04/08/18

“swing baby swing…”
arms flung straight
aside
chin craned skyward,
genuflect in raucous air,
oh how we are best-loved
when flying
“as i start to sing…”
or rather spread
our aliveness out
like fingers of breath,
become a chatterchorus
of cacaphonic sound,
“your favorite song”
let’s fill up all open spaces today,
rush into the cracks
of our own sadness
we are honey beings
baby, “let’s go dancing
(aye)…”

melodies and play

[this is an impromptu poem i wrote during a service on creativity at all souls unitarian universalist church in tulsa, ok. i wrote the piece during that service, interspersing words and images therein, and then read the finished piece as the closing remarks. i hope you enjoy reading it as much as i enjoyed writing it!]

…and here is our standing

invitation

to come and play –

sleep has released us from its embrace

we have rolled lazily, groggily,

inventively into this day

spoons clink in coffee cups,

saxophones trade notes

with piano keys,

babies cry, dogs bark in the distance,

earth-breath of wind tickles the leaves.

we are part of the improvisational

symphony of living-

we paint it:

in ketchup on dinner plates,

in doodles in meeting agendas,

in finger traces across a lover’s cheek.

“the most elemental and in most

aspects of our being…”

connect us like a great

guitar string of consciousness

one to another, one in another,

we share in melodies of deep silence

and raucous laughter.

we dance it:

walking down the street,

stumbling tiredly into the supermarket,

hugging our loved ones.

if only we could see ourselves

in each moment

weaving and whittling new worlds

from the organic matter

of our oneness.

what color is your courage?

how will you choreograph

the dance of your

every single day?

build a fire in the form of memory

and let it guide us to new truths.

this is the day we’ve been given,

and the invitation is infinite.

you are never early or late,

the time is always now.

come.

come and play.

meta

childhood: the frailest thing we all fling.

a memory catalog, except all is symbolic.

divine sweet metaphorical moments and spirit-

biting bald sadnesses.

the only thing for which you can express

your dislike by saying it doesn’t exist.

never a dull moment.

there had to be,

but who remembers.

your childhood sat on a swing one day

and nothing much happened.

no bullies hurling a small body bloody akimbo.

no reaching treetops with sneaker-clad kicking feet.

just swinging.

why recall that when your adulthood

demands an archetype

of impermanence, of longing?

so many thousand leg-pumps away

from simplicity.

adulthood insists:

no kid on a swing is JUST a kid on a swing.

by 22 we’ve forgotten

how to leave anything to itself.

listen:

my childhood played with bugs,

favored the word “grody” over “gross.”

how many times did your childhood skin her knee?

how many times the scab only a scab?

did she eat it?

mine, maybe,

poked at tender dermises,

made a game of not letting a cut heal.

what metaphor there?

vote now on your phones.

this is the bored curiosity to which i’ll assign

all the relevance I wish was stored

in laundry days, direct deposits

(a kind of magic that makes my money a ghost)

or that time the boy you crushed so hard on

felt you up on a church pew

while two other youth groupers

hid, heard you slurp, pant,

confess virginity –

the ridicule a ritual,

you’ll later determine,

to prepare you for what adult thing?

almost any. from political convictions

to full-time employment

what if some shiny announcer

popped up shitgrinning at each

ambivalent spot in your young life,

snapped, “remember kids,

this might mean something someday!”

would anything change?

traumatize? metastasize?

would that girl you were,

skeakerfooted and scratched somewhere

(surely)

stiffen and drag her leg muscles to a stop

or just swing anyway?