Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility,
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam.

I dunno. I just don't do justice. Justice requires evil. I prefer compassion, which does not require indifference. It doesn't require anything. You can do it at home in your night-clothes. But maybe it's just that I know I'd never qualify as a just man. I am compassionate though. That's like falling off a log.

The Order Of Their Going

It was snowing in tiny flakes - 
albino gnats - today,
but the ground swallowed them.
Its dark wet tongue 
took them all. On the river

barges are dusted with snow; 
gulls are hunched on the pilings;
snag branches rise and fall
with the breath of winter. 

I gathered brass flakes as a peace-offering
and opened my shirt at the throat:
but it seems I am sorry 
for the wrong things, and in
the wrong order.


Zhoen said...

Compassion has been hit or miss for me, sadly. I do mind gross injustice, sticks and claws at me.

I understand about being sorry for the wrong things. Those who have wronged me always get that wrong as well.

marly youmans said...

Compassion seems to be ebbing... Too many "parties" and groups of people who demonize others, encouraged by the powers of the media.

Still pondering "brass." Feeling a bit dense.

Dale said...

I'm not at all sure what he was gathering, only that it had to be brass. Flakes just horned in on their own, migrating from the snow in the first stanza.

Thanks, both of you! I'll come back to this; I think there's a poem in there.

marly youmans said...

Yes, I could see that the flakes came from the snow... And probably did not signify some relationship or referring-back. But still want to figure out if the narrator is still in that landscape (I suppose) when he picks up the bits of brass, and I sort of want to know what the brass is shed from, if it is bits of something in particular or just unknown and on the ground, etc.

Dale said...

Such a clear image came of it, shirt collar open and hands overflowing with faux gold litter, like a gilded heap of the scales of fir cones.

marly youmans said...

Clearly it's important! I just want a wee bit (a flick) more if you can get it in.