Tend

flagstaff protected night sky nasa fin tend 2 cmpr

Nothing much has changed since you’ve been gone.

We’ve still been unable to locate the source of that relentless banging and drilling noise. Current theories in the Moonlight Bar, the place from whence all theories emanate, are that it’s a collective hallucination or a broadcast from some ubiquitous and invisible truck or car from out of town or outer space.

As usual the move from one speculation to another causes some kind of spooky resonance that makes all prior speculation seem true so by the time speculation begins to look like explanation what prompted the speculation in the first place is so far removed as to be unrecognizable.

Tourists still come ashore and shuffle glumly to the mounds where they think the temples were. They complain about the heat as if we created it and they want to chastise us for poor climate design, or, more like, for living in a place where they think it’s too hot for better sorts of persons such as themselves to live.

Still, sometimes some one of them will flourish in our climate and will stay behind, belonging here as we do because they don’t belong anywhere else–like you did when you loved us, if you ever really loved us. If you did.

Shortly after you left, the factory shut down, the company’s buildings and our fields were still smoldering as they sailed away. Perhaps they feared we’d somehow fashion ourselves into rivals with the sticks and broken rakes they left behind. Now we tend weeds and water stones, so even though the baas is gone, the baas is still here.

Last week the bishop manifested in our little town to tell us that we bring our troubles on ourselves, that our current sad state is some kind of delayed aftermath of original sin and a multitude of subsequent transgressions and maybe even more recent transgressions yet to be brought to light.

Late at night when everyone’s asleep so deep you cannot even see them in their beds, I wander the beach. Out there alone, I am my own continent, I lie down on the sand and look up, and imagine I am some amorphous massless creature wandering forever through cold space, yearning for another lonely creature, maybe a mate.

We looked for you everywhere, how could you leave us everyone said, surely you’d never leave us, you must have drowned in the sea, you must have been snatched up and carried away by some fearsome beast from the forest, you must have been abducted by the aliens. I’m the only one who knows you took your clothes and my cash.

Don’t think even for a minute that I can’t sleep without you or that I still wonder where you are or that I wonder if wherever you are you look up at night and see the same stars I see.

I don’t.

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image: small detail from Astronomy Photo of the Day 06 April 2008: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080416.html.

In the

In the garden of the asylum
Your mind is the wind in the trees
And you are that distant traveler
Pulling the landscape along
Behind him, sowing in his own mind–
Your mind–the future, the night
You will lie down in an open field
To watch stars wheeling round
Nothing but sky and this boat
Of a planet and what you became
In the garden of the asylum when
Your mind was the wind in the trees.

 

 

 

 

Private Drive

Private drive with its dense camellias,
a doorway of golden light that’s always
just a ways on. Dusk, across wet grass to
memory’s dilapidated house,
its rummaging ghosts. And beyond, the
tethered ship, its scintillating rudder
and low rumble. The pilot sings. Suit up.
Distant sirens, somebody down, but you,
you’re off, the city plummets to nothing,
you’re deep inside a sky full of stars.