Tag Archives: mortality

A Thin Man Watches Me

A thin man watches me

From across the room

Arms folded across his chest,

His gray suit hanging too big

For the man he has become.

~

One day the suit fit closely

Over muscled arms and broad shoulders.

Time has worn him away,

Waiting.

~

In my sleep, I forget him.

Chase through meadows amid spring flowers

Wrestle with the fullness of flesh

Savor the taste of beef on my tongue.

~

He’s there in dawn shadows,

His arms crossed, bunching the fabric of his suit.

Eyes narrowed as if at any moment I might

Spring free from his gaze, escape into woodland

Where so many shadows and meadows await

That he might never find me.

~

At first light, he fills me with dread,

Banishes my dreams,

Reminds me.

There is no escape.

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Ten Lives

joy

I could spend ten lifetimes reading the stories of humankind and still not know enough. Sumeria, Greece, Egypt, Rome. China: the Records of the Grand Historian, Bamboo Annals, the Five Classics. Popol Vuh. Genghis Khan. Charlemagne. Tesla. Secret writings of ancient and medieval women.

I could spend ten lifetimes carrying out the ambitions of various parts of myself and still not do it all or well enough. Art—the swirl of vibrant color on thick white paper. Music—Bach fugue played a nine-foot grand. Literature—a turn of phrase that takes away breath, stories that ache to be told.

Plant, cultivate, and harvest, dry, freeze, slice—onion and butter sizzle in a hot iron skillet, ready for potato. Goats— chewing alfalfa hay at the barn door, watching me with yellow slit eyes. Weave and sew fine cloth, yards of it filling my arms. Gather fallen twigs to kindle a fire, add more wood and watch the flames spread, leap, fall to pulsing coals and pale ash.

I could love ten thousand men and a thousand women and still not have loved enough. Never have touched enough soft skin. Never have kissed enough lips or marveled enough at the mingling of color in the iris of an eye. Lens to the soul I worship with my body.

With endless days would come endless shapes of clouds racing across the sky, dark and turbulent rolling in with thunder, thin wisps high in frozen air. Rain lash the walls, wind bend the trees. Deep in the forest an open glade glows chartreuse. Sun sears dry ground, bakes the insects scuttling for shade. Hoar frost coats the grass and fence wire, forms iridescent lace of spider webs. Snow drifts down at dawn, five degrees and the air is blue.

In these things and countless more, the joy of physical being fills my heart, tells me why I exist. More than the grief, the suffering, the despair, it is the supreme excellence of incarnation that drives me to my stubborn end.