A Splendid Day

(It Is Such a Splendid, Sunny Day – Sophie Scholl)

The garden is heavy again in bloom,
wild beasts busy at their work.
This stone blue water planet,
the multitude stars,
the green things,
the creatures
must ignore dark puffs of destruction
to wend the way.
What or whom can move are
stepping over lifeless things
because those fallen shapes
are nothing more than ordinary obstacles.

All that dies for principle,
dies.
All that lives long enough,
dies.
Time thumps in as a marching band
of deadly olive drab machines,
sings of victory,
recruits the willing,
smashes them and everything else
before it rumbles out.

Fear? is an elixir potent
enough to paralyze,
don’t taste of it!
Plant your row,
bend toward the sun,
drink your fill.
All days are splendid.

Santa Claus, Jesus and the Fourth of July

Santa Claus appeared
wearing nothing, one night.
He stumbled to my bedside,
whispered, “Don’t turn on the light!”
and crawled in.
I thought it was a
Netflix series
about to begin.

“Are you cold?” I said,
as quick between the covers he slid.
His reply?

“Hell, no…on the Americans’
fourth of July?”

Oh, my,
either this was mighty interesting
or I wasn’t thinking straight,
it WAS late.

Like many,
I’d long buried Santa deep
along with rhyme,
fairy-tale, make-believe,
and other once-upon-a-times
when
right there he suddenly was,
another butt next to mine,
only separated by fuzz!

This rich scene snaked
once or twice through my head,
left me wide awake,
blinking, in slumber’s
stead.

I rubbed my eyes,
felt wonder,
shock, surprise.
Nestled up next me here,
one leg on my thigh,
was my guy.

“Santa,” I asked, discreet as could be,
“Would you move that leg?
It’s kinda bothering me,
..reminds me how Jesus did, previously.
Oh,
by-the-way,
I’ll make you an egg
in the morning.”

Hello? Hello? Is This Thing On?

I woke to a brown,
numbing down
rhyme,
that might have been
the song of politicians,
impotent,
a simpering whine
of these and them
and yours and mine,
and how it’s gotta be cleaned up,
made fine,
this time.

I sat up slow,
the promise of progress a low
radio,
rumbling in both ears.
“If it can’t be done now,
then, it will be by next year.
There is nothing, nothing
but a lack of productivity,
to fear. Get yourself
out of that dawdle bed,
dear.”

The bricks, the streets
of Anytown are tired,
worn out as our universe
from speeding things,
moving fast,
bad to worse
and
I am tired, too,
of that do sure confess,
but still
will shake approaching day’s
smiling veil
until illusion spreads tulle,
filters and colours this impossible
mess.

Dead Batteries and Signs From God

Bank robbery,
and
simpler larceny,
both make the innocent-born-guilty
conscience squirm
but
most of us commit not crime,
nor
ease into any wrong action
locked away time
might cure.

Still, I hear we all were
born in sin,
and need a warning sign,
lest further untoward events occur.
It’s written in
the holy books
I tried to read, back to front.

I always take a second look,
hoping to understand what I do
or didn’t that’s amiss,
but I get no further than this:

It’s God on the job there,
in his dome of sky,
who waved a magic finger,
made the car battery die.

Now, I’m either right on time
or late for fate’s appointment.

Ducks and Rows

“Fine weather, if you’re a duck!”. That’s what I used to hear when the rain came down in buckets (ouch!) full. It is a sarcastic statement but, in a way, true. It was raining yesterday, off and on, in the manner of. I am an interested observer and noted that my neighbours had better fix the downspout or there will be grief, later on. I watched as rain poured out of the gap between pipes onto a recently painted deck, with full power and gleeful splashing. The scene was out of order but ah, the ducks love it!

There can be a positive and/or negative side to our current rainy weather. I live in the county and I hear of the farmers (usually from a non-farmer) and how “they need this rain” or “this much rain is really hurting them”. Depends on point of view? Everybody has an opinion about the weather. Nothing seems to line up in a total agreement. Everybody thinks things could be better if they were in order. If things were all lined up in a familiar way, we could all relax? Could we agree that the rows were in order?

Yeah, the ducks love it wet. I am not so sure they want it poured down on their heads but they do certainly claim water as their preferred locale, as their area of expertise. We love ducks. Ducks are part of our known universe. They are familiar. They are part of the order. We prefer ducks to be in a row, however. Sloppy, misaligned ducks are a botheration. Just as the misaligned downspout made me notice, a duck not in a row does the same for most folks. Do you think that, because we have a matching pair of most body parts, we prefer order in the universe beyond our fingertips? I look at one hand, then the other…it is sublime. I look at one set of fingertips, I look at the other…again…sublime. Order, simplicity, fingers in a row, arms, hands, legs, ears…all in place in the row.

