Saturday, March 24, 2012


Trolling through this relatively ancient (and yet oh so ephemeral) blog, I found a little ditty I wrote in April of 2006.

An Alternate Ending

Chipmunks claimed the tomb.
The evergreens turned brown.
Spring pools dried. Moss rose.
The winter drowned.

A stillborn baby crowned.
Death kept and plied its sting.
against our rusted shields
and rotten wings.


Not too far downstream from that cheerful little jingle I found another, similarly themed vignette:

Some Writes Of Spring

Spring has been disorienting my winter eyes, overwhelming sensors that have been calibrated to bare, brown and dark. I rummage through my kit for filters. Dark ones. Lenscap dark.

It was easy to identify with fall and winter. I merely have to look at my dry, bony hands and graying hair to feel an affinity with bare thickets and brown grass. It's almost companionable: the world and myself rocking side by side on the porch of the Home. Reminiscing about the good old days. Waiting for our final gentleman caller, the estimable bachelor Mr. G. Reaper, to arrive.

But then, suddenly, my old friend transforms. Nights, she stays out late. She plumps and smooths, fattens and glows. She swaps her drab housecoats for designer dresses. Her voice takes on a flirtatious edge. Is that make-up she's wearing ? And those shoes, those fuck-me pumps -- are they Manolos ?

No, no, no, that won't do. Must revise. OK. Gray and drab. Side by side. Porch of Home. Rocking, reminiscing, waiting.

But then, suddenly my old friend transforms. Turns to me, her eyes wild and glowing.

"My, my," I comment. "How glittering and gay your eyes are, my dear."

She looks back at me, annoyed, impatient, exasperated, almost angry.

"What you see in my eyes and so erroneously call glittering gaiety, a merely aesthetic fire, is something far better, far purer. It is visionary hope, a reflection of the refiners fire upon which I have gazed and been reborn ! And, by the way, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior ?"

"If the Christian liturgical year is a racetrack," I reply, " I always manage to drive my car off the road somewhere between Good Friday and Easter Sunday."

"Crash and burn in Hell," she mutters, shuffling away.

Aw, man. That won't do, either. Try again. OK -- Two crones, rocking, porch, Home. Yadda yadda.

"All blossoms fall from the branch," she whispers,

"and all branches fall to the earth."

"Blossom, branches, earth," I whisper back.
"The eyelid opens. Shuts."

And then, a few more months downstream:

How But Not Why

A hard fall, a tap, oak on rock,
in daylight forensic as a cop flash,
postmortem, watchtower or other-
wise blinding, there being no e-
scape or xit, go quietly then,

drift like cedar down
since evergreen's a lie and you,
colorblind anyway, collude
with shades already, as you have
for all these years --

and whence the coil
one leg shorter
the sun in the west then east
the tipped scale and fault line
the sacrifice and corkscrew of do not apply

as applied to origins and strangers
extinguished by their dress
by the blazing customary of their robes
by the haut and bas of
their couture culture church even their nylons !

And gall, well,
all shall be one
and/or the other,
bead, burn,
wool-weaver, heart --

follow them through the woods,
icons, clues, crumbs, wayside
pawn balls so heroically and heretically misconstrued
like "scavenger" or "lexicon" or "simonize"
it's not easy being saying

where even the light is plastic
(some say contingent, some say don't
touch my eye) but you could awaken to it
(to what ?) you could even
awaken in it

a whisk in a whirlwind, breath-
taken, no longer concerned
with all those penurious discussions
of ransom or green stamps
(how does that work ?)

until you become your hands
the left dying before the right and vice versa
(ignore the Bishop who banks so hard on it)
what do they say, now,
eloquent, mute, clasping cold air ?

So fast forward to 2012, winter handing itself off to spring, days warm as summer astonishing buds into early awakening, now a last stand of congenial chill and cloud settling into the woods; Lent rambles toward Holy Week, and all my undertaken so-called disciplines are sorely in need of an undertaker.

There is wisdom in the hot Buddha/cold Buddha thing, that the trouble starts when we start plying our strident preferences. The taxman, the boss, the prognosticating surgeon, the wayward child ? Cease to cherish opinions. Welcome the wave as it breaks on the head. Welcome the fact that the crumbling-to-bits crone will still, at her heart, be you, whoever that is, however that is, until the bitter end/

Is the reiterated, under-the-breath, practically reflexive request for mercy a curse or a prayer or a tic ?

A call sans response called anyway, for and in good measure ?

Empty hands, empty cradle, empty tomb ?

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