Monday, July 5, 2010
One or Two Things
In April of 1991, at my first initiation, one of my initiators read this poem aloud to me. I have been reading it ever since then, over and over again. I believe I am finally beginning to actually understand. I love this poem. Happy Monday, y'all. Shalom.
ONE OR TWO THINGS
Don’t bother me.
The butterfly’s loping flight
carries it through the country of the leaves
delicately, and well enough to get it
where it wants to go, wherever that is, stopping
here and there to fuzzle the damp throats
of flowers and the black mud; up
and down it swings, frenzied and aimless; and sometimes
for long delicious moments it is perfectly
lazy, riding motionless in the breeze on the soft stalk
of some ordinary flower.
The god of dirt
came up to me many times and said
so many wise and delectable things, I lay
on the grass listening
to his dog voice,
frog voice; now,
he said, and now,
and never once mentioned forever,
which has nevertheless always been,
like a sharp iron hoof,
at the center of my mind.
One or two things are all you need
to travel over the blue pond, over the deep
roughage of the trees and through the stiff
flowers of lightning — some deep
memory of pleasure, some cutting
knowledge of pain.
But to lift the hoof!
For that you need an idea.
For years and years I struggled
just to love my life. And then
the butterfly rose, weightless, in the wind.
“Don’t love your life too much,” it said,
and vanished into the world.