MARATHON

 

Who would raise a hand against Leviathan
or drive the horrid horses of the sun?
These people readying to run–

stretching, bouncing, waiting for the starting gun,
lacing wingéd shoes upon their feet.
And now the long race has begun–

ten thousand runners crowding down the street.
To cheer them on, a strong, insistent drum
beats from the hilltop: repeat, repeat, repeat—

Remember Eukles doomed
to run to Athens and to die?
And life went on.
And what have we become?

Remember the shining one
who wanted so
to fly the Sun-

god’s chariot?
Young Phaëthon
set the earth afire.

Zeus struck him.
Flaming.
From the sky

Advertisements

THE TRANSIT OF VENUS

One black calf came, curious, to the fence,
the rest grazed slowly through the field.
People drove by.
Nobody stopped.

The clouds
in the west parted just in time.
We fitted binoculars with heavy filters
and there she was.
Our size.

Turning with us
around that close yellow star.
Dark against that star.
For months she’d been yellow
against the darkening sky.

We won’t live
to see this again.  And will anyone
ever see us like this–
one black spot, turning through the sky,
just above the clouds closing in.

ADVICE TO A MOTHER OF THE GROOM FROM FACEBOOK FRIENDS, RUN THROUGH TRANSLATION PARTY:

Puffer fish, smile and kiss,
it shows you do not remember.
Enjoy every minute

Great! God’s sake, please have fun somehow!
I send congratulations and blessings!

Megumi is really important flower.
However, your spouse, tired, wrong,
something angry, just your heart,
I love all of them, give up.
The real issue is, please do not forgive.

Please do not forget to Purizupurizu breath.
Have fun.

In this great smile,
and keep the sweet words,
do not hesitate to be proud.

Drink lots (and lots) of water.
These types of events,
please do not underestimate
the importance of water.

All love is all smiles and quiet moments!

W David and I offer him advice.
Absorption is a smile!

Congratulations, Mary!
If you wish, you are proud to honor that position!
Hope will send photos.
Many blessings to you!

All observations, I tell you!
 

Two years ago I asked facebook  friends for “mother of the groom” advice.  I ran it through Translation Party (I miss Translation Party)  and this is the result.  

ON A SUMMER MORNING, SHE GOES WALKING WITH DEATH

 
Come with me, she says.
Look around: green chokecherries will ripen to black.
Listen:  the common yellow-throat’s uncommon song.

Yes, I see your dead doe in the ditch.
She is not lost.
She is grazing on tender grass in a place you cannot go.

Flowers bloom by the old brick house.
Look: a yellow cat among the asters.
Shades of mice scamper around her feet.

Wild apple trees will bear a sweet and gnarly fruit.
Can you hear the laughter of your farmer tending them
a hundred years ago?

Bluebells and daylilies, dead nettle
and roses spread around that abandoned foundation hole.
Your gardener is there, her hands deep in the soil.

Beehives where the tavern was
when this was a stagecoach road.
Do you hear the singing?

See the cows there, in that barnyard?
The one closest to the fence has a wise intelligent face.
I was here when she was born, not you.

The fields are scented with alfalfa and sweet clover.
Hear the new-fledged swallows chip, see them tilt
through flocks of your passenger pigeons, across the clearest sky.

Yes, I remember your dead twin calves
and their mother licking them.  I tell you
they are not lost.  They are with her still.

See there?  What do you think?  Those harriers
who nest in the pinewoods on the edge of the gully
are hunting baby rabbits above the corn.

KOAN

Who is looking out the window?

Who is hearing the catbird
composing a song
among the apple blossoms?

Blue iris in the garden.
On the window sill,
blue iris in a glass vase.

Yellow from the rising sun
slides down yellow trees
and illuminates the grass.

Who is drinking black coffee
from a warm black cup
while watching the falling rain?

Who is asking the question?