Northbound US 81 zig-zagged east
through Sisseton, South Dakota
past a Lutheran church, a graveyard,
and the Mobil Supper Club
before straightening north again and
heading toward Fargo.
I think an Interstate, odd-numbered,
has either obliterated 81 by now
or turned its two lanes into six,
interrupted only by occasional exits
where Supper Clubs have become Applebees
and the tables are filled with travelers
rather than Lutherans (or Methodists, or Indians).
But there is a place
about two miles north of Sisseton’s
city limits where, in the winter of ’72,
there where miles of barbed wire and oak posts
separated the highway from the prairie,
that one morning, about 7 or 8
when the eastern sunlight was bouncing from
hill to rise
in the reflected white light of last night’s snow and ice,
that box elder trees, ten of them or twenty of them,
caught the sunlight in ice-covered branches and
glassine canopies became as
frozen fire burning against the cold, so clear blue sky.
Cold fire, forty years ago. But
David B. Weber, March 2013
These words were preceded by:
A grilled cheese sandwich
Born of a lactating Guernsey cow
Imported from a British isle to a land
Several hundred million years previously
A volcano cooled, its lava eroded, and
The new soil there was crawled upon by fish
Travelling in genetic jumps toward feathers, and hair
Shaped by gentle and relentless winds blown
By meteoric dust clouds over thawing glaciers and
Stampeding oceanic bacteria.
Try, try again to find the beginnings of these words
While I breathe in the smoke of photosynthetic fires lit
By the sun and stoked by the debris of long-rotted
Cephalopods and coral reefs.
There is no magic, there is no first word;
There are only new questions,
Bent into forms which we can speak,
And words which we can write:
These words, never ending
The great task is to walk among wild things and
To let go of maple, bee, cloud, vine, dandelion, winecup, dragonfly, and squirrel
is to give oneself over to the intimidating, attractive, green, blue, red, high, far, close, toothy, wet, alluring
instead of apart.
It is to allow the language of here, beside to replace the chatter of knowledge and subjugation.
It is to become present, now
and listen without expectation
and feel without the need to define.
It is to see and to be seen
and a new kind of love.
Today I sat with strangers in the smooth green of a hospital
on chairs leaned from by daughters and their daughters and a son
and a sister (I think)
and a man
with the blood of his wife on the bib of his overalls
and on his lap, where he had cradled her
when he found her beside the bed with a gun with a gun
with a gun
(his daughter with tattoos of the sun on her shoulders told me this, sobbing
and she had never heard before the sound of her dad’s scream)
I told them there were no answers, not now, maybe never
Prayers: “O Father God, hear..”
“Oh God, oh God, ohgodoh….”
The sister (of the man, it has been confirmed) and a granddaughter (probably)
on cell phones, telling others
“half an hour ago..”
“there was an empty pill bottle..”
“no, beside the bed..”
“in the emergency room now..ohgodoh..”
My Prayer now: “Shhhh..hold somebody’s hand”
and then some words in my practiced voice low and slow,
It is quiet now, for a half a minute then a minute,
then there is the helicopter- we can hear it,
and a nurse comes in and says
the Care Flight to downtown is here,
and we can hear it and the daughters and the man and his sister and the son have
in the helicopter
and hope in what is downtown.
They leave the room-
“who will ride with me, her, you?”
and “which cars?”
and I am the only one able to see in the nurse’s eyes
that time is bending again into eternity
Dark diamonds of flesh
taut and still, so still
waiting in heated anticipation
for any nearby movement
which will sate the hungry emptiness
born of sun-warmed
and eons-old reptilian neurologies.
There is no evil in the narrow yellow eye slits
nor in the coilspring-tight body ready now to lunge
The quick pointing scarlett/black tongue is not
pointing there, there, and there
nor in split-seconds of greed beyond need.
There is no evil here in this
spring warmed shale bedrock
where waits the winter-hungry snake.
It is only the still point
of the universe
in the throes
of New Creation
Standing at the edges of a bamboo forest,
(primordial forests of green shooting, sun-reaching stalks)
Tilt your ears and wait for the updrafting breezes
There. Hear it?
The opening chords of the universal symphony.
Now, listen again
and hear the world’s children
in cacophonous crying out
justice, something to eat, a drink of clean water
and the fiery love of a healthy mother’s eyes.
It is a single symphony, a serendipitous song,
but one encumbered and overwhelmed
by the sounds of
well-fed men, and silk-sated women
wanting more of that for which they have no need.
In the deepest music of the earth
are the true things:
unwritten, resounding, and sun-reaching..
David B.Weber, 2011
God spoke of hydrogen-
spoke of it cloud upon cloud
and watched it light the universe in fire.
From that fiery Virgin Light
galaxies were born in spark and smoke:
all that would be-
bright and hot and becoming.
Madonna and her children-
dancing among the stars
and wildflowers to be.
Whirling in circles of
meteors, oceans, and dragonflies
still to come..
to see other reactions, or to react to the reactions of the Tao, go to:
John 20:22: “He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit..’”
The time between
now and new
is a single breath
with the presence of all sunflowers,
all wise men, all goldfish, rattlesnakes, and golden retrievers.
Today I sold (for a pittance) a birthday gift to my son which,
15 years before, I’d been excited to buy, then give, but which I have since stored
until his someday acceptance.
Today I gave away (in absurd happiness) a car I’d planned to sell in order to buy a better one.
Today I threw away- upcycled- papers poured over, worried over, and typed (on a Smith-Corona portable) 40 years ago as a college senior. They seemed important for 39 of those 40 years, but now I only want to know (not merely remember) knowledge that cannot be typed,
is difficult to share,
and is impossible to throw away.
other reactions to the Tao can be found here:
The answer is there in that place
where there is no answer to be
discerned other than the one
that gently tears you apart.
There..a fish jumping in the lake;
all you see is the silver comma of flashing light,
but you know now, don’t you?
Your mind has been opened- kissed open-
in ways than it can never again be closed.
leaping, snapping in front of you
a firework of cold dry wings and legs
opening paths for you, and now
you know where you are going, yes?
Yes. Don’t think about it. Yes.
other reactions to the Tao can be found here: