Nonetheless

Actually becoming a “walking antique” is different than in the song, or at least as it felt when I first listened to the song those many years ago. Back then it was an interesting image – an intriguing putting into motion; that is, that which is static, like a “still” (a photograph), which is animated like in the move from montage to film. Almost cartoonish.

An antique, usually at least fifty-years old, is generally an object; it is not expected, except in Rube Goldberg apparatus or wind-up cars (and now real cars…Model T’s and A’s!), to move. It sits there and ages. Like a flower, a hedge or a tree – all of which do move as they grow…so no, like something man-made back when such things were made solid and lasting, which is part of how they came to be classified as antiques; they’ve lasted.

Humans make antiques. So to become one is a sign of what? In one sense an antique is sturdy and well built, or at least well taken care of by someone. It often has value beyond the sentimental.

Pushing my late sixties, I’ve seen the aborted looks of the younger generation; that disinterested turn of the eyes. It’s okay, I probably did it too, but now I know how it really feels – sad and comic, at once. It’s better they turn away – especially the artistic ones.

The Millennials tend not to pay much attention to an antique, walking or otherwise. Could be their lose as it was, no doubt, mine.

“But how did that little prick see it so clearly over fifty years ago?” I can hear my long gone friend posing this question. We’d be bundled up, walking in the snow, and I’d have no rational response beyond it was a lucky juxtaposition of verb repositioned as an adverb. “Ah, the brilliance of the image,” Sebastian, the weimaraner, might interject as the snow accumulated.

Sonnet for Galway

Aye, we get used to the daily living day after day

We think it does go on this way forever and more

Then in the newspaper an obituary of another friend

Dead he’ll speak no more, his laughter but in our head

 

A man who spoke no evil of others

who put no one down

only praised loveliness and let us not forget

what it is to be an animal

 

Good rest to you though I’ve no in with any hereafter.

I was awed by others who were in awe of you, though

I’ll not show in any photos of when you were here.

Think kindly of us who barely knew you but in your words

 

You respected those I respected and we stood respectable

No greater no less but in the gossip press the ladies’ll talk

For Many, I Suppose

 

 

As I age and come to terms with things I probably won’t do again or even get to do (like having sex or sky diving), I realize among them is the probability that I may not see you again. It’s been a long time, and I don’t even know where you now are. We had our times together. We lost touch. I guess, as some would say, hey, that’s life.

 

Well, I’m not going to spend the rest of the day listening to singer/ songwriters complain about what they notice going or not going on. I seem to manage that okay on my own.

 

In the past months a few of the recent manuscripts have been cleaned up and formatted and printed and saved in files I can attach to online submissions. The last three years summed up in poems, essays, and stories… Now, let’s see who might help them become published. Beggar and persuader – the dual positions an artist must assume. Yet the work stands or falls on its own.

 

But I didn’t push for much of that – what happened, happened. There wasn’t a lot of planning. Life led me along – as it does for many of us. We’re lovers and then we’re no longer lovers. Rarely seemed to manage those transitions very well.

 

Anyway, I’m still in the same place – I’m visible. I’m not in the phone book but I am on the Internet. Google me. Come for a visit.

Writing to Silence

 

That yearning to do something big, new…something that’d catch the attention of people all around the world, comes and goes several times this past afternoon as a few gusts of wind, a breeze mostly, spin the garden pinwheels in ways that remind me of that spring I got to sit five or six days in a row watching a few trees blossom, sitting almost in zazen thinking that perhaps my time as a journey man was over and before I could weigh the worth of that realization it was let those thoughts go and away they went leaving me watching leaves unfold blossoms in a fast forward turned down real slow with my breath exhaling small puffs of grayish-white clouds. It was then that I beheld that God is not a person – no relation at all to my species, surely something other than one of us to have gained such god status – or so I thought for dozens of years.

Now I see that I’m not hungry enough, not obsessed enough, not angry enough…and certainly not competitive at all. These are traits necessary to my once upon a time career. No wonder the paycheck was so small and infrequent.

I quit that job yeas ago. When you can do what you want, it can take some time to figure out what it is you want to do… And that time is pleasant. Enjoy it! But don’t forget to find out what you want to do.

Of course you better figure such a path would also be edgy. Yep. Try to enjoy the process as best as your family and friends will let you. And if you are an orphan, friendless in this world, you might want to read some Charles Dickens rather than this. I understand. The miscommunication is nobody’s fault – neither yours nor mine.

Communicate! Say something! I’m listening.

 

Inquiry

Should mind go before body goes

What’s lost anyway – a chance

for higher consciousness?

 

Such pride, a mere firefly!

The immeasurable eludes us.

Once that is understood –

 

another night appears & if

it’s early July, we may yet enjoy

those neon-green blinking lights

 

as more than advertisements

for stars mating over a meadow

or a childhood come and gone

 

Laser tag among preteens

giggling with new found pleasures

Insects looking to get lucky

 

Ascending & falling back again

like Rilke drunk & forgetting

that he did this more than once

 

It’s still hard to let the mind go

There is no mind to let go –

it flits about like the fireflies do

As Within, So Without

Rain comes down so hard & heavy

it couldn’t get off our near flat roof

fast enough

 

Some slight sum of water ran the line

of a rafter to drip, drip right above my head

& woke me before I could get back to sleep

with an unprecedented six inches an hour

 

Something else on a long list to worry about

The roofing guy comes on time & ladders

his uniformed self up on the roof to take a look

— That’s after he offers to redo the roof

for at least five, six thousand

We go with

the repairs that carry no guarantee

for a few hundred plus change

 

We may never again get such hard & heavy rain

But the way things’re going it’d be no surprise

if the highway became a series of small islands

 

Should our roads soon turn to canals, time then

to pole rafts & barges as means of commerce

& access to community services

 

Preparing for the future demands new mindsets

Our philosophers fade away in solitary classrooms

or small but well equipped offices tucked away

in government-funded law firms

or private bathrooms en suite

in corporate headquarters

with direct ancestral connections to people

who make things happen!

 

Democracy as practiced, at best, a charade

one might begin to suppose

Yes

The rains begin again and there is no normal

to return to, so those who dare sit & wait

for the floods to subside in hopes that some soil

will remain arable & that insects can be toasted

for proper & sufficient nourishment –

they can do as they wish. What will be will be

 

In the meantime, free people continue to entice