She found herself in an interesting state,
an expectation, with child.
Was it a vision, was it faith, the angel
seemed so real, so brilliant, so heavenly;
but in a state of grace and weakness,
the reality of containing the whole universe
inside herself, the hope of every thing,
of every ant and lion and eagle and man;
maybe it all seemed a bit much, and the leaning,
the missing shoulder of her betrothed, her tears,
like the quandary, like Elijah’s whisper,
the awful doubts after the brilliant victory,
with enemies chased and broken,
a brave face for the crowds,
no one likes a sad face in a victory parade,
but in those quiet moments we exercise,
exorcise, pray, lift up every weakness,
every forgotten hope, every potentiality,
each forecast whispered to us in the stillness
of our first bassinet, while Tchaikovsky plays
to develop prenatal brain cells for Baby Einsteins.
Snowflakes are coagulating,
melting into ice, a fricative, a hiss,
the swish of skis through slush
on a warm February day
as the trees, with their bared branches
stare drown wearily at passers by
content to wait for spring,
settled in their winter slumbers.
It’s hard to see what sort of man you’ll be,
or whether in the back of an eye some evil thought glints,
how the waves crashing, the long nights of love’s disappointments,
the cries out to God with no apparent answer,
can whittle down the marble edifice of newly formed Christians
and make of them Judases and Diocletians and Caligulas;
but in memories we are all the innocents, the lost boys never aging.
I can imagine that wooded night when he found his wife’s lover,
angry at the betrayal, lost in some demonic rage.
I can hear the shots fired like the pounding drums he once played
in the carpeted basement of his parent’s house,
with sweet Hallelujahs and sawdust walks and such.
I wandered alone on a mountain, lost.
Each path looked to me the same.
Every aspen, yellow-bright blinked happily
against a coniferous sea.
The stones were strewn glacially
which made for difficult climbing
My sea level lungs struggled for air.
Others had raced ahead, reached the precipice
witnessed the dying of the day,
while I nuzzled in a musky den of boulders.
Snow then settled on me, braced in a sleeping bag
crumpled near a blazing fire,
pack tangled like mistletoe in a tree.
That was my one success that night,
a spirit rousing blazing fire,
perfume of some wild beast nearby
prodding me to add more fuel.
I remember the rocks, the food dangle,
and the defeat of a summit unreached.
In a minute, another week, and casting
stones into the distance, along the arc of sundials
a memory fading of betrayal and of hope.
Bleached bones on a shoreline piling up,
the nets to mind and sails to patch
lumbering daily gallop of a sea-borne junk –
and still there is no sleep tonight,
or any night –
It’s been forever since Thursday.
Feathers everywhere on a stump dented with blood,
the hanging carcass of a taken doe
Sheltering in wavy fields of grass from thunderstorms
and creeks whose principle occupants were snapping turtles.
Campy parades with glitter and glossed pageant winners
a trumpet of patriotic fervor dazzling independence celebrants
the drill of a cicada into husks of wilting trees
the dredge of horse sleds over red clay fields.
There was pong and tennis and spaced invaders
interspersed with dust bowls and tin can homes
set on long windy roads over bridges sometimes washed out
so regularly that nearby towns soon decided paving was in order.
Weekends were so much longer in my memories.
by Talbot Strange
I am the air, the ether,
A Newtonian Mechanic
In a relativistic world.
Like a quantum dynamic
On a Stellar Scale,
My function sometimes
Collapses into singularity.
Upon the left, a panel
Describing ancient events
Au droit, a dirigible,
someone’s future – fantasy
to Caveman artists,
chasing dinner and divinity,
your ancient astronauts.
Center stage, this place
this here – between, caught
like wind in a bottle,
that present that ceases
before it is recognized;
That whimsical now.