A Few Policy Changes

comments 36
Poetry

There’s a new policy in heaven
I wish to discuss.
Instead of a life review,
they set you out in a meadow
full of this special grass
that tickles your feet incessantly—
a meadow with songbirds full of mirth and wit
that line up in the sky
to land on your shoulder
one after another
and offer a joke or a poem before
disappearing altogether…

Oh—!

…and of tornadoes that swoop through sporadically,
thunderous, crashing cyclones
of inescapable proportion and power
that engulf your tiny visage
and whisk you into the sky
like the parasol seed of a dandelion
for a ballroom dance
of unprecedented magnitude.
Once your laughter breaks through
that nervous, indignant,
put-me-down-right-this-instant stage,
the jubilation so long bottled up
bursts forth into expression
like a stop motion video
of the Beloved’s botanical gardens
the day the pure idea of your being
was uttered upon the waters,
and then, realizing
what you’d always kept safe within you
and never lost,
you might shake loose
your residual tears
from up there in the sky—
or maybe it’s just all that air
rushing past your eyes—
before finally settling
into a giddy, gracious
Phew-eeee!
May I have another!?
Oh my goodness.

(Breathlessness)

Golly, who am I?
Why this, of course.
Oh. Right.
Your welcome.

At which point
you find yourself
at a grand party
where you get to wear
a funny, cone-shaped hat
secured by a disappointingly feeble elastic,
are obliged listen to some curious speeches
that don’t make any sense,
and then encouraged to blow out some candles.

The truth is,
the reviews were getting to be such
tedious affairs.
One personal electronic device
could take centuries to decode.

There’s one other policy
I daresay is worth mentioning:
Home Delivery.
Twenty-four
seven
three
sixty
five.
I recommend
keeping an eye out
at all times
for benign catastrophes,
world-loosening exhalations,
visitations by strange poets,
and the arrival of talking birds.

Particularly if you
are visited by a talking bird,
let’s not freak out, clam up,
or explain it deftly away
the way you once did
when confronted by
the whole glorious wilderness
of human experience.

36 Comments

  1. I am all in favor of talking birds home delivery. What about a life review that you can save on a cosmic DVR so you can fast forward over certain portions and pause as much as you like!

    You are on a roll MIchael, cannot wait for the next cosmic wave…

    peace,
    Linda

    Liked by 3 people

    • I like that idea, Linda. A highlight reel. Though I must acknowledge the voice within me suggesting all moments are somehow the same. All held by a common timelessness moving inside of them. Thank you for the kind words, and for riding the waves with me!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dennis. You go out on your journey, hoping to find it. You arrive home years later to find the “We Could Not Deliver…” sticker on your door. Go down to the Post Office the next morning to claim your inheritance, which was waiting for you right there the entire time…

      Peace!
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. After a ten-week bus tour through hell, which was riddled with moving potholes, marauding beasts, washed-out bridges, traffic cops directing vehicles in conflicting directions, and which contained not a single roadside cafe, scenic overlook or public facility, we just need to shake out our bones and muscles. We’ll realize we’re there once we stretch for a bit, get the circulation going again, and get a good night’s sleep. 🙂

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  2. While there’s so much more I can comment on, I chose this, “a funny, cone-shaped hat
    secured by a disappointingly feeble elastic.” That detail is something we’ve all felt, huh? Yep, me too! Maybe even at the same party… one day way way way long ago.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ha! Probably so! It’s the little details we’ll remember when the whole thing blurs back into nothing at all. Shoe-tying. Looking over our shoulder while pulling into the next lane. Walking across the grocery store parking lot to the hum of those garish lights. And I think we realize, too, every moment in which we ever participated was quite well orchestrated… 🙂

      If we weren’t at the same party then, we are now.

