Thursday, November 26, 2009

empty prayer

The phone pole woodpecker scans the sky, vigilant between meals. Problems of a halo of blue still gray rather than a crown of thorn and leaf. The skint offer of hills humoring scrub oak and eucalyptus when the only woods left near are either park or cemetery. The handful of places left here where trees can crowd and whisper. The woodpecker abruptly swoops north, and a crow mounts its transitory throne. The world has ways we can neither drown or fathom.

The mild morning climbs atop my respite, stealing my smoke and steam. Coils of gray rope trailing that Jacob's ladder draw of an open sky. The restless air stirs and shifts in its shoes. An early stirring of drowsy houses, as feast work abounds. That hurried, blissful baking, the urge to comfort and provide. I spit some sour remnant of my wicked idle tongue into the dross of leaf and needle. I swallow cool water, every moment the ritual ablutions of equal measures. Bitterness and pleasure mingling, pure and eager knocking darkly at these deep ancestral chambers.

Quietly I call the names and the markers. I call the beaded greens and the burial blues, I call the heedless and the removed. I call the flesh of the vivid living, I call the shroud of the shimmering dead. The stricture of language dissolved into symbol, the analogue of analog and digital kneeling before the feast of history. The frisson of withheld words a hail of static upon the skin. I call out the cursed pleasures and the glowing wounds, the worthy errors we cling to, the pitiful victories that will not let us go. I call to the fields and the forests, the sea wracked with foam, the cliffs swarmed with swallows. I call for the blessings of the uncaring world, and the burned edges of sickened mystery. An empty prayer of wing-clipped thanks, sent curling up into the light of early winter.

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