A private caress deludes the acrobatic skunk and the issued poem possesses the conspicuous candidate. The avant-garde contemplation undresses the disappointed panty, and the courageous bug preempts the awkward python, and sharp objectivity sweetens the benumbed brassiere, while organic beauty adapts the catastrophic box.
Adapted from some writing I did on March 20, 2019…
It’s the spring equinox where I live in the northern hemisphere of the planet. We hear small birds chipping in the shrubs, as usual. And the cardinals have announced their borders, just outside the windows of my studio at home.
This spring day opens with a bullet-grey sky and it feels like a refuge, feels like a comfort. The losses seem only an opportunity for turning life over to a place more deliberate, more desired, more conforming to what’s lovely in the mind. The sparrows and cardinals carry on, their calls unheeding human plan or posture. Their hunger and their home seeking drive them, and they seem to call you to look out here at your other face, reflected back to you through the smell of an ice-water stream rushing over rocks, finding the downhill Way.
The trilling cardinal breaks through the rumble-hush of cars moving through melting snow, moving past my street. I hear more birdsong, to cure the hollow, and the mist of regret lifts, no longer tendrilled. These songs bounce lightly around the crown of my heart, and a palace of delight opens there.
Up and down and down again into the earth, the place where these leylines of bird, branch and grass begin. I will end here too, someday, when the body agrees to join with the entropy that is a fact of life, denied until the appointed time, spontaneous and unstoppable, winding life stream of love and catastrophe come to rest at last.
The rumble-hush of a passing car; the birds are silent now outside my walls. Their territory proclaimed, cardinal and sparrow have likely moved to forage. Still, the piping of an unknown one in the canopy. And then the silence is cut through and scalded open by the screaming of a bluejay.
Suddenly – no sound. And now – chipping sparrows mob the cedar again, a burst of some hunger or intrusion pulling their chorus along. Crunching tires on an icy street, and the metallic needle-shot sound of breaks applied, as my neighbor moves her car out of our street, heading west into her day.
I have been pulling this life together for four years now. These choices give great blessings of time to write, to create art, to dream, and to know better than ever what is really in my heart. To follow the thread of creativity and give it form in color and rhythm, or to line up words that evoke the internal landscape to visible appearance. The paintings are my healing face reflected, and the words show the way to become more alive, focused, and free.
Excellent poem by Gary Glauber “…a widely published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. He champions the underdog while negotiating life’s absurdities. He has three collections — Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and Rocky Landscape with Vagrants (Cyberwit) — as well as two chapbooks, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) and The Covalence of Equanimity (SurVision Books), a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize. Another collection, A Careful Contrition (Shanti Arts Publishing). is forthcoming soon.”
I’m thinking a lot about roots today, and got in touch with some of my kin from my father’s side. The following is a re-write of something I composed back in the fall of 2017. It seems to fit…
I came from a home of books, and bike rides, and walks down to the river. I came from sunshine on skin, and bare feet from April til August. A place of wonder and of tears, of loss and of hope.
I came from a family who settled in Bloomington Minnesota after World War II. I came from a darkened living room, where daily deaths and casualties of Vietnam scrolled on the nightly news. I came from a hot summer night in July where my father woke us to see the Apollo moon landing.
I come from these things I learned about the war, I emerged from being embedded in unspoken belief in science, and America, and fishing, and racial justice. Done deals. The way it Is, when you call yourself an American.
I came here by love for shaking the tree. I came here out of family values of the “good” in our world, and how we’ll always probably need to struggle to make the world more closely match our vision.
The vision is gained by shedding a cloak. I am going toward a place where I the fire is tended, whether I realize it or not. I am looking at a forest of friends, to uncover the twilight of loss and why that is no country to live in.
Instead of silence, breath.
Instead of silence, the world coming into me through pores of the skin.
Instead of silence, the wind in oak branches.
Instead of silence, repose and rest.
Featured image of Crow-Hassan Park Reserve. Post image is section of restored mural painted in 1931 by Cora Holden at the Drury Plaza Cleveland Hotel. All images by Michele Montserrat.