Daily Archives: February 16, 2010

Elsewhere Is Holy, Here is Profane

Worshipful
of the elsewhere,
fully subservient
to the pervading otherness
of being here
and not
where I say I want to be,
I seek my safety
in being absent from
the life I imagine I want.

If I had what I desire,
I’d have to live up to
my own expectations.
Instead
I play rogue, renegade,
proud
in my sloth, blaming fate
for my inability
to achieve.

“Be Here Now,”
the sage admonishes me.
“Here, Now,” I reply,
“is not where I am best suited
to Be.”   “Be Here Now,”
he says again.  This time I refuse to
answer, my eyes fixed
on the horizon, not seeing that my feet
already have long, gnarled roots
that reach down for miles into
this dry, much-reviled soil.

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American Dog Song

Oh, you American dogs —
barking, loving, tongue dangling
boys, sweet mongrel girls
at our feet:

you don’t care who we vote for,
our politics, our positions
on abortion
or limited government;

you do care if we don’t come home
from a war, or if we don’t feed you
well and let you become gaunt,
even homeless when the money falls short;

yet even then you will leap at us
when we call and love us without reservation
on this stolen, damaged land we call
our own.  We call you “our own” too,

but truly, you are your own tribe
and your rites are observed wherever
you find yourself: the chasing of tails,
the lying down anywhere,

the inappropriate things that are eaten,
the public sex, the loudness, the happy
earthy stink of you being yourselves without
any thought…oh, it’s no real wonder you love us,
you American dogs; no wonder at all.

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