Space and Dexterity

October 22, 2016

Those times, you know, when your fingertips and feet know just how to move, threading chores through keyholes, they make me feel like something’s right in this vibratory volume I call the verse, multi or uni, your choice.
Science (whoever that may be) says there aren’t billions but trillions of galaxies. Like, “Oh gee, my mistake. I was off by a few numbers.” How do they know? What kind of telescope discovered those extra billions or so? Or is it just math again. They figured…

I figure it’s all speculation. One thing that’s not, there’s life elsewhere. I’ve no doubt. Too many space holes to hide out in, gazillions of light years away. If a sound wave from this planet reached another life form, perhaps our planet would have already vanished into dust, burnt to the core, scrapped and disbanded in katrillions of dust particles. 

That’s one presidential hopeful’s solution to global warming. Let’s just wait it out for a few billion years until the sun burns us up and see what to do then. We’re all going to die some day. Okay.

But tonight, here in my small corner of the planet, I moved through my work tasks like memory, so familiar and easy to summon up. Everything I touched folded or unwound itself by my expert manipulation, my keen dexterity. I folded, washed, wiped and capped like a pro, just like I had done it thousands of times before.

Oh wait I have.  

Pixabay: milky way and andromeda

A Child Grows Weary

A child grows weary and crooked in her 

furrowed family’s embrace.

Unhappiness long etched lines in their faces,

Trace gashes from daggers honed by meaningless jobs, 

Repetitive steps, thoughts and temple-rubbing or hair

Pulling to fill gas tanks and pantries,

Emptiness in the earning, gathering, and slipping

Through grated fingers, past throbbing hearts’ content, 

Devalued and alone, lost in dreams of stopping, 

Just ceasing: road-miles, emails, phone calls, pulling here

Pushing now over there, back there again, counting up, down,

Eager for a weekend collapsed– to create a moment, 

Build a tower, topple a sand castle, and rub sea granules

through the sensitive skin dipped between outspread toes.

A child might misunderstand her father’s misery, her

Mother’s edges on especially rough days. 

A child might suffer, sliced and bled,

Her joy punctured by worry, burden and weighty 

Unbelievably unknowable interminably slow sinking

Beyond her breath-leaking life raft.

Photo: Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother

Jackhammer Song

An idling chain saw keeps rhythm with my back room dancing patter, 

Squaring tables and chopping fruit, two-stepping rectangle long sides

Coloring clear plastic eye-catching berry reds, blues and bumble-black.

Jackhammers turn my thoughts to you, muscle striata crisscrossing

A bare back strained in full throttle and thrust, arms braced at angles.

Broken concrete, that’s what it felt like after I was, you know, set free,

Like nowhere to stand for fear of falling again, in ankle-wrenching cracks.

But there they are to remind me, the construction workers–building–

Repairing the road, pipes or walls, I cannot know from here inside, hearing

And dancing as if I had rhythm or grace, as if I had time to notice and laugh.

Nail guns most certainly sound like giant mutant Swinglines on steroids, 

Though no paper stacks so deeply to need stapling, no two-bit bound book,

No, not like the one written to the back of my mind on scraps of bent memory,

Built to last, survive trapped steps danced in a backward line, shot-gun stapled

To the tar in my veins slick and crumble, hardened to the yielding roadway.

The steady machine hum and buzzle constant signal hard hat quitting time.

I hear the spooling of cords and wires rubber squeezed shut like garden hoses

Half circle’d serpentine in yard corners dark and dewy til Sunday mowing comes.

Only hard heads too entrenched in imaginary ditches to quit stay up to feed night

While sweat-stains run down shower drains of fixers and makers gone home.

By the time I turn keys, write pages, push pens on paper, close covers cleaned,

Those early rising sun greeting gritty orange vested denizens of asphalt and dust

Will have set their alarms to pillows, snores, grunts and swear to the sucking stars.

And tomorrow’s dance of rattle and ear-shattering drum will resume without me.

For maybe this night the secrets to staying will keep me there beyond the walls.