To be alive at all is to have scars. ~ John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


Two for Tuesday: Time’s Inexorable March

Report from the New Common Era

In the beginning, the weather was self-effacing
& stubborn. The globe went into a funk. Some
lucky ones found arable land in the unlikeliest
places. The last of the freshwater lakes made
excellent farms.

Then dust blew over us like a cape 
& hovered
for three thousand years. Entire tribes disappeared
while we waited. The consumers & adulterers
were the first to go; we gave them proper
burials…

We learned to digest saltgrass, lived on
reverse osmosis—Prayer was a luxury—
Then skeletons returned in a flourish
to save us. In the beginning, our skeletons
did all the work.

~ Scott Siegel

                   

A Light Breather

The spirit moves,
Yet stays:
Stirs as a blossom stirs,
Still wet from its bud-sheath,
Slowly unfolding,
Turning in the light with its tendrils;
Plays as a minnow plays,
Tethered to a limp weed, swinging,
Tail around, nosing in and out of the current,
Its shadows loose, a watery finger;
Moves, like the snail,
Still inward,
Taking and embracing its surroundings,
Never wishing itself away,
Unafraid of what it is,
A music in a hood,
A small thing,
Singing.

~ Theodore Roethke

All images are by British artist Joan Eardley (1921-1963), who died at 42 of breast cancer.

                    

Music by Civil Twilight, “It’s Over”