In caverns below the city
lives a beast, reviled.
It's fierce and ancient and patient
-n- won't come up unless riled.
When you read of disappearance:
kidnapped or ran away?
It might be neither one, rather,
it's breached the light of day.
So, if this beast is not one you
wish to look in the face,
When you take to song and dance:
don't stomp or over-Bass!
The forest looks painted
with dabs of bright color,
a pointillist mural
of the leaves' last hurrah.
Soon, it'll turn twiggy,
and sing desolation,
and invite the fog in
to soften sharp lines.
Then one day you'll notice
leaves glowing in sunlight.
Their green will be golden
from warm yellow rays.
The maturing forest
will darken its greenness,
turning to sober tones
that blot out the light.
It rains for days on end in this city.
The people peer out under umbrellas.
Nothing 's washed clean; it's soggy & gritty
and brutal as a Kafka novella.
The streets aren't light, but nor are they true dark.
The light isn't absent, just sapped of vim.
The gray that remains is like Fall in Denmark.
Relentless rain is relentlessly grim.
The gutters are glutted with murk and sludge.
The rushing waters can't sweep it all clean.
All work 's drudgery and all walks a trudge,
and there's no sparkle in the pavement sheen.
Do some "sing in the rain?" No, they just mock --
their umbrella flipped out and w/ sodden socks.
A million lives are packed in this city,
and each one struggles to be its own self:
the starving, rotund, ugly, and pretty --
the tailored and those who buy off-the-shelf.
And everyone fails, yet they all succeed
in being different, while being alike.
And they all heal, while they also all bleed,
and almost all would survive a first strike.
Everyone knows someone - just not neighbors.
They love to remain enigmatic at home,
while transparent with those who share labors --
though some want everyone to leave them alone.
A city is a strange place full of strangers,
and those who choose it thrive on its dangers.
If you can follow rivers to the sea
by drifting without thrashing or grasping --
just let the flow take you upon a spree,
a spree of dunk and breathe, without gasping,
then you will witness all there is to know.
You'll see shaky shanties and vast estates,
the birds in flight and creatures: fast and slow,
the weeping willows, and fish tempting Fates.
If you can roll around the rocks -- always --
and never crack your head and silence all
the voices saying you've reached your end-days,
and never rush and never, ever stall...
If you can do all this and keep the flow,
it won't matter you don't know which way you go.
Trees may fork,
but rivers merge.
True, sometimes rivers split
to form an island,
and when they near the sea
they may branch out
like the roots of a tree.
How the river knows
it's near the sea
is unclear to me,
but it is the river's nature.
As is the tendency
of rivers to merge
toward unity of flow.
But what is my nature?