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”

 

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

    • I think that he might have meant that initially, our skeletons were our framework, what supported us the most, but as time went on and everything changed, they could no longer support us. Our frameworks disappeared like the tribes.

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