3 Beliefs – 2

Joy comes interlaced with pain
Everywhere we are, or go;
Golden childhood tales contain
Match girls dying in the snow —

All we think to say, or feel,
Frozen days by sunlight graced —
Bricks and mortar of what’s real:
Joy and pain are

Interlaced

Erewhon

The artist stops to paint a scene
With colors that she purchased from
A shop that closed six years before,
A place that smelled of spirit gum

And costumes hanging in the back
By landscapes painted for the stage.
And in the now, she thinks about
What happened to that place.

Her painting packed up in her car,
She takes the long way ‘round to where
That shop was open, years ago,
But there’s no newer business there,

Just broken windows, abject signs
Of long neglect and passing age,
And how the dreams we bring to life
Soon leave so little trace.

  Her painting hangs now on my wall,
  The glories of the woodland fall;
  As she to senescence has passed,
  I think about the spell she cast

  About a shop I never saw,
  A time and place I never knew,
  And how it feels in moments true
  To see another’s

  Point of view


“… the noblest arts hold in perfection but a little moment.” — Samuel Butler, “Erewhon”

exploration

tangled fall and wind aslant
should is shouldn’t, can is can’t
up and moving, must away
find the heart, forget the day

clouds that beckon from the skies
wind that laughs, and ground that cries
soul that sorrow knows, and grows
simple devastation

mangled wall of former grief
love is long, but life is brief
up and moving, in the fields
harvesting the flow life yields

though the path be wet and cold
though the back grow weak and old
conquered fears, and heart that hears
still in

exploration

Mixed

We call things ‘mixed’ as though
  they don’t belong together;
  this is strange.

All that is
  belongs together, for
  here we are,
  together.

Or maybe…

We call them ‘mixed’ because
  they come from different places, but
  everything is from
  a different place from everything else —
  it’s just a matter of
  how far apart.

Such mixture as there is
  brings all the flavor;
  such togetherness as we can manage
  makes the experience of it possible.

So, sure, we are mixed:
  Mixed up,
  Tossed around,
  Cooked together, and

  Delicious

Posts

I give you what I have in posts
For we are poor in other ways;
We walk along the waterside
And dream of nights, amid these days,

    Of multitude, and lassitude,
    And attitude, and power:
    A sun that shines on shoulders cold,
    A view atop the tower —

I give you what I have in posts:
To walk in joy, to sleep with ghosts,
To hear the water, as we should,
And try to make gold out of wood —

    For augury, and penury,
    And apathy, and yearning
    Are how we’ll have to warm ourselves
    With not else left for burning —

I give you what I have in posts —
To climb upon, to walk beside,
To mark in passing as you ride
Toward what you want and need the most,

    For everything and anything
    And all the things that bind us,
    There are still posts that mark the cage
    That formerly confined us

    And we are waves upon the sea,
    A wave within a larger host
    To lap up on eternity
    And brush the careful dawn

    In posts

Symbols

I know the names
Of my patrilineal line
All the way back to 1650
My father
His father
His father’s father
And so forth

But while I have their DNA
Or genetic structure
Or blood
Or whatever today’s science says I have of theirs

To me, now, they’re mostly just
Symbols
Letters on a page
Runes from a bygone past

Except for my father who I knew
And my grandfather, who I’ve heard stories about

The rest?

While, in some ways, those are me
And my brother and my sister
Many are the ancestors that make up a person’s past

Too many to keep track of through time’s annals

Chances are, we’ve all been kings and queens
We’ve all been slaves and downtrodden
We’ve all lived in peace
And we’ve all died in war

But we may not see it

Because we cannot read

The symbols