Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Acid - March 30, 2010

In Jakarta,

among the venders

of flowers and soft drinks,

I saw a child

with a hideous mouth,


and I knew the wound was made

for a way to stay alive...

once in a while you can creep out of you own life

and become someone else...

I will never see him

again, I suppose.

but what of this rag,

this shadow

flung like a boy's body

into the walls

of my mind, bleeding

their sour taste-

insult and anger,

the great movers?

I wonder how insult and anger have moved Mary. She comes to no resolution of what to do with the sour taste of reality, and instead asks us. How are we moved by the poverty of this world, of our own heart? Where do we fling wounds upon ourselves and others so that we can stay alive in the only way we know how? Is there another way, or did we evolve so that senseless tragedy would grow the web of cultures and genes beyond mere existence? I seem to be so full of questions this morning, matching the mood of Mary and her poem. Can love and joy not also be great movers?

What motivates you through our days? Is it more anger than joy? Both?


  1. I think love and joy can be big movers and motivators. Most of my days are built around love and joy.

    Dave --I'd like to be on that sailboat with you and your wife. I agree that one should take a few risks in order to live life fully and understand themselves and family. I know you will reach the west.

  2. From T- I have wondered the same thing about Mary Oliver - I haven't read the poems she has written since the death of her partner, but understand that they are very different. I have wondered what she "does" with the negative stuff, inside herself. I read the poem from a different angle, thinking that the "look of cunning" the boy gave her was a big part of her anger and insult, all mixed together with anger at the circumstance that created him.
    What motivates me in my later days is something primal, not so conscious. The seeking that has always been there is more obvious now that other issues have fallen away with youth and middle age. The seeking, I think, has more urgency now.