Everyone who was there is gone. This rain is their conversation — a gust of night air through the open front door, the bark of the dog, the winter crunch of a shoe in the yard. And far off — can you hear it? — a child is being born. All the World’s Children On the most painful of days, all the world’s children come forth bearing flowers: red […]
Archive for January 2019
It’s easy enough to see ourselves in other members of the animal kingdom, especially those with eyes most like our own, those deep pools of joy and sorrow and all else, as found in the neighbor’s dog or on the hill in a thoughtful cow. All are mirrors, all profound. And why not too the wriggling worm, the thorny bush, the rugged stone? Are they not in turn each eyes […]
Have you ever thought we might be thumbprints in the dough?
No? Because that is what I’m thinking now.
And I’m thinking how much, and how little else, I know.
I love moss — its color, its texture, its immediate response to fog or the slightest hint of rain, and how it thrives on thoughtful compression and familiar touch, growing thick beneath footsteps on sidewalks, in lawns, and on forest paths. In some ways it is almost human. Or maybe we are almost moss. This time of year, the retaining walls, the stone steps, and the wooden borders of the […]
A few days ago, I paid the relatively modest sum of fourteen dollars and ninety-five cents for two pairs of reading glasses — one for books, the other for working here at the computer. The frames are round. I’ve never worn glasses with round frames before, but I’ve always liked them — not because they make me look like John Lennon, or Igor Stravinsky, or James Joyce, which they couldn’t, […]
After years of beating the pavement with a long-handled stub, I finally have a new broom. It’s a big rugged thing, with bristles enough to thatch a cottage. Best of all, it’s well balanced, like a good guitar or violin — or like a good mind, that knows where it’s been, and loves where it is. Sweeping I am here, in this part of the world. You are there, […]
The beautiful thing about expecting nothing is that when it arrives, I’m always delighted and surprised. It’s only when I expect something that I’m disappointed. But, as they say, those days are gone. It’s been ages since I expected anything. And if you think this sounds silly, childish, frivolous, clever, or contrived, you should read the rest of this book. Read it page by page from the very beginning. Then […]
By and through the medium and miracle of words, some of us have come so far in imagining each other that I think one of our greatest gifts and advantages is the very unlikelihood we will ever meet in the flesh. This is much less an antisocial view than a matter of looking upon our relationships as we do a changing sky full of painted clouds, or flowers breaking into […]
Someday, perhaps, the unhappiest and most destructive of our kind will simply be loved by the rest of us into grace — caressed, as it were, by the whole human race. Now, look at the face. Look, and then ask yourself: Am I willing to love? Or am I above such tragic disgrace? And: If I am above, how came I to be so unlike the truth I proclaim — […]
When I see ignorance in a face, or anxiety, or arrogance, or fear,
I see the road that brought me here.
When I see compassion, grace, and love,
I see sweet rain on distant fields. I see where I was born.
When I see my fingers on the keys of this strange machine,
I see an entire species on the precipice of itself.
Less a Tightrope Walker
Less a tightrope walker or juggler, more a snowflake or butterfly.
And then, when you least expect it, a man, in a grave, at the end.
That’s when his bones dance without help from his skin.
Don’t think it sad. Be a friend. Look in.
And don’t think me mad, if that’s what I am.
Think me flower, or ball, or pin.
Think me weightless.
Yes. Think of me then.
Recently Banned Literature, January 12, 2017