Monday, September 05, 2005

Blues One-Ten

I suppose the sun sings ballads
to the clouds, a conga line weaving
to the twilight bar.

And buildings nod to trees fanning themselves,
planning themselves into suburbs,
barbecues under the stars.

The dimensions of a heart
are found in the flowerbed,
chatting up sober roses for a lark.

How could anything exist without us,
there to orchestrate and name
each petal and leaf into flame?

I look at the waters of New Orleans,
too placid after the rage of the storm
and wonder, how could it happen—

it wasn’t dropped from a plane
or shot from a rife,
it wasn’t legislated after too much debate—

it isn’t the aftermath of an insurrection,
it isn’t the demented plan of a despot
tearing the world apart—

this is the result of an earth being itself
against all men wandering
across the shelf of history’s misery.


Aisha said...

To think we were there only a year ago, ants but not knowing how small...

H. W. Alexy said...

Still struggling with this event. What it left me with was a great feeling of impermanence. We've gone from cave-dwellers, to transients following the herds, to building a cave around ourselves with our possessions. And in an instant, everything can be stripped away. The possessions we rely upon to help define us define ourselves also tie us down, immobilize us, even as we think of ourselves as free.
People have stayed because where they are is what they are, I think and I'm not certain if that's bad or good.


Aisha said...

Interesting take.
What would Elvis say?

I kept a ribbon from your hair/
A breath of perfume lingers there/
It helps to cheer me when I am blue/
For anything that's part of you...



H. W. Alexy said...

Watched the images on TV
of all that can’t be controlled—
water and death float down
the streets of New Orleans

and looking out the window at the full apple tree,
I play The House of the Rising Sun like a hymn.

Watched the best and the worst
battle it out again in the hearts
of men—a battle for which
there seems to be no end

and seeing images of Jackson Square, the Café du Monde,
I played The House of the Rising Sun like a hymn.