Sunday, May 7, 2017

Conversations Our Feet Don't Hear



I talked about summer, and about time. 
The  pleasures of eating, the terrors of the night.  About this cup
we call a life.  About happiness.  And how good it feels, the
heat of the sun between the shoulder blades.

He looked neither up nor down 
which didn't necessarily mean he was either afraid or asleep.
I felt his energy, stored
under his tongue perhaps,
and behind his bulging eyes.

I talked about how the world seems to me, five feet tall, the
blue sky all around my head. 
I said, I wondered how it seemed
to him, down there, intimate with the dust.

He might have been Buddha - did not move, blink, or frown,
not a tear fell from those gold-rimmed eyes 
as the refined anguish of language
passed over him.

Mary Oliver (from "The Truro Bear")




Old pond,
frog jumps in -
splash.

Basho



We have been underground too long

we have done our work,
we are many and one,
we remember when we were human.

We have lived among roots and stones,
we have sung but no one has listened,
we come into the open air
at night only to love
which disgusts the soles of boots,
their leather strict religion.

We know what a boot looks like
when seen from underneath,
we know the philosophy of boots,
their metaphysic of kicks and ladders.
We are afraid of boots
but contemptuous of the foot that needs them.

Soon we will invade like weeds,
everywhere but slowly:

the captive plants will rebel
with us, fences will topple,
brick walls ripple and fall,
there will be no more boots.
Meanwhile we eat dirt
and sleep; we are waiting
under your feet.

When we say Attack
you will hear nothing
at first.

Margaret Atwood, from "You Are Happy"


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