Well dear interwebs, so ends my first week back in the saddle. Not with a bang, but a whimper unfortunately. It’s Friday, and all over the world people are turning to the interweb for a distraction to get them through the last 8 hours of the work week, and what do I have to offer them?
Well, Friday is always a good day to tell a day dreamy story and to pretend to be all writerly and stuff. So pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup of coffee and I’ll dig something out from the archives. Got to be something in one of these old boxes…
“There once was a man from Nantucket…” Oops! Not that one. This is a PG13 rated blog.
Ahh! Here we go. A few weeks late for the occasion, but looking out the window at the ashen clouds today, it seems appropriate. But first a poem to get us in the mood. Stop me in you think that you’ve heard this one before.
Goodbye to the Poetry of Calcium – by James Wright
The world is uneasily happy;
It will all be forgotten.
Mother of roots, you have not seeded
The tall ashes of loneliness
For me. Therefore,
Now I go.
If I knew the name,
Your name, all trellises of vineyards and old fire
Would quicken to shake terribly my
Earth, mother of spiraling searches, terrible
Fable of calcium, girl. I crept this afternoon
In weeds once more,
Casual, daydreaming you might not strike
Me down. Mother of window sills and journeys,
Hallower of searching hands,
The sight of my blind man makes me want to weep.
Tiller of waves or whatever, woman or man,
Mother of roots or father of diamonds,
Look: I am nothing.
I do not even have ashes to rub into my eyes.
We search the windblown fields, and the coal dark forests, stand on the edge of wide oceans of tears, and rend our clothes.
It’s been 50 years, and we still don’t know her name.
“Calcium”, the wind whispers.
Waves lick at the shore, tires wash up on the rocky beach. I put a bottle to my mouth to keep the fire inside.
The broken windows of the mills peer down, the blackened hulks of the furnaces turn a darker shade of rust. Lives poured like molten steel from the ladles, and love flamed red around the edges. In less than a century it all fell dark. Now only the weeds remember.
In hot Latin countries penitents still beat their backs with willow branches, until drops of blood bloom like roses. Here the flowers push their heads through the concrete, and declare their victory.
Even the names of the rich, carved in granite on the mausoleum have begun to fade.
The roofs collapse, the concrete cracks. Not even the calculations of the engineers can deny death forever.
In the end, there is only bone and sky.
The fire gone, the night cold,
I kneel on the ground, and stir the ashes.