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Nowness | Poem


The generator purrs in the clapboard shed,

Like a very large and angry cat,

I raise a cigarette to my 45 year old lips,

Puffing it, I raise my 45 year old eyes

           To the gray sky opening beyond the lakeshore trees;

Hearing the not-so-far-off,

Not-so-high-up sound of a large airplane,

I wonder at its course, grind out the cigarette,

Look at the radio as though it were a tv,

           I raise the coffee cup to my lips,

Between bouts of finger-dancing on the plastic keys

          ON THIS MACHINE;

Insecticides sprayed to control grasshopper infestations

           (grasshoppers that kill fields of food for humans)

Also kill the honeybees who pollinate those fields

       of food for humans;

(If humans ate grasshoppers for food!)

I sit and wonder...

As I often do,

At the sometimes turmoil in my heart,

Yet, by mystical steps,

Taken sometimes nervously over many years now,

I have finally attained to the child,

That I truly wanted to be,

And in my adult years,

Let me be the boy loving honeybees,

And no matter, now, that I know exactly why,

And in my dying hour,

Let my hands fall to the sweet pastures,

Where long ago was born,

This sometimes tortured trail,

Through the Land of all my dreams;

Let me die with a single hope upon my heart,

To know the way was steep and wild,

That I might, for the better of it,

Have the very longest sleep,

'til then, I keep my vigil prayers,

My hands upon these keyes,

And a bucket of fresh well-water,

Close by the arbor vine.

- Michael Warren Eliseuson