Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Ecologist

Life life life is more than
just my or your
obtuse theories
about it.
I think I would like to live
I can see tides,
where I can learn movement.

Without obtuse angles to guide my eye.

To spin,
heavier at one end,

Rising in on my sandy toes,
my own emptiness, comes
and goes, my own silence;

fills with the voices of gulls,
I see a shining from within,

like the sun,
but red kelp, striped fish, and golden
lobsters, all cling to nets,
like a ribcage.

Walking about unnoticed,
by strangers,
and pretending that
we do not matter.

I hear them tell me this is safer,
makes dark things grow,
stifles organs of perception.

The oil slick on the skin of seals,
the filled gills of fish
hardened matter molts
and scales,
measures per ounce
the caw of
organic seasons,
but so beloved by the clockmaker --
Time is of no consequence, it is a learning
mechanism. I get caught in the cogs,
I count the seconds passing.

We do not tinker with life life life
as we do gears,

when we try, the coil creaks,
we stare at white light and imagine
we hear ticking
which sets the rhythm of the heart center.

Remember our walking sticks,
and the mountain path,
we don't always recognize what’s missing,
We expire, crumble, exhale and
like rocks under moss,
under wind,
polished by the breath that warms us,
in languages and meters forgotten,
too late for this life, life, life
we begin to dream again.

Wristwatches, upon second
and minute hands, count our day,

We wait for it to be over.

We do not sit and visit,
but shut up into towers, our own divisions
guard us, our own sentry.
Ignoring colors as impetus --
we map, in order to know.

We, so very sure of our choices, kill the explorer.
And suddenly see him far off,
slowly sinking.
amongst where the red reeds and drowning Egyptians

are marching
between the space where
and air made water.

Mistranslation! we cry.
Retry. Start again,

and where once we walked in river reeds,
lines are drawn now in red, stained by choices.
A monk’s hand,
a sailor, a story,
catches us in our spirit.
The Fisherman sails home.

I wonder what the fisherman sees
when nets rise up with silver slippery bodies
Glimmering fear, death
and like any light,

is snuffed out by darkness,
the lighthouse drowns.

Ships, vessels, filled with souls, save
one sole. It creak off the rocks.

Perceptions of land slighted,
by slant rhymes,

by sand bars they did not know
under low tides,

lay there sleeping.

O, yes we could measure lives in many ways
By time, by coffee spoons,
peaches or poems

in open air.
By mountains conquered,

sunrises listened to. The number of
breaths you take as you fall
to the night, in sleeping.
Silences are so full of communication.

I am open to investigating pine trees,
scouting sycamores, surveying beaches,
inspecting the fashions of mist,
their long grey-blue dresses.

There is something,
in this ecosystem
that is I.

We know the storybooks,
printed with pictures.

We know when and
where there was a misstep. We can hear it.

We can feel the meter is off.
Yet, unaware of the tilt
of planetary balance,

the empty spaces, the vacancy of species,
upending, we see that finally,
we are falling.

Perhaps we have grown
accustomed to it:

Falling in love,
from grace,
out of favor,
into money,
into despair,
into depths of down, down, down.
This life, life, life is still
so mysterious,

and yet, this is not enough.
Like truths most high,
mystery is not to be trusted.

No room, no room --
those trees are blocking,

my view of the city.
It used to be a useless valley, the fisherman
Look what we’ve done. he says.
We’ve made the space useful,

he says. To which the reply must be:
I thought being space,
was purpose enough.

But see the twinkling lights? He says.
Not breath, not spirit alone,
only now, but light too.

The microcosm exists,
no matter the times we trip,

not seeing the rock.
Blaming it on our feet,
we do not look up again.

This life, life, life, spins on
and here I sit, wishing
on tides and skipping stones:
I am not progressive,
No corner offices, please
could I have them returned?
I want my mountains back,

I want them back
the way they were,
before you took them.
Still, with wild wilderness,
where wild creatures roamed

creating bumps in the nights,
and questions of whooooo in the winter.
The owls always asked too many questions,
you never said so, but I knew
it made you nervous.
There is a solution, but
then again, extinction

always had a cruel smile.

LRose Young March 2007

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