Friday, February 22, 2008

Neither Does the Moon

Even after all this time, the sun does not say to the Earth, “You owe me.” (Hafiz)

It hangs low like it knows

the too much on my mind.

It just hangs til you notice,

then carries its own skyward rise.

The moon is accustomed to loss:

single ant immolated by magnifying glass

in the hands of a much too eager six-year old.

Whole anthills, colonies as tall above ground

as they are below, drowned with greedy poisons.

Fresh water pearls fall down drains.

Cheeks are slapped, lies told,

languages unspoken, music unsung

into memory’s deepest chasm.

The moon will wait.

Weeks, eras, epochs:

not an ounce of impatience,

its whole and partial sheen

expecting nothing in return.

No reciprocity, no pat on the back

for the gravity of such witness

found nowhere on earth.

There was a time my daughter would stop breathing,

six seconds at a clip, over and over, all the while asleep.

Did the moon ever wake her?

Re-rhythm her breathing

to properly oxygenate

her baby brain?

No, that was the surgeon,

who removed the obstruction

and in its place, an absence

that rings her voice with the sound of tin.

Still moonBuddha rises each night,

not waiting in the sky

but weighting the whole improbable thing:

equanimity repleting the ink heavens,

as I make of myself a light.

(cc) Karen G. Johnston

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Simple Flesh

Not the perfect aim of a professional knife thrower.

Or golden ticket wrapped ‘round a Wonka bar.

Certainly not false promises of national security

through fascist or any other kind of might.

Not position, possession, or power;

neither immortality nor fountain of youth.

No single bullet in answer to terminal diagnosis

or wooden stake in the midst of marauding vampires.

Not penning the most perfectest poetic phrase ever turned.

Not the winning Powerball ticket

after months, ney, years, of no winners.

Or everlasting offering of full body massages

by the most adroit of all masseurs.

Not endless poker chips

for the tables at Caesar’s Palace

or immunity to Kryptonite or

the secret recipe for either KFC

or the philosopher’s stone.

Not the rescue of steady tow truck

for the 3 AM flat on deserted stretch of highway.

Not brass lamp with genie of three wishes.

Not fame, not fortune, not physical fortitude.

Not breakfast in bed for a hundred days,

accompanied by the waft of the copious lilac

from the neighbor’s backyard.

All I wish for is

the simple flesh

of being with someone

I love

when the end


(cc) Karen G. Johnston