On Breach of Contract, #195

The land beneath our feet,
land that has moved and swayed
with the tides of time, slippery
like an ocean or like cooled glass,
those old storm windows
we kept in the garage
all year and would hang
out in their sills the same way,
bottoms to the earth.

By the time we had
all left for college,
the tops slid neatly in,
while the bottoms
were thick and needed
to be hammered.

Only a few years later,
graduates and parents,
our own rear ends
and rich college wisdom
never again quite fit
back into the sills
of our town. We
are cursed to walk
always, carry always
on our backs the possessions
most important to us
and leave anything behind
we can not carry.

None to our credit,
neither our wisdom
nor our education
has prepared us well
to make these choices.
The old lovers and slaps
across the face,
mad things parents say
in the heat of the moment
and wish they could take back,
slaps across the backside,
the snide comments
of so-called friends
behind our backs, ads
from magazines. These
are the things we keep,
while we forget how much
another loves us, and the
sacrifice any life takes to live
in unison with any life, how
voices must bend to harmonize.

What poor planners are we,
growing slowly fatter
and downwards, crusting over
in our intellect, looking back
rather than forward. The land
beneath our feet turns and shifts
with each moment and we,
beings of a fast life and hard
death, who measure time
in the shortest possible way,
one turn of our own earth,
rather than the path of the moon,
or like the tortoise, the path
we take around the sun,
revolving around something
greater than us, one year to us,
our longest measure is but a day
to the tortoise or the redwood.

So slow the path from the beach
to the shade of the trees,
back down again at night
to dig holes, long, slow holes
to be filled with our offspring.

The land beneath our feet
will twist into a mangled mess,
push upward into mountains,
the beach will be plains,
this land ocean, the water a bluff.

All that we have known,
that we stake our life
and our ego on is shifting
around us. Here we sit,
at the feet of the mountains,
painters of the mountains,
of a landscape, allowing
oil to dry. Thinking
we have created
something permanent
supporting something permanent.

Did you kiss me? I know
your lips brushed against mine.

I know your breath snuck into me.

I can still feel the palm
of your hand flat
against my back
and your fingers,
spread out like highways
one could take, each
leading to a different place.

The land beneath our feet
are stone steps laid by masons.

The roads are gravel and steel.

We are angles
and corners leaning
toward nothing. Look
at the tree, that twig
that was seed
which will soon be mulch
and then heat and then light.

It leans toward the light,
its leaves spread out
in all directions
to capture the light,
the shifting light,
the turning light.

The tree bends in all directions
and has no angle,
has no dogma, only desire.

The land beneath our feet
is loose dirt like soil
that will shift and crack.

Three winters without road-crews,
with salt and plow,
with the vast change of space
water takes and then ice
and back to water.

We are land falling in
on itself, which inherits what
can not really be discussed.

Ours is a magic rarely seen,
but seen before,
a magic that suggests
we know what is going on,
that we are aware
and therefore afraid
of our own imminent demise.

Would a man, knowing the date
of his own death simply die,
take out an insurance policy
and make sure his family
is taken care of,
or fight the Gods,
come face to face
with the very nature
that made him, attempt
to trick the oracle.

The man that would simply die
is long vanquished, product
of evolution, what we have
left are fighters,
in the classic sense. Men
with no sense but
to keep going, to take
the fight to the temple
and dare the sentient creators
to come down from their thrones
and face that which they made
and which each day
they play games with.

These are the men
who would call the Gods
on their own infidelity, on breach
of contracts entered into
fully conscious and compliant
and which no man has yet
breached. This is not
the story that opens the bible,
the one where men are to blame
and all evil can be lifted
from that first evil, from
the first long day coming
after the first long week.

These tales have no such ending.

Man is a man with conviction
who shall be carted away
before admitting such mistakes,
obviously the Gods overlooked
their prowess in his creation.

If we be their failing
then let them come down
and state it. Gods to our faces,
come and visit the poet
and the painter before taking
our creations. These are
the forces of nature unleashed
on the sides of Olympus.

These are the Greek plays,
the great tragedies,
the light that shows
what happens when one
is unable to let go.

The land beneath our feet
is slippery, has moved
in waves, shows no signs
of returning to form.
We are all ending.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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