Friday the Thirteenth

Are you afraid the universe
might some be conspiring,
that the unseen, neglected soul
of the whole world is tiring

of folks whose hands say gimme
while their mouths say much obliged,
all the while with backs too stiff
to bend an inch in thanks? Such pride.

Are you afraid that karma comes
in ways you don’t expect,
that punity is due for all those years
spent in neglect

of forces beyond your control
that pulse through this world’s veins
despite your bold denial
that such things are, well, insane?

Are you afraid your staunch beliefs
are nothing more than dreams,
put on like a pressed Sunday suit
that’s worn out at the seams

and won’t hide nature’s anger back,
nor give you a free lunch;
be careful now, avoid that crack.
Perhaps it’s just a hunch,

but all your superstition shows
how weak and without pluck
so many seem to be these days.
I say, make your own luck,

or rather, listen in again:
the universe still sings,
and bids you join her in a chorus
with all living things.

Are you afraid the world is closing
in on you, in chase?
Stand still, enjoy the moment,
or it will have been a waste.

13 May 2005

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The locust choir at midnight

The locust choir at midnight ends rehearsal
when the night larks begin to bustle ’round;
and even the great roaches find dispersal
preferable when mockingbirds abound.

And so, at half past twelve, I sit in darkness,
not worried over creeping, crawling things,
smoking a cigarette in peace, just listening
to each new voice, the melody it sings.

Some have their own, unique strain; others chorus,
their piping a fugue’s counterpoint. At times,
it seems as though a symphony’s before us —
and then, just silence, or one trill; sublime.

Perhaps they’re nightly concerts, not just practice,
but each new hour seems different than before;
and yet, once they begin, the night relaxes
as if it waits to request an encore.

There at the pit’s dimmed edge, I sense some maestro,
in silence, draped in black just out of view,
with such command of these winged virtuosos
that they need not a single sign, or cue.

Tonight I sat and listened for just minutes,
for it was late, and I needed my bed;
again, the song was sweet, and buried in it
were echoes of the dreams here in my head.

13 May 2005

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