Revelation

Tired summer stripped off,
quitting the trees earlier each day
until a disguise of green dropped
in bold patterned,
bright coloured skirts down
around bony knees.

The hidden places are shown.

It now appears to the naked eye
that beast and bird, by nature knowing how,
built nests high,
collecting bunches of warm things,
dry twigs, torn fur, used feathers and,
stolen from the nearby grocery,
shards of a plastic bag or two.

Approaching winter, and its Ermine coat,
bold,
suffices now as dressing-screen
while the whole scene makes
changes, gets ready for tender
beginnings. This process works
as if to plan, so

have no fear of a cycle’s start or end.

Know that all the busy while of time,
innate skill does push and bend,
duck and weave,
foster, nurture, laugh, grieve,
and was,
before the lazy sun sloughed off to shine,
unseen.

Revelations

Flagrant summer strips off
and the hidden places are shown,
collected bunches of warm things,
dry twigs, torn fur, used feathers and
a plastic bag or two,
floated from the nearby grocery.

Beast and bird, by nature knowing how,
built their nests secret, high,
out of sight,
safe against dark times, yet

no matter how innate construction skill,
all hopeful gathered homes are
make-shift, temporary,
not always to be
concealed by easy trees,
whose rich green
drops as bold patterned and bright coloured skirts
down around bony knees,
gets covered by a soft white.

After a time, in its turn,
winter surrenders that ermine coat,
exposes last season’s underbrush
where decay’s ancient tongue licked,
until heartbeat’s freshness could re-ignite,
flicker,
glow again seen.

Parameter Study

I thought I heard the
poet sing, the chanteuse
and the preacher, too.
Harmonic moments, I supposed,
held music that had much to do
with love.

I posited love’s point might be
where song and heart collide,
far from me, a mystery,

beyond, below, above, outside,

for
under my researching lens,
the heart turns into meat
that only electricity can
ever urge to beat.

The Finch

I saw one Finch dressed sweet grey,
belly puffed white,
face of crisp dark charcoal,
today.

The whole
of some minutes,
I watched the bird
clutch a nervous branch
of nature’s nondescript tree,
ten feet from me.

I did not know the bird
as an individual,
its self and shadow new
to me,
but the image
of all fast beating hearts
and warm plumage
softened any brutal
suffering.
For a paused moment,
I was free.

It was then I dreamed the bird
gifted of a pleasant
life line, where
he or she spent time at wing
and song,
never longing
to be fish or dog
or butterfly.

Who Is The Foolish One?

With typical obfuscation of fact,
though no sea is near,
we call these sea-birds
who drop sudden with
a satisfying, compact splash
then
reappear,
shaking water from wing
to flap upwards again.

It is one final feast day on the great
lake and cooling shallows reappear
where choking boats recent were.

Summer has reached horizon,
making the vast water and all else
apprehensive,
yet
appetizer fish
swim easy.

Why?

Are the shiny, slippery, silvery,
quick creatures stupid
or do they flow together,
rejoicing their negotiated moment
at last unimpeded by propellors, motors,
din,
accepting the contract
and it’s fine-print conditions?

Baby And Bassinet

I dreamed that, as day rose
above the window-sill,
an old clock radio
danced to life,
spilled
bad news,
woke
me
up.

I lay then in bed
some minutes
when
I had an idea for
making a film, so
I made a semi- rectangle
with both hands,
the way directors do
and looked through..

The scene
was of a baby comfortable,
awake, but not distressed
in a basinet, foreground.

A landline telephone was ringing.

In background, a mixed group
of folks relaxed,
engaged at their
cellphones and such as that.

The telephone rang again,
no one moved.

Ring.
Ring-ring.
Ring.
Ring-ring.
Rrrrrring.

This continued until,
with a sudden shout,
the baby cried,
“What the hell is that all about!”
jumped up
and answered the phone.

