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Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

Ephemeral Prayer

 

In five billion years, the hydrogen fuel

at the core of the sun will be spent.

Forces of gravity will take over,

compressing the core. The rest of the sun

will expand, vaporizing the earth.

I’ve studied the science, read the texts.

In the meantime, I live in a canyon

with rock walls one-hundred-fifty million years old—

and sometimes, like this morning,

despite rumors of doom,

the forces of gravity take over

and I fall on the floor laughing—

a riotous squealing and braying,

tears leaking, chest heaving,

grateful to big time for this very moment

when I am almost seamlessly joined with my shadow.

It rolls with me on the floor as I hoot and giggle,

praying in the language I know best.

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New Approach

 

 

 

On the thirteenth day of gray and winter rain

I remember the story of Amaterasu,

the Japanese goddess of the sun, who,

attacked by her brother, hid in a cave,

and the world was cast in darkness.

 

There have been more attacks

in the last few weeks than the world

can bear to hear. Sometimes we forget

how to cry. Sometimes in anger we forget

how to sing, how to pray. Sometimes,

like the younger brother, Susanoo,

we hurl things at those we love most—

 

perhaps not a monstrous flayed horse,

but blame, judgment, accusations, disgust.

It’s no wonder whatever is light

finds a way to retreat. It’s no wonder

we find ourselves in darkness.

 

In the story, the rest of the gods

try to lure out the sun with roosters

all ordered to crow outside the cave.

 

I, too, have tried to tell myself, others too,

that it is morning when it is not.

Always, I am left with darkness

on my tongue.

 

Then the gods placed a tree

draped in glittering jewels

just outside the closed cave door

and at its center they hung a mirror

so the sun could see her own loveliness.

 

I, too, have tried to put shine

on the tawdry world,

and never did any sparkling thing

make what is ugly more beautiful.

 

It was Amenouzume, another goddess,

who danced with abandon,

who took off her clothes

and twirled and teased

until all the gods in heavens roared with delight,

and, out of curiosity, the sun finally

opened the door to see.

 

Oh world, I am the one who knocks

on the door until my hands bleed,

the one who speaks to the door

and begs and threatens and cajoles

until she is hoarse. None of it

has brought back the light. I am ready

to try dancing and dropping all my layers.

I am ready to try flinging my head back

and letting loose a reckless, untamable laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the heart of the city
the boy runs,
he leaps and arrives
in every puddle
until he is drenched,
dazzlingly wet.
His laugh is the laugh
we forget is always here
waiting to be laughed
come sun, come rain.

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