Friday, August 2, 2013

Today's Miracle During Which
The Hero Bravely Holds On
Long Enough To Be Saved


Mourning has its joys
by the side of a garden grave
in a moment's freedom
when the veil disappears
and longing allows reunion
with the longed-for
in spirit and in memory
a miracle sweeter than life
because it embraces also death.

That moment today goes a'wandering
expanding into tender quest
for a new garden rock
that leads the mourner
freely off the woods path
to a still creek sidewater
where a struggle to survive
is well underway.

Underneath a sinewy juniper
a big green caterpillar
its fuzzy back still dry
floats in a small patch of water
on its long thick belly
its myriad legs mightily
paddling in place
within a green algae mat
a foot or so from shore
heaving its back upward
over and over again
attempting to free itself
from its daunting predicament.
its lunges a prayer for escape
up and down
front to back
its desperation sending
tiny waves breaking
through the green mat
providing glimpses
of the dark water below
as its great strength sags
its back's urgent arch
creates attention for its plight
sending ripples into the unknown.

Underneath a low juniper bough
(Had it been caterpillar's perch?)
lodged at the cusp of bank and water
a flat limestone rock
whitened by the sun
and smoothed by creek flow
is gripped by the mourner
and dipped through the algae
to become raft
on which valiant caterpillar
rises from one destiny to another
borne from the creekside
its metamorphosing form
spent relaxed and flying
through the Spring air
to higher and dryer landing
under a cousin juniper.

Once caterpillar has recovered
and inched elsewhere
the limestone raft
will again be transposed
and placed carefully nearby
the garden of the grave
of the longed-for
where perhaps one day
when narcissus is blooming
a certain strong-winged beauty
will pay a visit.


The Fork in the Road to the Stork or the Toad

Old stork’s a good friend
bringing me my next of kin
girl boy scale of ten
joy hope win win

Where goeth cousin toad
hopping round its damp abode
disappearing by the load
croaking as its sky erodes

Every mile that we go
takes us with it in its flow
to the fork in the road
to the stork or the toad

Old stork’s soaring high
with driven gleam in its eye
slinging gifts across the sky
like Santa on a contact high

Hear toad croaking loud
a mating call to do it proud
used to be it drew a crowd
quiet now its head is bowed

Every night and every day
we are pulled along the way
to the fork in the road
to the stork or the toad

As stork takes the well-loved path
we all add up, we are the math
floating in placenta bath
borne by flying psychopath

Toad takes a different road
passing lawns too green and mowed
passing fields of poisons sowed
with its cracked genetic code

Every mile we begin
takes us only further in
toward the fork in the road
to the stork or the toad

Stork stork who art thou
come on out and take a bow
come on out and tell us how
you become a sacred cow

Listen toad and you will hear
how all of life is held so dear
just procreate and have no fear
ignore the chance your time is near

As we sit and breathe in traffic
could it really be more graphic
at the fork in the road
to the stork or the toad

Life is strong it will survive
says the stork in overdrive
never mind the empty hive
mutations will keep us alive

Ribbit ribbit gasp and choke
is that some kind of killing joke
laugh it up you can have my toke
I’ll be in my toxic soak

As our world tumbles around
can you almost hear the sound
from the fork in the road
to the stork or the toad

Old stork’s not to blame
works hard for its good name
just bringing life though all the same
a vacation wouldn’t be a shame

Old toad’s breathing hard
drying up in your back yard
frying in the sun like lard
flattened like a playing card

Every day, every night
brings us nearer to the sight
of the fork in the road
to the stork or the toad

Can’t we all just get along
honked the storks in surround song
life goes on, it can’t be wrong
and you know we all belong

Tell that to toad I’d say
as it whiles its time away
as the time becomes the day
when toad becomes a memoray

As we come to the fork
to the toad or the stork
do we pause at our choice
do we ever give it voice
do we use our mental torque
or stand there like a dork
have we wondered at our plight
can we flee is there flight
do we plea do we fight
at the fork in the road
for the stork and for the toad

Our choice is more than either or
if a window shuts bust out the door
go around and break some glass
break through the roof
break through the floor
get off your ass
get off your ass

Larry Piltz, 2007
In the Year of Our Toad

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