Exploring life without Providence

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Ulysses

As no one tied me to the mast,

I dove in headlong, swimming swiftly

To the nearby rocky shore,

To be dashed against the stones,

 

Tossed by churning waters

Back and forth, in frothy foam,

Drawn by voices indistinct,

Disjointed, stretched by violence,

 

Disoriented where the waves fell

Hard on boulders’ jagged edges;

Lost, my former goal, my purpose,

In this urgent need: survival.

 

Where were now my boon companions

Whom I might have charged to bind me?

How had I abandoned them,

And let my yearning overwhelm

 

All my training, all my wisdom,

What experience had shown

Must inevitably follow,

Following my yearning heart?

 

Now I strove to make some sense of

Where I am, of what confronts me

How to exercise control of

All my strength, establish bearings

 

That will let me choose a handhold,

Hold a jagged edge of boulder

Flexibly, just long enough

To thrust myself up free of swirling,

 

Tossing forces that would dash me

To disjointed pieces if I

Let them overwhelm my strength,

My purpose, vision, goals — my future?

 

Now above the cliff, surveying

What determined strength has won me,

Calm, reflecting on the struggle,

Turn and set my foot ahead.

Image

Publication Date

The Reverie Journal

Killers

“When I see those ads for Sniper, I think about that boy in Morocco, outside the fence.”

A long pause, and then, “Yes, I can imagine,” she replies.

The recurring image of a young goat herder rises again in his mind, moving probably at random, but too close to the perimeter for his comfort.

Behind him stands the small blockhouse, bristling with antennas, that hides his comrades and their listening devices from prying eyes. Before him his target, the incinerator in which he is to destroy the shredded paper he carries. He will burn it, then stir the ashes until nothing can be reconstructed, and finally wash it all out to ensure nothing escapes complete obliteration.

But the boy troubles him. Carrying a side arm, under orders to shoot anyone who attempts to breach the perimeter, he envisions the scenario he most dreads.

He wonders just how old this child is – older than he looks perhaps? Is it mere curiosity that causes the boy to watch him, or something more deliberate? Is he actually alone, as he appears to be?

How will he interpret a move closer to the fence? How will he know what kind of move is dangerous, and what moves are totally unthreatening to his mission?

Worse still is not knowing how he himself will behave. Will he draw his weapon, if he becomes too uncomfortable with the boy’s approach to the fence line? Will he gesture with it to warn the boy away even before he touches it? Will he know the difference between curiosity, or even a desire to talk, and a serious effort to scale the fence?

How quickly could this boy get inside, if he is seriously intent on getting the bags of shredded paper?

Shredded paper – balanced against the life of a child! How can this be?!?

The image of his smoking gun, and the child lying outside the fence, alarm him. His heart racing, he shakes his head to clear his mind — shake off the fearful image that he does not yet know will stay with him for the rest of his life.

************

It was also an image he did not know would eventually dissolve a 40-year anger; would become, on the Golan Heights, a key to unlock his heart, allowing him to forgive other men he had locked outside its perimeter.

Letters

Together
In a quiet space

They read
Words of their youth

Recalling
Who they used to be

Discover
Who they are

Each and
Together

In a quiet space

-gjt
(c) 2014

As the Whole World Emerged

As the whole world emerged once
From infinitesimal
Dark singularity,
Growing from nothing to
Spread its great sail
In a flight to infinity;

As the cold, small, hard seed, become
Moistened by Spring,
Warmed by deep, penetrating Sun
Unfolds, emerging to
Oh! this great sky
Giving wing to its seeds and dreams,

So from imprisonment
Bound by his faith
In the strictures of other men
Stirred by the call of
A warm invitation
To rise, and to dance again,

He wakes in his body
And climbs to the peak
Of a great, ancient structure
To launch with new limbs
Over warm fertile vineyards
The flight of his wakened soul.

In silence he yearns for
The soul mate who only
In all of the world
Might know what has come to be
Living and growing so
Deep in his bosom.

Life has now grown
To be so deeply rooted,
Relentless, tenacious
He knows he will never
Return to the hard lifeless
Kernel he once was;

No, he’ll expand and,
Embracing the world
Now advancing to greet him,
Give to it everything
All he has gained from
The loved one who summoned him.

–gjt 11/23/2013 ©
Rev 09/27/2014 ©

Too Close (?) II

Too Close (?) II

You laughed within me
Enfolded deep in my heart
Did we both move back

Too Close? (Haiku)

Once you laughed my laugh,
Living close inside my heart.
When did we step back?

-gjt (c) 2014

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