Nothing against you,
crystal skulls and pyramids,
sweat lodges and vision quests,
Tarot cards and Zodiac; you’ve served
It’s just that your creators are long dead
and your current slavish fans
still assume you mean more
than any other option we’re given
for understanding our place among
the things of this world. As if they couldn’t
find peace and meaning
in the random jumble of socks in a drawer
or the shadows of skyscrapers
knifing across downtown streets
if they tried. Every jammed closet
is a cathedral if you know
how to pray in it. Each time clock
offers a mantra in its solid clunking down upon
a dreary card. It’s not like
the Great Intelligence of the Universe
was absent when those things were created,
after all; the web of prophecy is splendid
precisely because it is all-inclusive,
with the profane and the sacred
being indistinguishable at close range.
When the ancients are called upon
to tell us where we’re heading, they must ask themselves:
Who are these frightened people
who do not understand how to make do
with what’s right under their noses, cobbling together
a peephole into time from whatever is close at hand?
We lifted strange clear rocks from the dirty ground
whenever we found them. We took a deck of cards
we’d used for gambling and sorted them to see
if how they fell could tell us how we might fall.
When the king died, we cut and piled rocks
until they lined up with stars and sighted along them
so we could see where he was headed. And in the dark
low dome of a hut covered in skins,
we poured cold water over the hearth,
drew in the steam, blew it out again
to mingle the Inner with the Outer;
something we did every day, anyway,
every time we cooked or bathed. All we did
to meet our God was add a little attention
to the mundane. Shape a little something
just a little bit more carefully than normal.
All we did to meet God
was look for God.
We trusted that
we wouldn’t have to look far.
Since we’re attending to the mundane: In regards to the 30/30, this makes 52 poems this month. Not all were posted, so you’ll just have to trust me.
Still not a haiku among them.