to William Greenway “Good Stories”
The story where he didn't win
the Nobel prize or any prize
but he lived his life anyway
waist-deep in the blue-green water.
The one where he walked waist-deep
through blue-green water
and let it change him
dry to wet, bitter to salt.
The one where there was no job
no child, no book, no song
except the song inside him
the song in the blue-green water.
The one where he built a house
from wood the storm had tossed.
Thank you, storm, he said
through lips that cracked with sand and wind.
The one where he walked
wet through and through
in the blue-green water.
It's to "The one where he won the Nobel Prize
and finally got to live by the sea,
fishing every dawn
waist deep in the blue-green water"
The question surfaces.
Where is it?
the one everyone has.
Not only 'Where is it?'
but 'What is it?'
Is it a story that writes itself?
While finding paradoxes day-by-day.
Is it a story of reckoning with the immensity of the universe?
Finding one's way to feeling awe, gratitude,
and needing God only when filled with fear.
Is it that presence underneath veils of formality, culture, and feeling
Containing the mind's billowing breezes as we fall
Looking back, at the end,
You could not have lived any other life than the one you did.
1. Gas leak.
With little ones.
Daughter goes for
Happy hour. Kids cry.
Right pacifier? No dice,
2. Lover of cranes.
Metal ones, not bird ones.
Critical to modern buildings,
She sneaks into construction site
Photographs one. It preens
Against a sky,
Displays a long thin cloud.
3. Massage today.
Who is your trainer?
You're a walking
Reflections on her glass table.
I liked better the
Reflections under her table
4. New battery, old laptop.
Less ump than the ancient
New glass for sunroom,
Fogged just after
Bad luck/planned obsolescence.
5. See art tomorrow.
Eat Indian food.
Stupid to plan.
Maybe gas leak again,
Maybe crane will eat the Indian food up,
Maybe reflections will become the object,
Maybe the sun will end the fogged glass,
Maybe tomorrow will go as planned...not!
After the Grail
What do you do after finding the Grail?
Live by the sea and fish every day?
Head into the Western Desert, pausing
only to write it all down at the request
of the sentry at the gate?
Or board a ship to the Western Havens,
too weary to remain?
Live in the Calcutta slums, wise mother
When you have reached
the mountain top,
the only way forward