A clack of metal!
A grunt of pain!
A three-legged hobbling monstrosity!
Swinging closer at such velocity!
He’s half man, he’s half machine-
a swinging ape in the jungle green!
He awoke one day with great alarm,
his size of leg was half an arm!
Locked away to hide his curse,
his broken limbs he’d been told to nurse.
Just two bars make up his cage -
so well his prison is constructed.
But there’s no need to feel enraged,
into a lifestyle he’s been inducted.
When you’ve finished with the bath -
releasing the cool water
to dance around the drain,
and you feel the liquid bindings
pulling you with the current…
If the force doesn’t wrench apart your body,
If your molecules aren’t sent spinning to the oceans…
you’re going to be fine.
When you find your legs,
sore after a day’s walk in the scorching sun,
but your skin hasn’t been burned alive,
your flesh not cremated, or peeling to
reveal the disintegrating bone…
then you’re going to be fine.
When you find a throne up in the canopy,
and decide to rest
as long as you don’t wake up
with dew sapphires in your hair,
or shuddering under a coat of moss
And as long you can still break
the roots your toes have grown…
then you’re going to be fine.
If after a day in the fields,
with the wind above
a vulture waiting for its prey
your bones don’t crack,
when you bend with the grass
and your hair doesn’t decide
to join the dandelions…
Then little else can slow you down;
You’re going to be fine.
It is common place now in the residence.
the creak of the third floorboard.
the resistant door.
the rattling toilet.
the shuddering table.
So she decided to pay it no mind.
Despite the signs from upstairs.
the howl in the night.
the click-clack of claws.
the wail of a cat.
the footsteps of a man.
She thinks she’s alone.
She tries to keep it out of her mind.
as she takes her eyes off the doors.
as she double checks the locks.
as she hums prayers over the beads.
as he prowls upstairs in circles.
And lies down to get some sleep.
She tries to be calm.
but the hinges have cracks on them.
and the boards have marks.
she can hear his claws scratching at the floor.
his fangs gnawing at the supports.
Her heart constricts with any noise.
She hopes she can survive another night.
She stood atop the hill
a firm hand on the hilt
her breath withheld.
Their feet – echoes of distant thunder.
Their march – the beat of the Earth.
As they approached, she unsheathed her blade.
It was a weapon unlike anything he’d seen before.
As the setting sun caught the glitter of the hairs,
he realized it was no sword at all,
but the bow of a golden violin.
And in front of all his army,
she began to play.
Why do we focus our attention
on the details we don’t miss.
Abandon them in comprehension -
let us never reminisce.
Let these shadows through your door,
as your spirits take effect.
For while they’re sleeping on the floor –
they’ll be easy to dissect.
They’ll ask to stay a while longer
and you’ll oblige, for they’re no threat.
With your new-found knowledge, you are stronger -
you will remember, but not regret.
I sit under a tree. The park is deserted, save for a mute passerby or a focused cyclist. The ground feels hard but never have I felt this great a sense of tranquility.
It seems impossible now to find refuge from the perpetual claws of civilization, and yet here I sit, under my tree.
Gravity itself seems to pull me into an embrace, expecting me to join it at the Earth’s molten core. Only the compact soil under me prevents its desires. Still, its tug on my body deepens my state of relaxation.
As I rest my head against the tree bark, a beetle scuttles away before leaping and buzzing noisily to a branch above. Perhaps inspired by a distant bird’s song, it joins in the ballad and I close my eyes to enjoy their improvised masterpiece.
To the east, a confused cricket also seems to contribute a beat, joining in nature’s song. To the south, a wind laughs as it’s tickled by the youthful maple leaves. I can’t help but smile as well. Far to the north, a chick calls for its mother, while farther still, thunder grumbles amidst white clouds. The West brings sounds of distant lawnmowers and drills, disturbing my peace, and so I open my eyes.
Readjusting and inspecting my hands, which have been pressed against the blades of grass, reveal lines and symbols written in long-forgotten languages – nature’s hieroglyphs.
A squirrel dances up in the branches. Perhaps celebrating the bird’s and beetle’s performance, or perhaps searching for a place to store it’s loot for the distant winter. As it hurries by, its small legs set loose a few leaves that flutter down; supervised by a piece of bark. I pick up this canvas amidst the leaves and examine its long crooked bands – left over paint from a careful brush – resembling mountains of earth like the Himalayas, Kilimanjaro or Fuji. Possibly places the artist had previously visited.
It takes me only a while longer to realize my headache has dissipated.
I slowly stand up, putting a yellow plastic hat firmly on my head and nod: “We’ll build it here.”
The Villain and the Angel got together once,
around a poker table far in the back.
The Villain took out four aces and
the Angel was stuck with a jack.
And so he unzipped his wings from behind,
and threw them onto the cloth;
and the sky looked on with a cheerful smile
through cracked windows of mould and froth.
The Villain shoved the wings into a bag
and took them down to get pawned.
And with that money he bought a deck
of marked cards of which he was fond.
He returned to the game and offered to him
to “play for all that remains”.
And the sky would glance slyly down at both
from the high skyscraper panes.
It all ends the way it should always end -
as the choir begins to sing,
with the dragon killed, slain with a spear,
and the princess accepting the ring.
The Villain now peddles feathers all day;
sells down from the great Angel’s wings.
But the Angel still flies so high, high above,
Unaffected by all of these things.
So what is the moral of this story? Well,
I’d say that this fable has none.
One was born with horns in the fire, while
The other with wings in the sun.
How you were born is how you will die,
Looks like you’re needed that way,
to the sky, who looks over all of us
with such delight and dismay.
This is the song that was translated: