Friday, April 3, 2015

Mediocre Meditations


When this was the music of the day,
did people flutter more?
Did they think in triads and trills
and grace notes?
Did they hum a twinkle tune
as they fried sausage
on the wood stove?

Life was harder then, wasn't it?
But did this violin or that harpsichord
ease the tightness of their corsets,
or the itchiness of their wigs?

Did the poor at the pub
loosen their stays before sipping stew,
warm their clogs by the fire
to a fiddle or a flute,
looser bits, but still in the style,
or the strum of a guitar?

The value of a human voice
is seldom exposed now
except in church.
Did they sing easier then,
the embarrassment balanced
by the need for sound?

Did slowness make it easier?
Was it really harder without TV
and radio commercials blaring?
Without tater tots and drive through food?
Did bread on the rise
and greens from the little plot out back
make it richer?

I've tasted those greens,
that bread.

A man made a table then, made it of wood.
There were no children on the other side of the world,
and it was not made of wood particles and glue.
Slavery has just changed its name.

Was it humbling to build your own,
grow your own, no exercise routine needed?
Butcher, baker, carpenter, maid.
Was the music leaven for them too?

The next day, 9:19am

Fog on the lake,
patches of blue sky
reflect off clear water.

Fish jump.

The ledge above me
to the North
is wrapped in gauze.

My boat hugs me
like a sleeping bag.

I hear people murmur
on the shore,
my paddle dripping,
birds singing,
geese muttering contentedness.

A dog barks.

Shore noise fades as I paddle West
to the far end of the lake.
Only the birds stay
and the dripping
of my paddle.

I am alone in my thoughts.
My mind settles,


Birds sing,
my paddle riffles the water,
droplets fall

and the sound of fog
touches tips of trees
as it dances
along the ridge.

Another day, 5:32am

When we're young, we run,
feeling wind in our hair.
Old now, we no longer run.
We only feel that a train
has rushed past
and we clutch to stay upright.

Were we supposed to be
on that train?
We can't remember,
but it seems so.

Other people wear beautiful dresses,
carry intelligent passion
on their faces.
We imagine large homes,
honor roll children.
They have hair that combs
just so.

But did any of them see
the way moss grows
in the cracks of this manhole,
the green bright against rusted iron?

Did they see how graffiti
is peeling in a spiral
like a galaxy?

Did they recognize joy
in the baby's face
as she was carried
by her mother,
and her curiosity
about all these people?

Did they find meaning
in the bloom of color
on a teenager's cheek
and a gleam in his eyes?

Did they listen frogs singing
in a swamp across the street,
a mating call?

Or did they feel a sigh
of coming spring
across their cheek?

Thank you for listening, jb

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