Sunrise, late winter
playful otter, too.
The white heron
a great blue,
in the abandoned beaver pond.
its long-awned achenes
in globose heads
spidery, fiery, extravagant fruit!
To identify or classify
the complexity or beauty
of their songs.
what is over that
ridge or hill
a sink-hole, a sand dune, a steep bluff.
What must I do. Organize
the heretofore unorganized. The rabble
of unemployed child abusers.
Molesters of their intimates.
Are there dysfunctional bird families?
Simply put, they do not survive.
We have hope
that everyone alive is essential,
consequential. We classify
The commonplace and everyday
What happens everyday?
Morning is quiet, everyone at work.
Home writing, watching birds.
Afternoon, kids come back from school.
Evening, watch tv.
Scotch and Star Trek.
Captain Picard's problems eclipse
ours who stayed behind.
Pray to Allah
and maybe he will spare you
when he sets the world
Where or with who
will I be on that day?
And how many people and adventures
will I find in the wind storm and rubble?
I may live, but will it matter
whether or not I help anyone else to live?
This is no Last Judgement.
Those who have learned or who still know how to live
Nobody will go to hell, they will just die.
There is no limbo either.
Anyone who didn't find a way to be immortal is just dead.
So, what am I trying to do.
Organize the unemployed, the welfare mothers
into a flying chevron of purposeful explorers?
The doctor's conscious, organized,
naive attempt to do good,
his legacy, versus the randomness
of the road and the war zone.
There his legacy is his rectitude and natural
rough compassion for the damaged people
he encounters. The difference
between planning a legacy
as if you knew enough to control events
and letting the legacy arise
from events themselves, controlling,
insofar as you are able, only
your own actions and reactions.
The doctor's leadership role such as it was
grew out of not his material possessions
like the car
but his mission, his personal quest
to find the young doctors he had naively trained
and sent into the war zone
where all died.
July-a cold city
not as great or as gritty
as I thought, summer theater left
the shoe shine bereft of customers
eyes cold as a bureaucrat's
except for our soles
and their leather. Sweat-soaked
girls, the beautiful ones left town.
Emotionless as a bus.
Sparrows, no chickadees.
All that's important happens indoors.
Exercise to philosophies.
You get what you see.
The panhandlers ask
just once, won't risk
No sale today
in the finite city
where, for the shoe shine,
pedestrians are infinite, times two shoes.
Faith = wait + trust.
But don't anticipate.
Popper prohibits prediction.
Niebuhr expects destruction.
I believe in God
doesn't mean there's a sketch
of a man in my head. It must mean
all will be well in the end.
Satisfied with snow
or summer. And now
with dying old or younger.
Gold or paper clips. Gulps or sips.
In the final resting place
in the city of the dead
are there all night card games
and sometimes open swims?
Each inch, square, or cube of Earth
brim with grasses and sedges, dragonflies and spiders, sparrows and eagles.
The tiger lily and the water lily and the lily of the valley, the calla lily.
When a girl on a bicycle smiles, that is a smile.
Copyright 2001 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.