All those little seeds littering
The ground, the dirty sky, the ripples
Of the lake, the boulders and
The rough bark, the rough stipples
Of thoughts that do not reach peace,
It is, for sure, one, that
Creates, in your visible
Night sky, the indigo,
Without it you grow ill, you
Require intubation, your clothes
Are strewn, your volumes are askew.
This was the story of your mother,
It is the story of the boy
Who doesn’t speak your language.
There is an ocean and a buoy.
You do not see the ocean and
You do not hear the buoy. The ships
Sail. You know the feeling of
The deck, the rearings and the dips.
A wave is coming, it is ten
Stories high, otherwise,
You never would have been so brave
To see that beauty with your eyes.
If you leave the small mountain
And the stream, you’re liable
To find yourself inside a maelstrom,
The light is unreliable,
It congeals and becomes crumbling clay.
And when the yellow light turns white
And water streams in the sandy channel,
The desert is lit by a meteorite.
He forgot that his body was a part of him.
And so he ate it. He thought it was grass.
Well, at least that kept him sane--
He said, “that’s not me, that there morass.”
And he didn’t feel the thrill of the grizzly
Bear about to rip off someone’s
Face. But he and his friends tottered
About on crumbling skeletons.
It will be fine when the lion, the leopard,
The wolf, the snake, the bear and their friends
Come back to the table. “Can you pass the salt?”
The seal looks at you, extends
A flipper. The giraffe no longer kicks,
So why not be friends? I feel better already.
Everything that was stolen from me,
My God, for so long, and now I feel steady.
The music is only there because
You hear it here. Otherwise,
It’s just a load of metal noise.
The shores of an ocean crystallize.
Whatever the gull wants, squabbling
On the beach, sometimes—often--
It’s amazing what people toss away.
Sometimes the hero is there in the coffin.
The giant tramps back and forth. Finally,
He is aware of his brain and how his spine
Spills black life, and in his brain
An ingot with its own design.
If you’re thirsty, have a drink.
There are two kinds, you know, one
Is on the shelf, and the other is
Below the counter. So you’ve begun
To look around, to switch on lights.
Sometimes, you don’t even know that
You’re thirsty, so keep alert. Worse,
You’ll crawl and twist the thermostat
Because you’re ill, you never figured
You’re ill because you’re dry, you’re dry
Because you emulated pocket mice,
So drink, then help some passersby.
Sit down there, and stay alert,
And soon you’ll see it born, you’ll see
Some movement—it’s still hidden then--
It takes some steps, unexpectedly
It was hidden, now it’s in
The light. What do you think? Or
Feel? Note everything. Record
What it does France and Baltimore.
The truth is your soul, and your soul is in
The primal thought, your form comes
Before the first electron and neutron,
Before the first deliriums.
But the nature walkers in Worcestershire
Take the form of the cumulus cloud
And turn it into thoughts,
Until at night they cry aloud.
Your words come from the primal thought,
The clouds come and go, melt
And shine with silver light, the walkers
Sketch their impressions, heartfelt.
You see a form that has no lines
A color not confined to any
Spectrum. That should introduce
You to the one before the many.
All he wanted was to leave
His traveling bag and find himself
Elsewhere, preferably as high
As possible, as north as Guelph.
She, on the other hand, wanted to set
Aside those material brushes and carve
Statues with her mind and shine light,
Even if she had to starve,
And meanwhile, not too far away,
A hot air balloon in the shape of a brain
Left behind the hills of Surrey,
But still could hear the wailing of Cain,
And on Jupiter, cloud built upon cloud,
Thick and waxy, a thousand miles
Above the start of a storm that threatened
To raze its bluffs and defiles.
And the reservoir was drained, the dam
Walls cracked, mold began to show,
Until the rain began to fall,
At last, gentle, soft, and slow.
Yaacov David Shulman