Love Song 3

Thursday morning at a gas station on I-40 near Tucumcari, New Mexico:

“You quit touchin’ that stuff afore I knock you right out that door” the fat man in shorts, knee socks, and sandals says to the boy who looks down, down at whatever is down inside, that meets whatever is down on the floor where it is quiet for a moment..

where he paints in secret swirls, with imagined colors, circles on the dirty linoleum, a dusty mandala- intricate shapes of conjured dreams, where he is absorbed for while in the width and whorls of the soundlessness behind words, the protection of quiet. For a moment, a minute perhaps, the boy is without a name and the wheel on the floor is the fiery wheel of a chariot, and he breathes as it spins in emerald rainbows.

There is no fat man. There are no chains.

“This is my body, broken for you..”

“Get yer ass out to the car, boy”

“Do this remembrance of me..”

David Weber, 2010

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Love Song 2

Suffering is not a thing

belonging out there,

but encroaching

increasingly

where it should

not be, no.

It is.

It is in the wondering

and the waiting for words which

will wound no matter

how softly they are spoken.

It is in the scream of a wildebeest

as a lion tears mortally into its flesh.

It is in the million year death of a star

and in the unrequited song of the cicada.

It is in the knowledge, growing louder,

that there will be a last breath,

a final light.

It is.

That it is.

Ehyeh asher ehyeh

אהיה אשר אהיה

Love Song 1

If I speak with tongues of men…and of angels...(1 Corinthians 13)

And if I speak quietly, in languages beyond words,

You will hear, perhaps, the thunder of African hoofbeats.

And if I listen,

to you, I can

(and often do, behind what you say)

hear the sounds of Saharan winds.

Together, sing now.

And the butterflies

the clouds and

the sunflowers will gather

on rocky hillsides

and hear our songs,

world without end..

Amen

Two thoughts, attached at the hip..

60

It seems..

no, not ‘seems’- is..

It is that I am more ready, more wanting at 60

than I was at 10

to see

the sun rise

a pelican dive

a mountain

an ocean

a hummingbird zoom

the moon- harvest, blue, waning, or full.

It is true, at 10:

that there was more to imagine

than there was to remember.

But I only know that because I’m 60 now,

and it is easier to imagine what I missed seeing

than it is to remember what I did see,

even though I know what I saw then

is (yes, is) why

I can imagine so easily,

so very easily,

what still

is to be seen.

(David Weber 7/5/10)

Peculiarities

I am not thankful that such peculiar circumstances existed,

but I am thankful that I have, in my brain, memories

synaptically retrievable, at will,

of the white men on the foundry floor at the Eljer plant in Salem

who had the union jobs, in metal cubicles with loud noisy fans,

and who used hand tools- grinders and buffers- and wore goggles and metal gloves.

And that it was the black men (all older, all non-union)

who pushed brooms over floors

that were clean only for moments at a time.

(David Weber 7/5/10)



by the afternoon’s early light..

Any object, intensely regarded, may be a gate of access to the incorruptible eon of the gods..” James Joyce, Ulysses

In the corner of the garage, forgotten under a tarp thrown down in 1996 to protect the boxes beneath from the rain edging its way under hail-damaged asphalt roof shakes, a box.

A box- a box filled once in the 1950s with oranges from “Sunny Florida” later sealed with now dried and flaking masking tape, forgotten..first under the tarp, before that next to a pile of lumber intended to build a never-built back porch, and before that because it was just a box that would get moved later, sometime. Maybe tomorrow.

Now, fifty years after the last orange was peeled and eaten, the move finally begins with the lifting of the tarp frozen by dust and time into the shape of a small foothill sloping gradually to the flat twelve inch high mesa of a box top. The tape cracks away in the confetti of long expired glue, and the lid is lifted.

Lifted.. and the air inside is drawn in a gentle vacuum from the cardboard tomb in which it has been sealed since Eisenhower was president, since Sputnik was a funny sounding word, since young men stifled nightmares of bodies floating in the waters off France and Bataan, since nobody had ever seen a color television. Before assassinations, long before the Bicentennial, long long before anyone knew what/who/when an Ayatollah was..

And inside, an envelope (brown, manila, creased, thick) labeled in pencil, “Edith Cross, City” with 55 cents worth of various blue and red postage stamps postmarked “Buy War Bonds, 1944.” Two little cardboard buttons around which, in a figure-8 twist, a string keeps the flap of the envelope closed, officially perhaps. Unwinding, the long-untouched string breaks, its work completed, and the envelope is gently torn just enough to lift the flap and inside..

A flag, trifolded redwhiteblue stars whitehemmed metalgrommets. The love of Edith’s life? 1944, D-Day? Edith’s father? A muddy trench in a Flanders field, sent by executors of an estate a half century ago to the younger generation for safekeeping?

The air of the envelope, older even than the air of the orange box, wafts through the stale air of the garage, over the canvas foothills, upwards toward a window rarely opened where the pale sunlight of an otherwise quiet summer afternoon spills across cardboard shadows onto an unmarked grave.

Oh, say can you see..?

David B.Weber, 2010