snake charmers pecking at malnourished carcasses
bodies strangled in murderous waters
walls so high, mountain steeples flatten
follow the arc of the convenient
the long story is best told aboard travelling vessels
bridging episodic whims
this is where they followed
two by two
in it for the long journey spanning centuries
creative creatures called to board
before the raging floods of sameness
drown out overweight minds and weak voices
protected in the ark, safe to endure extreme swells
the chosen and their miraculous words survive mankind’s dysfunction
sowing seeds for independent reaping
sun to sun to sun
after earth recovers and swollen rivers recede
writers perished by insignificant waters finally reveal themselves
their dried out bones almost identical
Sometimes you must dig deep. Deeper than the quartz floor of comfort’s level. Bring dental tools. Small, sharp, precise. After you bust through the impossible surface, scrape the sides of your soul especially the nasty tar embedded in the lacerations. Push away the stringy dark flesh and take a seat. Bed an organ if necessary. You’re not going anywhere. Leave eyes on the situation. Do you desire to find what you think went missing. Are you not sure about the contents, having lost your way sometime ago.
You manage to mine an encrusted voice, it’s a song you sing to help yourself fall asleep. The words are borrowed from another who sews lyrical blankets while you fumble with threads. This year you’ve gone through several skins–shedding like a snake. A biblical serpent wrapping itself around a damn tree tempting what should not be tempted. This is what you believe as the blood washes across your insides. You want wings. Hell, don’t we all. No internal evidence exists for your flying dream. All is flat and featureless. Wings belong to majestic raptors and annoying but necessary insects, fairies and dragons if you follow that fantasy.
It was Hughes who wrote of Plath, “…the end product for her was not so much a successful poem, as something that had temporarily exhausted her ingenuity….” Maybe Hughes was looking for wings after Plath flew beyond his reach. Maybe he searched in younger days while serving on the ground in the Royal Air Force. Plath sensed Hughes’ illuminated feathers when he did not. Poetic passion coaxed him to submit his first manuscript, Hawk in the Rain. Wings, raptors. Plath’s intuitive sense for flight.
The ability to ride high burrows in the lowest place you can dig out from. Raptors are not born able to fly. Neither are you. It is the steady practiced thing painfully crawling from inside your flesh until it breaks the skin and unfolds into that which lets you soar.
eagle rendered last year with Tombow markers-thank you
You young ones lost down deep in the complexity of meaning, mired in eternal dark know this much, mind survival is a choice. Blackness is warranted due to the egregious and often unpredictable and intangible idea of “satisfaction.” Happiness is more difficult to achieve than faith which takes a lot of singing. We–the elder who’ve been at this shit a bit longer harbor insecurities too. We’re no different. Your words were our utterances decades ago before additional years laid claim over our judgement. Long term attachments to our thoughts and deeds stretched and there was definitely some snapping.
Life as a noun is what we all are granted for however long it is ours to have. There is no fairness in this gambler’s roll. We–all of us–planet props. She decides when to pull the curtains and poll the audience. Cut roses might land at our polished toes for a short while but our ashes will blow like everyone else’s in the end.
Life as a verb is where things get interesting. We may fuck up our own lives. We may fuck up other lives. We may “fuck” (that’s not really very nice-insert “make love” if it fits) and make more lives. It’s all off-the-cuff as none of us know what we’re doing. It’s guesswork mixed with feasible traditions, doable effort and the ability to look or sound convincing. Some of us jump from planes, some rule cleaning supply closets while others drive cars. There are people who kiss and hold hands. There are those who laugh at flesh. Build sandboxes or pyramids. Walk on water or fly on drugs. These lists are endless when life is a verb.
While in the active form–you are more than a prop. Call yourself a writer, a student, a lost soul, an accountant or weather reporter–whatever role that satisfies. If you take this action and pull down blackout curtains you shorten the showtime. If “life” meaning has eluded you or you don’t see the sincerity you believe should be available, perhaps you need to practice a bit longer. Maybe try a different accent. Stand a bit taller or crawl.
The distance between life and death is but a few feet down. The difference between love and hate is measured on the same surface. The reason for your life is closer to you than anything else.
call it comets or divine intervention or whatever term you’d like to ascribe–”life” rolled them off the craps table
dinos created using Adobe Illustrator about 20 years ago-that pains me to say;)
sorry for the cussing in this one
humble citizens eternally petrified
warm mammoths ice entombed
broken vessels anchored deep
hard lessons in dying
go gently now
the old pyramid trick…inverted word triangle pointing to nowhere, or is it nowhere?
my, my, my crazy WP day with media snafus, love technology when it works:) though I must say the WP gremlins were fabulously helpful
in the ethereal dark
sweet lights caress the chapel windows
cut glass haloed faces
above the nave
one if by wishing
two if by God
shoulders tangent in hope
hymnals in tufted tongues
only the sure-of-heart dare follow
as do I
angel ears outward bound
palms dutifully spread across the tabernacle
now fanned above the pulpit
down the aisles
past the pews
velveteen chattering knee rests
hit the floor like explosions
in the christened air
beyond the comatose vestibule
where the marbled floor ends
as do the blessed copper receptacles
and renegade sheep
must wait outside
in the attached graveyard
I went to elementary Catholic school and attended Mass through my teens –
I pray I’ve taken away the best part
my children know to–
be kind, be decent, be proud, be humble,
love with your heart not your eyes
welcome others with your heart not your eyes
(be safe too!)
pastel done in the ’80’s when I was an agitated 20-something;)