the worm-quest

to break through this green glaze of sameness—
small boxes with neat shrubs, hamburger-plain—
to the good brown dirt beneath, remembering our souls
built from lumps of clay prairie-stirred

wanting a spice, a song, a scent like your new penchant
for sriracha; a jolt, a leap into the vault beyond
this daily circuit, this merely driving
up and down arteries quickly clogging

they say if you’re not growing, you’re dying, but
I’ve been drying on this rack for years, home-grown
herbs medicinal to my kitchen motto: sauce on everything
until I become mere compost for the roots of the tree of life

 

Thanks and apologies to Jane for this borrowing of the worm quest.

Of “those long childhood hours when you were so afraid”

1.
this cloud-built summer storm—
we watch, insulated from all
youth’s electricity of wonder
and fear, saying it can’t hurt
us, can’t come in; backed
by scientific assurance
of two-score rock-solid years
unmovable, stony to the core

and is it good that we outgrew
that fear, traded it for what
endless repetition of even sunlit
days, ducks pond-gliding
unruffled?

2.
(from that storm-dream of sword
and flame-leaping I wake
happy as if I’d been reading:
comfort for a workaday
monday morn)

Title from Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Rilke’s “Vor dem Sommerregen” (“Before Summer Rain”).