Thursday, June 21, 2012

Retreat of the Angels

Potencies and powers
recede over the pines;
empty pale spaces where the sky
hales back.

I fold one arm over the other,
and my hands fall warm on either triceps.

Without thinking I work the muscle fibers,
search for sore spots. It's my job.
Put your bare feet in my lap

and, absently, my thumbs will burrow
for deep aches in between the metatarsals,
while my fingers spread them open like a book.

Read this: the history of our kind. Sapolsky says
if a baboon is unhappy, it is because 
some other baboon is making its life a misery.

We do not think hard enough.
We do not sit down, like Shakyamuni,
and say: “why suffering?”

And why we don't sit down is easy enough:
because we already know the answer:
because we don't care enough to stop
miserabling each other. Simple as that.

The hands of the last morning clouds
open to the wind, are blown away;
the blue folds into itself,

its intention curdles. We have not changed.
The angels
keep up their long retreat.


Dale said...

1. "Shakyamuni" is the historical Buddha, Siddartha Gautama. "Buddha" properly speaking is a generic term meaning "awakened one": there are lots of buddhas in Buddhist tradition.

2. Robert Sapolsky is a neurologist and primatologist at Stanford, the man who wrote "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" and "A Primate's Memoir." Not sure where exactly he said that, and the quotation is probably inexact.

Sabine said...

oh yes, indeed. You hit a spot there, Dale.