PRAYER FROM A PARENT
It was almost impossible to recognize him at the morgue.
He had been shot so many times
he looked like the rag toy our dog drags around..
I couldn’t believe another human being
could fire so many bullets in someone
who lay helpless on the ground.
Was it because he stuck out his tongue?
Or lunged at him the way the principal did?
My son was feisty and just—
yes, at six he was just,
“that’s not fair” his favorite quote.
Our house still rings with his voice.
He was trying out all ways of becoming—
from jet pilot to jockey.
I know there is no way to get over his death,
but just one thing I beg of you, Lord,
do not let him lie still, do something with him.
Please God, do something special with him.
To remember the slain children at Sandy Hook Elementary School
FLY BY NIGHT
A large transport of the first order older than day hovers over the earth
like a stealth bomber programmed to make scheduled or emergency
landings to receive those prepared those surprised a giant vacuum to eliminate the overflow of guests sucking from them their last breath
seizing them gently permitting no more in breaths or out breaths
lifting each one into its maw before the craft soars past school yards
past fields at harvest past the sun setting seemingly slowly
over grasses hardly noticing a chill in the black moonless air
dark intruder dropping carcasses on every continent every sea
not registering myriad dreams souls may have dearly held until this.
IT TOOK THIS
Is it good to lose one’s way is it inevitable in the sense that there is a way to know it is to lose it like falling off a wire from the Empire state building to
the Brooklyn Bridge if that were possible to rig like our lives you are not
entering Manhattan you are entering a valley still a valley fold of two fields
once home to cows the cow pasture once contained a bull at whom
you could shake red bandanas expecting him to charge that
was the adventure on that piece of road now quietly but vertically looking beyond the fields at the valley the river and the bridge not in view but
crossed so often they are implied the child who walked this road school day after school day knew the same things she knows now
a desire for the road to become potato chips a couple of nasty terriers
to not run down from the top of the hill to challenge her or bite
saving the greatest challenge for home where she took a snack a straight line to her room homework inside outside impossibly changed
an open window revived freedom she lost when she entered the front door how can that be so confused how can that be she can not make
the inside work others and there were others walked up the hill to the house entered the house stayed a short time in the house went out again
all the others there were others came inside were not suffocated by the closed in house is not true they knew they could take it
a short while then they left without more poison some canker some worm
of disease or disgust each of the others felt or sensed a lostness
they could pretend to cover up and not speak of a language so suspect
she would spend night and day trying to make her way inside its
cavernous structure finding in Turkey her soul so like Capadocia
much later when the fields and the road become flatter when her own breathing became more regulated when the terriers died when the
enormous foot she witnessed stepping on the marble step at the top of the hill before the graveled not paved road dives rises again to her house the
enormous marble bleeding flesh foot unleashed a waterfall to flood the back of the hill with some ablutionary will some absolutionary power
unstoppable grace took place outside on a road a road she knew it would take this to appease her child’s uncompromised memory not changing
what goes on inside but perhaps suggesting new possibilities for this pain
a largeness that even those lost in it and because of it found unfathomable.
After eleven years in a verbal draught did they swoop down on you
announce their presence were you supposedly dead or in a stupor any sign
of epilepsy or concussion were angels in vogue so to speak there were fairies thought to inhabit important centers but angels those creatures who keep a
barrier if you will between simple mortals themselves like Seraphim who accompany God perhaps in nine orders of celestial beings there was a level
not terribly busy much less rigor in their dealings with man who came to you really touched you not just imagined by your huge seasoned desire to be
touched again she was out of the picture you were ahead of her parting
had bid adieu but those angels the grace gravitas of those angels can not be
over stated in your poems I for one keep being drawn to them as a need to be drawn to some magnetism some power glory we felt at one time or another
we were capable of still feel that thrall whether emotion or deed as our definition of being there is more I will return when I come or came back it is
always to you you are larded under the skin or injected into the blood stream
of language a cry crye of tears tears the poignant ever-pointed thorn into
there just there the place of ever-desired pure event not happening ever-not
happening ever-aware of absence and desire thorn turns needles
so angels who dwell in painless ether become solace powerful creatures we adore who ignore us wholly having wings
move away from the trial of the human yet who in rare instances not having completed the separation recall desires’ desire instantly
plummet headlong to the ground not to die but to walk or creep
leaden bedraggled on the surface of earth stripped of their higher elevation.
LE VIANDE EST TENDRE
Beaucoup de dire de lire de fear mais le viande est tendre et c’est
le plus important choix que je parle maintenant comprendez vous
all this could be turned on its head this is what we have to go on but consider it culd/wuld will be different when we meet the ones
who have been in flight a million or more years measured in instants by those who are coming who have seen us before we see
them they will add to the surprise of being they will have their own ways not because they are true but because they work they are
here for what purposes we have yet to discover they are not the only ones they and others will divine us by the heat of our
hearts they will be surprised some of us are so cold so unable to
walk forward to greet them after such a long journey it appears
they too are poets speaking in terms that shock alive all they see
and touch they have no idea of leader so well they work together
they have no idea of religion so well they know miracle they have no gender but a profound practice that celebrates seed and egg
within each when it is time for creating new ones what do they
look like to us which is not how they look like think of a candle
flickering in the night sometimes still three separate colors blue yellow white that is they as they come to us and sail out of sight.
WATER PAINT CREAM
You might as well say rose sweater hamburger what pin point part
of the brain keeps analogies and metaphors whirring in their boxes
associating pears sandwiches soup but not two days after your 1%
milk his and her soy milk his and her cereal a look at me dumbfounded
wounded like a dog helpless to go any farther but shit hit the fan
the morning after you cooked flounder or was it cod went to bed never
got up the same again as the blood was flowing coagulated from your
heart to your head later much later two days later we would learn to
your iliac arteries your femeral arteries your popliteal arteries your anterior
tibial femeral posterior tibial arteries in your calves to your feet
no one knew until so much damage was waged on your body
Dr Conrad and staff had to siphon out clots for six hours like dredging
canals of near solid and liquid matter to let fresh blood flow again
this we think had been going on for some time so dense was the clotting
what is left after sewing up what could be sewn a human’s desire to be
human to be able to understand what birds cats camels have in common
what pears sandwiches soup have in common what planes taxies bicycles have in common what water paint cream have in common
but to this day you look foreign to you and me when I say rose sweater
hamburger is this so strange to the part of the mind which connects
which sees connections among things that not to see those connections
leaves one standing in to look around as if for one’s self an enormous
theft committed in the dark after a blow to the brain from
a damaged heart a flood of coagulated impersonal blood.
a damaged heart a flood of coagulated impersonal blood.
© Fan Ogilvie