Friday, February 26

The German Opera

I had a picture come to my mind the yesterday.

I was laying in the bathtub listening to the classical stations and two women began to sing, as if in a play, an opera in German. One had an alto voice, creamier and muted, from the back of the throat.  the other light and clear, a soprano, with just a tiny bit more of a verbrato than my mother, but not by much.

This soprano sounded so much like Mom, Diane, that I thought to myself and imagined that she must be being broadcasted straight from Heaven itself, as some big secret and joke to the world for it being in ignorance of listening to singing voices, a German opera, playing right from the skies above, the heavens, the heavenly realm. 

I envisioned my mother on a stage in a beautiful ornate theatre (pronounced thee-AYter).  She was all dressed in a delicate and grandios costume, golds and ruby colored, with her long wavey black hair all up in a curls pinned around her head with a few strands piecing around her face and brow.  I even thought of her performing with such fervor and fun for a particular man sitting in the audience.....

The man, almost toward the back of the seating area, was a bit unnoticeable and quiet, yet his ears were tuned so finely in to the grand stage presence, amazed and impressed, and so so proud of his creation - not at all as a pride of ownership or credit, but a pride of a parent when his own child becomes a parent herself.  With awe and reverence, he watched and listened to the creative expression of divine worth.

And then the women stopped singing and burst into laughter and German banter- this too sounded like Mom, and if I had more faith, I would have been convinced for certain of the secret reality of hearing Mom broadcasted live and living from the Heavenly theatre.

Thursday, February 18

My prayer for the day:

A human being should be able to change a diaper,

Plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship,

Design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts,

Build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,

Give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations,

Analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a

Computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Specialization is for insects.

–Robert Heinlein

Monday, February 15

When I am in the wrong and all is not
Well in matters heart and soul and flesh,
When wet is dry and course, and ice is hot
And pieces shatter sharply and vanish,
When falling hair does flow away from scalp
And lashes eye bat from the crescent lids
When ribs and bones under pressure do snap
And pure and clear revealing mirrors are hid,
When rooms are circular and all a maze
And hands from basements reach out from the dark
To snatch the throats in ignorance of their haze
And delicately squeeze each dying spark,

        Then with the nails, the lamb of God, behold!,
        Who takes away the sins of every world.

Wednesday, February 10

Fragile Bodies and Flesh

Like a pile of dust
meticulously collected
with the broom.

All the fine elements swept to meet each other starting at one end of the room, of the cold, cement floor, and
brushing to the other.

Painting clean each square foot
from each miniscule particle
that lies waiting to be a sneeze
to some lost one happenchance to pass.

Basting that slate clean-
clean clean, a pile of dust...

...a rib, a pile of dust...

sweeping, nearing the end of all sweeps, the cracks
and corners at the far far end, gently
folding each sweep into the dust pile...

And brushing all piles together
as one, as one, all dust
to be swept

into that sweeping pan, dust dust
brushing, turning round to the pile....

                                                   ....a boot

print remains, small particles floating in the rays of windowsun.

Now only the remains of a pile, dust dust

                                                     A boot, a boot
a stomping meandering boot

print is all that remains.

A ghost, a spirit, of the dust that we are.

Wednesday, February 3


A light the shape of a pine 
the height of Mt Everest captures every knee
's bowing attention and each tongue
is tied to itself. 
Then a blackness-
the kind that no one can work in, 
can think in,
can worry in except
about the blackness.  
Fear sings to the tips of each limb...Do you not see?
And what if it isn't light 
but darkness that saves
the world. Maybe
it must be dark enough
for us to stop bickering,
to see the bejeweled sky, to turn
our heads to Everest and walk
Do you want to go back to tedium? 
The crunching of numbers and hours and of dollars and
of toes and legs 
tired of sitting out its purposelessness?
The saving dark-
Dark chocolate, 
vanilla beans, coffee. 
Black ink, mascara, logs in the fire,
seeds of a sunflower.

I savor each moment, each black moment that brings relief.