Wednesday, April 8, 2015

NaPoWriMo - day eight

psalm two (version two)

why so much anger? the nations rage over borders and rights and this mountain range and that city and let’s remember history because our tribe never forgets. all those gatherings, threads woven into schemes traded like family histories, accruing weight as they roll across fields and through rivers starting as whispers until the chorus resounds and can no longer be hidden. everything escapes its bounds when the story swells, and the body lays in the heat too long.

running from the warm embrace of hope into the memory of whatever it is you thought you needed and must have more than the desire of tomorrow and what if and maybe there’s more to this than you’re willing to admit. sometimes the rope is a noose and sometimes the noose is a handle and sometimes that handle is stronger than the grip of your fear. it is difficult to not say these words with anger that roils and bubbles and ravages the soul sick with longing for an answer it concocts itself but that offers little solace. there are times my wrath consumes the past and times it consumes the future.

i promise you that there is power in your hands to do great things, more than you have settled for, more than you dare to imagine. i promise you i will set you on a throne nestled in a mountain with veins of gold warmed by the sun. i set a seal upon you: you are mine, you belong to me, i belong to you, we are one and forever i will bless the ground you walk on as you walk along the edges of all the territory you have been given. i have been waiting for you. there are many treasures buried here and you have the tools to discover them if you are willing and have the strength to use them. be careful. it is too easy to crush a soul.

wisdom is not so easily won. you wear your mistakes like sandals as you hike through the valleys. you wear your confusion girded around your waist and you must keep on moving forward and cross the ranges until you crest into the sun. wear your authority as a cloak. let its weight inform each decision, let it be a light for your feet, let the ground be firm and the path a path. it doesn’t take much to fall. it is an easy thing to fail.

this is the hard work of trust. it can be easier.

this is the hard work of trust.

Good Omen by Lewis Warsh - NPM8

We study other languages, the signs and mirrors,
so that we can inhabit the conversations of people
we've never met. Lava comes down from the side of the
mountain: we say lava, in our original tongue, and
no one knows what we mean. The fire brigade is
waiting for the flames to die out at the end of
the tunnel. I see you, cornered at the edge of a
sentence, like a German verb, immune to criticism,
open to judgement, a blue shadow igniting a wall
of flame. In the empty restaurant you say: "My
tongue is on fire," but the only lights are the
flickering candles on every table. The contortionist
brought the audience to its feet, but we weren't
watching. We decided we could only do one thing
at a time without becoming an object of concern for
those who were observing us from a distance. Nights
without sleep, endless stamina, a hundred laps,
the long days ahead filled with words like "opposite
attract" spelled out in billboard letters across
the horizon. This is the correct spelling, the
proper verb ending, the appropriate declension.
We can tutor each other at odd hours while nervously
fingering the buttons and zippers of our shirts and
blouses. This flame is for safekeeping, the tail
of a comet as it crosses the sky.

Warsh, Lewis. "Good Omen". The Body Electric: America's Best Poetry from The American Poetry Review. Berg, Stephen, David Bonanno and Arthur Vogelsang, Eds. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. 722-3.