Sunday, December 31, 2006
One of the gifts I received this Christmas was a book: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. In it he speaks of a new kind of politics, "that will reflect our lives as they are actually lived. It won't be prepackaged," he writes, "it will have to be constructed from the best of our traditions and will have to account for the darker aspects of our past. We will need to understand just how we got to this place, this land of warring factions and tribal hatreds. And we'll need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences, just how much we share: common hopes, common dreams, a bond that will not break."
So. Saddam is history. We survived bad spinach and mad cows, Borat, and Brittany. We saw the resignation of Rummy. We saw the Democrats win in both the House and the Senate. This week, the last of 2006, we saw the 3,000th soldier die in Iraq. Obama writes: "I am not naive enough to believe that one episode in the wake of catastrophe can erase decades of mistrust. But it's a start."
Tonight, lets all do our various little happy dances for 2007, for the audacity to hope that 2007 will be better than 2006. I am full. Let me stay like this forever, lullabyed by family, by friends, by an unrolling of irrevocable love and intoxicant life. I hold it as carefully as mortal fingers will allow. Thanks.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
They kept on playing
I asked them to stop
but they kept on playing
the gig inside the black hole
of my eyeball
this eye here
Okay China White be warned
I say a full arm's length away
full of love and grief
before we're all blasted
away with your unholy vision
where the bone archangel Samhain
and his pig initiates
in a spray of blood
square across the jaw
crucify Christ again
on the wings of a U.S. bomber
(an imperfect cross
to the four corners of the earth
and climbing above the stillborn bodies
of seven unnamed Jewish babies
rotting in the sun)
but everyone dies
my son arm in arm
I say even the aborted suicide
he won't let himself be talked to
there ain't no fuckin freedom here
he shrieks insisting on
the final blessing of L'Artiste
finding himself alone in the fire
he keeps playing
keeps playing with the red stub
of his tail
and all the rats of hell
blink their garnet eyes while
he plays they sing
Saturday, December 23, 2006
FIRST, THERE WAS A BREAKING OF WATERS
Once wast Thou born of Mary's womb;
And now, newborn from out the Tomb,
O Christ, Thou bidd'st us rise with Thee
From death to immortality.
Rex Sempiterne Caelitum
First, there was a breaking of waters,
like every other birth,
and pain, before the first cry.
There was a star, perhaps a supernova
spilling fluorescent gases into the void,
perhaps a confluence of planets -- whatever...
whatever, His first words may have been Egyptian,
but the Jewish schoolboys, He among them,
circled at the Rabbi's feet, learned Torah,
learned sacrifice, and love, and loss.
He drew us in by blood, by suffering;
every one of us balancing in air, all newly-blossomed, and Reborn.
WISHING YOU WARMTH IN YOUR HEART, PEACE IN YOUR HOME, AND EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IN YOUR LIFE.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Nothing travels like light does--
no earthly stuff can be
so fine and fast.
millenniums past, and
nor Einstein yet
to reflect what light is--
(Said Einstein, "Give your friend a flashlight,
turn it on, watch him run and measure it,"
far down amoung so many other lights).
What were the questions asked
by shepherds (a mere instant ago
as fluid time is measured
at the velocity of light) in Judean fields,
figures shaken out of sleep by a stream of Joy
in particles and waves of white and gold and rose
starlight bending itself at last in air
above some dazzled sheep and goats,
illuminating rocks, and hoofprints among the brush, and ragged tents.
Now "clearsighted" as Cezanne,
who once told his friend Emile Bernard the secret
of truly seeing is "to get
to the very heart of what is before you," the shepherds
follow it to the crib where it illuminates
we get "to the very heart"
of what is before us, and we're "clearsighted" as Cezanne,
as those shepherds! Imagine:
the Baby's newborn cry resounds across the universe
lit with a hundred billions of fires,
bridging for us this immense gulf between
and everlasting dark.
Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and J.M. Apellaniz (IAA, Spain)
Monday, December 18, 2006
Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy...
This beautiful Christmas angel has graced the top of our tree every year since 1975, when our second-grade son brought her home from school. Note the lovely golden ringlets, the gold belt, the lace-and-roses hem of her skirt, her shining golden wings, and her jeweled crown! (Then, if you can, notice her blue lips and her vampire teeth. This is part of what makes her so special.) Only a second-grade boy....
...on earth peace, good will to men!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
South, at Tenochitlan is blue
As water, indigo or azure as chalchihuites
Thrown into the temple mortar,
Is the season of rain, and life,
And wet sky.
East is the red son of the flowery wars,
The moon-sister of Huitzilopochtli, slain
And dismembered on the hill of Coatepec,
And her thin, red-nailed hands.
North is black as the volcanic disks
Of his stone eyes, black as the abyss
Of the executioner's block.
The west is white as the sickness
Of her death, white as the bones
Of her children, fishbones,
The bones of frogs and the skulls
Of feathered serpents.
Their colors shine with an
The holiness of direction
Excavated two meters below
Street level at the corner of Guatemala
(This is an old one, from The Book of Fours)
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Did you see this in yesterday's newspaper? What is it? Turns out, after X-rays and much speculation, that this is a mechanical computer of "an accuracy thought to be impossible in 80 B.C." when the Greek ship it was on sank. It's about the size of a large book, and its "sophisticated technology" was thought not to exist for another 1,000 years. Its wheels and gears make it a portable orrery of the sky.
Friday, December 01, 2006
We woke up this week to a yard full of snow! And it's soooo c-o-l-d! Yesterday morning the temperature was 4 degrees! By afternoon it had warmed up to 25. Could be worse, I know. Our roads are clear, and it's really pretty. Last night the kids went sledding down at the hill, then came over to decorate our tree, and we had pizza for dinner. The boys sang "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" while they worked, something they both must have learned in their preschool classes. It was fun. Hope you are all getting into the holiday spirit!