“The word fire,” says Sensei,
“does not burn your lips.”
But say, Sensei, that the word fire
Burns your heart, the heat rising
Through your neck, and, yes,
Singeing your tongue on the way out?
What if the word eagle
Makes you feel like soaring,
All the while tethered to your
Earth-born dreams, that seem only to rise
Or the word dying, though it seems a lie,
Still feels dark and wet, not exactly cold,
But too thick for that?
I think, Sensei, that even your
Ancient schemes cannot touch
Your finger points only to a place
Where the moon might have been
I know something of making, and I’m here to tell you
If the world was made by some grand carpenter
Somewhere there’s a corner
To which all the error has been pushed
Some joint not quite square
Some depth not quite plumb
Some dark unknown fluke
Covered deftly with cosmic caulk
And one hell of a paint job
…the universe is a big place, where improbable things happen all the time. Look at you.
– John Matson
At its deepest core
Reality is mere chance
A riot of bubbles boiling
And bursting, all unguessed
Unless the ever disappearing
Always borning bodies flung
Into pointless being, seething
In the cosmic whistling teakettle
Unless by the grace of improbability
By statistical nethering whimsy
By the merest intractable stroke
We come back for the next moment
How odd, when teacher becomes pupil.
How startling, when a depth of meaning
Lay on the surface all along.
Wisdom, it’s said, is indistinguishable
From farce in the fullness of youth
Or unmitigated age, bent on redemption.
Could it be we’ve seen all of it?
No use adding footage to pore over
In search of cheap salvation.
There, written on a careless breeze
Was the whole of it,
Gone until the next moment.
I went down to the beach in sworls
Longing for sun-bound benediction,
The binding waves’ delight
I went down to the beach in fancy,
The souls of a billion stars
Shone in the sand-blown wind
I went down to the beach in breathless,
Red-green ancient charts
New sprung each forgotten day
I lost my footprints
Without a glance