dark
each dawn seems life foretelling death.
Day no more than a featheredge like the inlet’s cutting edge
rolling to night’s sleepless sea.
Sparkles, fireflies, fireworks
and a fat moon face in the window.
Great search lights ever scanning
giant footsteps ever stamping
foghorns on the river, dream of the ocean.
The man at the top of the stairs; no light can dispel
rain sounds, headlights, great snakes of shadow.
Sliding slithering englobed by a nightmare sea’s devotion there are dunes of motion,
sky great clouds and swirling curtains.
Remember a park big as the world
with all the world’s knowledge at its heart,
piled with leaves, flowers gone to seed
swarming bees, red birds, bugs in jars.
A fathers time, a childlike allegiance
evening, walking past the baseball diamond
sucking on a straw full of candied sugar.
No relentless waves of truth can unbalance organizations of grass, white shady paths of remembrance
of tales told in a graveyard night cobblestones eroding under waves of cars.
Home from church in the dark
the moon now no more than a rind.
Freighted so with emotion in today’s dawn,
thoughts of return sadly declined
as every wave propels the swimmer forward,
no tide can carry back the past’s lost child
to a nonexistent city now confined in the overall wandering of mirroring mind:
Standing here with my firefly mind flitting wildly, I wonder what it was I needed in this room, which
errand has slunk silently away with more of my confidence, do animals go through this, does the
squirrel or sparrow have the luxury of confused revelry or endless trips in search of keys or the
Maybe only long lived animals but its hard to believe that parrots, the bright punctuation of the world
stop lost in thought, perhaps tortoises, after all who would know if they stopped to remember whether
they were seeking food, or sex or fleeing some geologically paced natural disaster measured by decades.
Will being a poet help, since one is always sifting through one’s mind for a shining tag to end a
metaphor, maybe not, spelling and punctuation were always problematic and remembering the words of
songs or poems, but now the words themselves threaten to disappear.
Words I do not wish to lose have migrated to some farther lobe, artifice has gone taking travail with it,
iambic pentameter has scuttled centipede like into the undergrowth, its many syllables high stepping
rhythmically amid layers of colons and semi colons.
Occluded is almost hidden from sight along with any hope of spelling kaleidoscope or kleptomaniac
without a spellcheck and pronouncing quetzal, forget it and should I meet a pangolin or a brontotherium
in the park I will be reduced to saying that’s a, that’s a followed by a lengthy, inexplicable description.
And if this is aging, along with sleepless nights and stiff hands let’s hope I reach some equilibrium amid
loss and gain, and when I finally go, let it not be like an aged cat calling from room to room, let me drop
like a leaf in due season, sere and quiescent, rising only to dance in the wind.