“Hello?”
he said, balance unsteady,
diaper crisp – neat – tidy.
A nasal voice came
on the other end, claiming,
“This is Joe’s Better Duct Cleaning,”
and …
the baby slammed the phone down.

At that point
I woke up,
the radio was on,
I listened to the news awhile…

The Antigravity Tie

Each face dissolves at last to mist
until
from images alone,
the fabled persons rise,
elusive jinn from anecdotal lamps,
set smoking by a reminiscing hand.

Dear Grandad dwells in black and white,
his tie
right angled on quick breeze,
defies staunch gravity
until the chemicals of capture
as well tire of existence, become sand.

The sphinx who conjures Pharaoh’s day,
both paws
full weighted by great age,
as photographs will, fades,
one lost amusing moment spent
leaned against a fender, in the wind.

A Lesson Of Autumn

Gained knowledge informs the
window view, ordinarily pastoral.

Experience sees,
what a ‘mime-boundary’
reveals,
the transparency itself is glass,
the shadowing, heavy clouds are vapour.

Horizontal leaves
are known to be
afloat on fast moving gas.

Comforts of a well-lit room
separate
from cascading last
leaves of the year. Those
yellowed, browned, reddened
witnesses
end,
are blown to their death,
battered toward decay, by gusted howling
that
vacates the
north
ad nauseum.

This is Shift Season
which recurs,
recurs to be
sung of,
painted,
photographed and
written down again,
deja.

Each year,
here we return,
though never to the same place
of times ever
before,
earth and sun and season
all move together
along fate’s immense
line
through space with time.

There exists:
experience,
a changeing sameness
and new views that shall
become knowledge

until time stops,
which
it will.

I know the lessons of Autumn.

Netflix and Squirrels

Reflections on a Netflix documentary about David Geffen

Such brilliant sun as today’s casts a shadow of one telephone pole onto and across the rooftop next door. It is a cameo of telephone pole, street light and connecting wires projected on the roof. Where pole-shadow intersects the boundary created by roof-peak, I see a squirrel. He/she is poking a curious head and shoulders up above the shadow-roof intersection. They are just sitting in the shade, thinking. In truth, I can only suppose they are thinking, I do not know. It is not necessarily an accepted fact. I am not a squirrel expert, a researcher, a squirrel whisperer. I have no friends who are. I am not David Suzuki. Still, the squirrel is thinking, that is what I see, what I imagine, that is real to me.
I can safely assume that the shadow squirrel is not thinking about politics, the future of democracy and capitalism, the abuse to earth and her creatures, her flora, her water by billionaires – or the life and times of David Geffen. I am thinking about these things. I am thinking about capitalism and David Geffen and the squirrel on the roof.

Personal observation of the animal kingdom lends an element of conviction to my understanding of things. I am sitting at my window and I am thinking. I see and I understand based on my prejudices, my experiences, my history. I understand that the animal kingdom has little regard for, bears little resemblance to the human kingdom. I understand this because the animals cross streets in the middle of the block, disregard stop signs, help themselves to whatever is not locked down tight. They make noise as they deem necessary and ignore that my car has been freshly washed when answering certain calls of nature. The creatures look at me and stand their ground when I try to ‘shoo’ them away. They must know I am not going to shoot them or harm them or call them names. I do eat them, sometimes. I enjoy that. I enjoy eating them but I don’t enjoy killing them or even shoo-ing them away.

I don’t think the animals are capitalists but I do believe that capitalists can be animals. The squirrel who is watching me, possibly or just thinking, is not a capitalist. He is not a capitalist even though he saves various things, hiding them to eat later – like putting money in a savings account. He is not a capitalist because I don’t observe capitalist behaviour. This head and shoulders of a squirrel is not earning walnuts from the labour of lesser squirrels. He is not searching more and more profits, greater and greater rewards. He is just thinking. He is resting. He will go out later and search for enough. He looks happy. He seems satisfied. He will live until he dies.

