going to seed

the world is full of levers

waiting to be pulled,

things waiting to be moved.

 

the levers can be hard to find.

since they’re invisible, you have to

bump into one to know it’s there.

 

they are long arms, reaching out

like the low boughs of a wise old tree.

many are on the edge of steep hills.

 

to get there, you have to breathe hard.

you have to feel as if you might die.

you pass many wry flowers along the way.

 

they nod as you pass; they are going to seed.

they ask nothing of you but to look

and take note and see your future.

 

you take step after step up the incline;

you wish you were a fish, even going upstream.

you wish you had gills, a long muscle for a body.

 

you are losing air; you are wheezing.

you feel the butterfly in your throat swelling.

it is not easy dwelling on land.

 

you pass many remnants:

broken houses, rusted fences, crippled farm equipment.

a fish out of water, indeed.

 

dreams of mother, father, child, lover follow you up the hill.

they trail behind you like a long ribbon of frames.

all your arms together reach out for the lever—and pull.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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get up and sing

she tells me to get up and sing.

but that seems to go against everything.

 

singing is for things with wings.

 

i used to have wings.

i used to suck the marrow out of them.

 

but this passage of time . . .

this long, harrowing voyage—

with all its mysterious baggage—

 

has left me standing alone on a

platform in the middle of the sea.

 

i want to jump off the seawall.

 

why can’t the devil be saved?

 

if love is that big,

that all-encompassing,

then why does he remain lost?

 

neither height, nor depth,

nor principalities, nor powers,

nor things present, nor things to come

shall separate us from the love of god…

 

is it because he is

one of the principalities?

one of the dark divides?

 

did he choose that?

can he choose not to be?

 

is he a he? an it? a piece of all of us?

 

is it that he/it/we will just never admit

to needing to be saved?

 

how long can wrath take the wheel

before it submits?

 

are we that self-destructive,

that self-loathing, that we would

rather die for an eternity than

admit we are broken?

 

i don’t know.

 

maybe this is why we get up and sing:

 

because everything else is just too hard,

and i’m tired of teetering

on the edge of nothing.