Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The House Where Howl Swims

"He was just a regular customer who came to the bar, enjoyed a beer and a whiskey, read silently, paid in cash, then left. He never bothered anybody else. . . . Like dry ground welcoming the rain, he let the solitude, silence, and loneliness soak in."

Peregrine, wandering through foreign fields,
Harrowed or cattled acres, the farmer
And the nomad can't be friends. Too many

Uses for sheep, goats, grains, vegetables.
Send them all to the city. Let them sin.
Poor worldlings, frantic for fresh scenery

Before the jig is up and it's too late
To contemplate repentance, they'll never
Know why only the wandering remains,

Although it might be worth considering
How the restless peoples populated
The planet and, worse, how when travelers

Fetched up against an impassable range,
An uncrossable ocean or ice field,
A pure paradise filled with innocence

In the birds and beasts ready for slaughter,
The so-trapped who settled in and grew still
Became the innocence, the frailty

That the next wave of thorough-goers killed.
I don't mean to be unkind about us,
Our blonde, mustachioed bodhisattvas,

Our moki-tatted indigene paddlers
Exploring by starlit dead reckoning,
Neither the first survivors nor the last.

We are driven, pollen before the wind,
And we are the they who landed and sent
More flung grains to perish and land again.

In a non-probalistic cosmos,
Perhaps, lives would not depend on long odds,
But we spin through innumerable bets

And are the winners of the past, now here
To hazard again, again against hope,
So that something floating from us survives.

I am drawn, nonetheless, to the withdrawn,
Who will not place a bet, not another
Wind-driven fling outward from the dark spring,

Who have accepted the loss of all bets
In the end and wait quietly for them
Who, having once won, come conquer again.

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