The squirrel is not profoundly unsatisfied, I think. He is not David Geffen Squirrel, he is Ordinary Squirrel. David Geffen does not have enough, the squirrel has enough. I have heard from the lips of David Geffen and from the pen of music business journalists that there is unkindness and lying and cheating and such going on in the David Geffen world. I don’t think that happens in the life of Ordinary Squirrel. I am not certain the squirrel is observed to be kind to other squirrels, there have been squabbles, but for the most, he/she/they scamper amongst others of like species on what seems to be an equal basis. This shadow-squirrel is just thinking, he is resting, he is not planning (maybe not), not scheming (maybe not), not feeling an urge for anything more (maybe not.)

David Geffen has everything (by whichever method you believe it was obtained, the method was capitalism at root). I am not a David Geffen scholar, researcher or observer but I have witnessed his unhappiness on my tv set and in the magazines. He was disappointed in Laura Nyro leaving his management and going to Columbia Records. He thought she was using him. As to whom was using whom, I have my own opinion. She broke the rules, she crossed in the middle of the block. This made David angry and hurt. David expected Laura to obey the rules of human(David)kind. I have an opinion about that. I formed my opinion of David Geffen based on what Mr. Geffen did. I have seen him crossing the road in the middle of the block, ignoring the stop signs and refusing to be ‘shooed’ away. He is like a squirrel or other creature in that way. He disregards the rules of humankind, like Ordinary Squirrel does. He was hurt when Laura Nyro did the same, when she broke his rules.

There is a great difference between Ordinary Squirrel and David Geffen, though. I think David Geffen has everything but he does not have enough. Ordinary Squirrel only has enough. I think it is capitalism that creates a situation where David Geffen does not have enough. Msr. Ordinary Squirrel has enough, he stops at a point and hibernates a little bit. Ordinary Squirrel may have a quest each year, he may seek, grab, bury each year. Ordinary Squirrel does these things but he does not do them because he believes it will make him a better squirrel. He does not do them for self-gratification. He does not believe that burying, hiding, squirreling away will do anything more than prepare him for the winter ahead. He doesn’t make other squirrels do the work. He doesn’t use his ‘items hidden away’ to create more items to hide away. He has enough.

Capitalism’s root and focus is on more and more and more, better and better and better. Out with the old, in with the new. There is no other need or definition for capitalism. The whole idea is to use capital to create capital and on and on and on. It, as an economic system, has no purpose beyond expansion. Life, in the pure, isn’t like that. Life is enough. Life is it’s own purpose. Life stops for a second and watches me from atop the garage roof, in the shade. Maybe it hums a little tune that was recorded and sold by David Geffen on Asylum Records or Geffen Records but the tune could not be owned or controlled. The tune was written by someone else and sung by someone else, it is now hummed for free by a squirrel on the roof. David Geffen bought it and sold it and wasn’t satisfied but the squirrel was. He sits, thinks, hums the tune. Maybe it is ‘Sweet Judy Blue Eyes’ or ‘The Three Great Stimulants’.

The Invention of Plastic

I’ll bet
cave men caught
an extra forty winks,
said, “Hell with it..”
a time or two since
the breakfast fire
was a bitch to
light
and there was no mortgage due,
nothing
of dire import more to do
than sleep until the sleeping
was through.

Ours is
artful act
and very much ado,
about the same old nothings;
finding food and shelter,
reproducing, too.

Modern life’s accomplished
with a, “Git ‘er done..”
attitude
and complicated systems
we pledge allegiance
to.

Within our time,
we built a world
from what was found
and free,
embellishing with
modern and enlightened
filigree.
Life
gets wrapped in plastic,
seems to me.

Now,
there’s orchestrated work to do
and
‘He who lies abed,
does not move ahead’
might ring true
but where in hell exactly
is this ‘he’
a-going to?

Let me roll over
and curse me not,
at the moment, I’m
in a nice, warm,
pleasant sort of
spot.