People at tables in long rows
Receding faces blued by computer screens
Overhead a symphony of light fixtures
hang like glabrous fruit
The homeless have taken their stations
cursing to their vacant companions
An owl near the Swift collection
calls to Coleridge’s birds
A coelacanth in natural history
stalks someone by the creaking radiator
Ophelia’s lament echoes
up the grand marble staircase
A switch has taken place without people knowing it–
magnetic north has been replaced by a wind sock
Scratch, jack, bones,
skins, buckage, bank.
The nicknames change over time.
Did you know your distant ancestors worked no more than four hours a day to earn their living?
They did not need a twenty four hour fire hose of tin toy distractions, though.
Living was distraction enough.
If you find yourself addicted to electronic distractions in the interstitial time between work and sleep, try saving a third of your income. Your income is the congealed life energy you traded your time for. This practice will help wake you up.
And don’t forget to write.
Our four fishing poles lean over
and listen as a cruiser, like a fat
white fiberglass duck chugs upriver
In between, the wake waves
remember for a while
A house skeleton
crouches by the far bank
A kayak blends water with sky
Cormorants use the river
for an air cushion, heading downriver
for urgent appointments
Steely green match heads
they came with the long gone water hyacinths
clinging to their roots. Viperous hitchhikers.
Now the backyard pond is clotted with them,
overgrown like kudzu.
Defiant with no ravenous koi fish to eat them,
they are the blackberry vines of the watery world.
I muck out the pool, drain it and say
Of course they are perfect little globes of DNA, cellulose and teaming mitochondria
and do not listen to my ranting. A week later they are back.
A zen master would say they are here, learn from them.
I say, does the zen master have a nice backyard pond?