Monday, April 11, 2011

IN QUEST OF THE FIELD OF DIAMONDS


Despite my best efforts, I keep drifting toward meaning.
It takes effort not to take part in conspicuous leaning

In one rhetorical direction or another,
Taking care as well not to insult your cousin or your mother.

I want a yellow ball to fall from the April sky
And land near my feet, but not on them—I'd cry

If that happened—and break open, revealing a secret
That allows me to shake hands with an egret

Or egret monkey, which yeah, is a real thing I assure you.
I have no reason to tell lies that aren't true.

This reminds me of the time I went roaming
Through the ugly parts of Queens without a map or homing

Pigeon to guide me, just a regular one
Who was just as lost as I was. That was fun.

Later, I lost that day, if you can believe it.
No biggie. I have little motivation to retrieve it.

That's just the way it goes sometimes—
You lose a day now and then—but other times

You pick up a day you never knew you had.
Sometimes this is pleasant news, sometimes it's bad.

"Oh well, what are you gonna do?" you may say.
"What can I do in this life, besides call 'Mayday! Mayday!'"

I used to think about that myself, back when
To think was to act, and Mark laid down his life-torch to take off the big fur coat. The next instant he had toppled over, almost in a faint, and, had he not fallen so that his head was near the small perforated box on the end of the steel rod, whence came the life-giving gas, the lad might have died.
          He had forgotten, for the instant, the necessity of always keeping the torch close to his face to prevent the poisonous gases of the moon from overpowering him. Mark soon revived while lying on the ground, and, rising, with his torch in his hand, he looked about him.
          "I've got to have my two hands to work with," he mused, "and yet I've got to hold this torch close to my face. Say, a fellow ought to have three hands if he's going to visit the moon. What can I do?"