Stravinsky said there was no tradition
behind his rite, that he simply
wrote what he heard, the vessel
through which the sacre passed,
and this is ritual without rote,
a rise of all things rooted
in dirt. There is nothing holier
and more base than May,
and we know it, we who sing
in scales or words or color
what is given, what is blended and mixed
in this glass of our bodies
before it is poured out,
this time in libation.
***for your listening pleasure, click here to listen to The Adoration of the Earth from The Rite of Spring. I can see the dancers, jumping down hard, pressing their feet flat as I listen to this.
There are mornings
whose blues are unspeakable,
whose yellows are far too dandelion
to dilute under sun.
You should have died in November.
I could count you in raw clouds,
reflected in reds rotting to brown.
I could paint all color siphoned to straw,
brighten it with blood kissed from my fingers
caught on the skeletons of roses.
But there is room for loss
even in blooming. I can mourn
you vineless, thornless,
worn open as the hole I tear
over my chest, where my heart was.
sometimes sky is less
window to stars
or blue we breathe
and more mouth
There is an equation for this:
an imbalance of temperature
added to wind shear
equalling an F5 swath of correction
one mile wide. For us,
it’s personal, raising brick
of what used to be a city
to find some(one) any(thing) living
underneath walls, below floors
that were ceilings; roofs
torn open like sardine tins, keyless.
We put up signs with street names
so we can learn where our houses were.
We learn the sky is sometimes hungry.
We hug our children. If we can.
After we count the bones,
after we tell the ashes
we remember a random sparing
of an indifferent giant
which is less mercy
and more chance, impersonal scythe
to life with a face on it,
pick for logic in a rubble
of computer monitors and picture frames,
but that’s gone missing too.
Easier to tally what’s lost
than find meaning in what’s left.
on the retinae
stretches all buses to double-deckers
and cupcakes rise in ghost wedding cake layers
my eyes are dreaming
though the body walks
***Who knew a pharmacologic side effect could inspire poetry?
Paul (from somewhere in Romans): For I do not do what I want, but do the very thing I hate.
I were a better mother
a kinder daughter
a truer lover,
less a liar sighed into air
and forgotten; inclination
minus drive leans living
in directions I won’t take:
a lightly traveled path
glimpsed and abandoned.
Still, this imperfect
skirting of rubber
my do balanced after
I am and I think
until the scales tip the equation
and I bite the apple.
I take the hand.
I welcome the kiss.
Choice is choice.