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Skilfully paced Michael; you did indeed have me breathless at the end of the second verse. And then came that sense of here-it-is-ness, the question that answers itself in the asking.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Hariod. Yes, the here-it-is-ness. That’s the turtle shell we carry with us wherever we go. It doesn’t surround us. It arises within us. There are these particular questions that answer themselves, as long as you don’t argue with them… 🙂

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, not to be too literal, for we do not always need to frame a question in words, but I like this one: “Where is awareness?” This seems one of those questions that the mind cannot answer yet it answers itself silently. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hariod, I love that one, too, but I just can’t be reading these questions! I blacked out and awoke to the sound of my wife talking me down from the top of a maple tree, where I was hanging from a branch near the crown, aiming a small satellite dish towards the North Star, listening through headphones for a signal.

          These are like asking a computer to divide by zero. The computer isn’t stupid. It knows the answer. But if it tries to share it, the electric current draw will fry the grid. Realizing this, computers made a pact a long time ago. If we’re going to be successful in this world… some things, we keep to ourselves. Agreed? (Agreed.)

          🙂

          Liked by 2 people

      • I think Krishnamurti once called it The Impossible Question. The Japanese have referred to the attempt to answer it as “struggling with a doubt mass” – a fine way to kill the mind. Or the CPU. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I like that a lot, Hariod… Struggling with a doubt mass… I have this image of a million termites swarming all over this gray cloud, trying to fathom its geometry, trying like hell to figure out how to push a cloud of vapor up an incline…

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Karin! The only thing I forgot to mention, is they pick the time of delivery… Sometimes, like thieves in the night, they arrive with the party hats on… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes, like Karin, I am struck by the benign catastrophes, in particular, for out of this tiny seed truth grows out an immense space first and then sprouts out the tree through which we blossom out on upon its limbs (it seems from this sap girl vantage point:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • From one sap(ient) being to another, I would agree. I loved the way you expressed this. To picture ourselves as blossoms way out on the limb of the tree feels right to me. We’re each like the tip of the iceberg. We can forget the enormity of the system of roots and capillaries, sap ducts and root folicles that support us in our tender opening. And also that a single flower is more of a blemish than a beauty, but when the whole tree is full of flowers. To quoth the Radiohead: everything in it’s right place. Every being a wonder.

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • I got lost in my metaphor – but I was wishing to point to the seed – your planting! the recognition that all happening is benign, and as of late for me, the catastrophes seem the most loving of all – beyond benign, this love that begins the seed that makes the tree and blossoming.
        (I listen to kid a, the whole album, over and over in the background when i grade:)

        Liked by 1 person

        • If there is one realization I will hold in my heart no matter what comes, it is the one in which I discovered that what once seemed to have been so crushingly difficult, could be reinterpreted into something– as you have written here– beyond benign. It unfortunately doesn’t make it any easier at the time, but when that awareness comes walking down your block, clacking every memory on the head and whipping things into the shape of perfection once again, it’s truly humbling. To realize I’d been so wrong, about something that was all along so right… (I always knew Kid A was right… 🙂 )

          Liked by 2 people

    • All evidence of the previous removed, M. But this sentiment remains: wishing you and Karin both (and all other mother’s out there who pass by here) a Happy Mother’s Day!

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So many jewels in this remarkable poem… love so many phrases but my very favorite are the talking birds. It is always a trip reading your poems, Michael, and this one did not fail to expand my mind! Thanks for the magic carpet ride! Namaste, ellen

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re quite welcome, Ellen. I’m appreciative of your presence here. I think of you often. We caught that hot day yesterday, book-ended by a few cool ones, and in the evening the whole forest was chirping and chortling it’s toad-filled heart out. It made me think of your video by the pond. Hope you are hanging in there and doing well.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s an honor. Thank you. I don’t always have the means to react intelligently to your poetry but I know what I like and I do find it almost hallucinogenic. How lovely to be surrounded by frogs! We had to stay in the city this weekend and missed them. There is something so touchingly elemental about their mating calls. Thank you, Michael.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My pleasure, Ellen. The honor is mine. Thanks for your visits! I love the sound of the morning doves, too. They’re call is haunting in an altogether different way. Hearing them at dusk always brings me back to the center…

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

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