There are some parts we only need or desire one of. A brain (on reflection, maybe we could use a spare one), a sex thing (doubled up sex things could create some decent chaos in the already-wild-space, so it’s best we only have one major sex part), an asshole. Uhoh. We only need the one asshole, that’s plenty. Though a great number of us are brimming with waste, we still only need the one solid exit point. The mouth does double duty enough at times, so any more would be overkill.

The thing about order and neatness and such is, y’see, just as an example, things could get pretty untidy if shit were flying from everywhere and not just a special place. Proof is in the way that metaphorical shit does fly from everywhere. See how untidy and out-of-line our world is with its metaphorical shit? Facebook spews shit. Fox News spews shit. The New York Times pretends its shit doesn’t stink but it is spewing the stuff anyway. I sit talking and what am I doing? That is correct! I am spewing shit. “Same colour, different day” as they say.

Anyhow. We shore do like our ducks in a row. We like our shit in neat piles under the outhouse. We like our skies blue, our lawns green, our grandmas to use ‘her’ as a pronoun, our politicians to say – “I never touched that woman”, in a way that would make us believe it. Yeah. Order in the chaos, ducks in their row, peace and quiet.

Ooops. No ducks anymore, they moved farther north because it is tooo hot. No grandmas anymore, the aprons and blue rinse died out (or never were ubiquitous?). The world isn’t white anymore, there isn’t a rotary phone to speak of, television is huge and flat (though just as empty as ever it was), the politicians don’t deny but instead, proudly brag about ‘grabbing pussies’ (not meaning cats at all, by the way)…And? We sure aren’t getting the kind of weather we thought we needed. The garbage spews out into our atmosphere (metaphorical and real atmospere, metaphorical and real garbage). Looks like we are going to have to adjust, kids.

It isn’t that bad, no. Not having things in their row will not be the end of us. Trying to force things back into a row might be impossible, really. Every new day is a ‘puzzlement’, of moving forward. Isn’t it? Anyway, it was nice to get some rain, the farmers needed that and the ducks just love it.

Labour and Work

There is
and was
and will always be
great distance between
this side
and the other.

At the moment of opening,
existence is a journey
from … to …
where
all travelers must move,
bound, as by blood-signed contract,
under order of
which God (and science is a God)
or ethic prevails.

A star can be a traveler,
a seed as well
though
the necessary steps,
from a place to one further,
are not made easier by high speed,
bright light,
smooth pavement,
gentle winds,
enough heat,
spring rain,
autumn colour,
spun-candy wishes
or dreams.

To each,
accordingly,
is offered enough work
or labour for his or her moment.

It is Labour which fills the heart,
makes of time
a fine memory.
Work
dulls the palate,
is a dead thing
choked upon
but
these two are one the same,
made by the traveler
into sweetness
or pain.

The Workhouse

It’s pretty human to shirk,
to shy away
from what looks like
work but
no matter his condition
or how late the hour,
sooner or later, on calloused knees,
each exits illusion’s bower
and punches a clock.

From first breath indentured,
don’t we all,
whether slaving for Peter,
for Paul,
or Joe Blow Commerce
down the block,
have misted life’s hard labour
sole on offer,
to answer
what a wandering dream forbode,
and fill time’s echoed coffer,
load upon tiny load?

Theories are
with schemes, in plenty,
none the one true,
concerned with where we go
or come from,
what a man
or woman is supposed to be
or do.

Hold my hand, dear chosen friend,
until we both corrode,
as in the front-porch swing we sit,
procrastinate a bit,
then ponder why the stars began,
when it all implodes.

Piano Lesson

Tiny vibrations crowd
the roof’s peak,
slide down
and splash across new-leafed trees,
midpoint of the half season.

In the beholder’s eye,
colour is rich yet,
a wet thing whose
layers are exposed,
shady green under excited yellow
under washed out, delicate blue.

A human, passive witness and
amateur scientist,
imaginary note pad in hand,
tries to understand this,
perhaps as sheaves of
impossible music,
wondering,
“Who authored bliss?”

God just sits,
pleased by its invisible grand piano,
tickling strings
via keys and other contraptions.

Birds and Stars

Sometimes, still,
I sing to hear the sound
and wonder if
our dusty-brown
birds do this, too.
Though worksong’s of
utmost import every day,
I’m sure birds also
play.

I’m certain they
might call each other
silly names at times,
sole to hear an
echo back
as summer’s sun
climbs.

Further, yet, my theory is:
life keeps an hour divine
to step aside
and game at love.

The proof of this glows
high above
home’s often sorrowed lane,
where all the million stars
remain,

patient until eventide
allows a twinkled shine.