Friday, January 27, 2006

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle, an icon that so sadly is burdened with being the “…last refuge of the scoundrel” is a spectacular animal. It's even more spectacular when viewed minus the tedious overlay of self-congratulatory myth and jingoistic self-aggrandizement with which we have nearly smothered it.

It sits on the bare branch of the oak, deep in the stream ravine, its fresh bloody lunch pinned to the branch with one taloned claw. Slowly and in leisurely fashion, it peels strips of flesh from the dripping carcass, like you or I would eat a piece of string cheese—if we could hold it with our toes.

Carelessly, it tosses the bits of flesh into the air and gobbles them down. It’s easy to try and anthropomorphize, to humanize the bird, but it’s much more rewarding to try and imagine what it’s like to sit on that branch and eat that bloody lunch with its metallic savor.

Eventually, I spook it; it flies off deeper into the woods and disappears from sight, the blithly abandoned carcass dropping to the forest floor to the delight of the scavengers.

The cats will both be indoor cats from now on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Omphalos: For A Case of Beer

For a case of beer, unobtainable by his own devices
edgy the lad liberated the truck from its red brick barn,
Where it slept awaiting that clamorous call
The call that rarely came, the horn that cried in the night
Awakening the village men, tossing them from various slumbers
With unassailable urgency

But not today. It came occult, on covert occasion,
To serve us in our own special need—
Where the pale concrete children scampered and squealed
Among moss fallen cabins, we labored long in that broad white hole
Snowblind in the heat, chilled by the dark mountains’ fogs
Long days melded into evening’s aching labor
we reached the day of judgement—

The truck equal between shore and broad white hole
Snout draughts deep of the chill lake
From its side the mighty snake emerges, flat like the nightmare parasite
Drapes the weedy sward, broad bronze mouth perched over the hole,
secured by stones, and rope, to a plank—
That was in its turn, secured against the fearsome coilings

On our command the lad loosed the power he brung:
Rumble, then a ripping sound like I have never heard
Before or since, dances across the grass to me
The snake hisses, bucks, belches, heaves, disgorges
a plume of emerald, splays across the hole,
washes away, conceals what we have made

I cannot resist—climb in—our mutual baptism in this moment
A sacrament unsanctioned and unknown
I meet the plume arms outstretched, back turned in greeting
crucified against the pounding column, laying back
embraced and held close by this most substantial of ephemera

You would not think such a thing possible, but I saw it with my own eyes
For three straight hours the snake spewed. It filled the hole with emerald
opaque and unknowable, unfathomable
At its center, a froth-flecked gyre, a foot or more below the unwavering edge
Though I watched it for hours, it stayed, undiminished
Such moment does not easily surrender
Omphalos

The Gardener Addresses the Poet:

You wrote line on line, stacked them in weary wilted mounds
until they moldered, sheer quantity mustering inner heat
in tepid imitation of the life you strove to pin to the page.

Let me tell you—the bloom is just a prologue,
a vulgar advertisement for a simple transaction
The real work, the heavy lifting comes
late in the hot season, flamboyant spring forgotten,
Lulled by cicada song and sweat stung

The true stars are the vegetable and fruit—
meek mottled vessels, packed by mad design,
not exalted on high on fragile stalks
but motionless, in sweet communion with the soil

You were distracted and misdirected by a conjurer’s trick
florid displays of no consequence; you took an easy path to fulfillment
Now release these feeble floral metaphors back into the wild,
from where you stole them, so they can regain their vigor
Meanwhile, take a good look beneath, lift the tart’s skirts;
see where your supper lies

I’ll tell you a different tale:
My love is like a kohlrabi. She glows in the midday sun
A sheen on her flawless skin. She is pale and firm and sweet
Not like some insipid pear—her sweetness hides a pungency
She is beautiful with a hint of menace in her exotic aspect.
Her roots go deep into the soil, into her place—
But the sun is her friend, spending her days seeking his embrace

Planted in cool spring, she becomes voluptuous with the warmth.
And so she will stay—if attended to.
The cool of fall, the frost, the snow will not daunt her;
They may make her sweeter, if she is nurtured and cared for.
But leave her alone, untended, ignored—the pungent will turn bitter,
the firm into hard, the sweet to stolid.
I should sample her sweetness today; I may not have time tomorrow

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Thoughts on #$%^& traffic:

The "left lane" is the new "right lane."

There is a whole gigantic cadre of dull-witted drivers who fail to appreciate the most basic rules of driving, who believe the a lane is a lane. They are the ones driving at or below the speed limit in the left lane.

On my daily commutes, I typically find the left lane clogged with these four-wheeled embolisms, and yet the right lane is clear as...something that's really clear.

Don't they teach drive right, pass left anymore? Or is it presumptuous of me to think these feebs were ever actually taught to drive?

Analogy

If you look up in the top right corner, you'll see a little button which says "Next Blog." I've been using this nifty little feature a lot recently in my downtime, and I have come to a conclusion:

"Blogging" : "writing" as "Karaoke" : "Singing"

I certainly don't put my own humble efforts on any pedestal, and there are a group of bloggers (some I know personally, some I've admired from afar) whose work I hold in high esteem for both content and execution.

But golly whillikers, folks...people do actually read these things sometimes.