Digressions on a Mantra: It Will Pass

rewrite of one of the oldest poems in the book.


Standing on the sidewalk.
Midway – between years suburbed and new days grounded,
St. Paul.

A hammer in your mouth
raps on the concrete,
slowly first,
tap, tap tap.
Birds stir from perch,
and you continue,
thumping your words along the street.
The wretched friction
tells the tale of our madness,
your claim to reality.

I toss for always,
for ever,
halves of lives together,
in the path of your thrash.
The hammer comes down upon these words,
Let one have it.

Then –
it is quiet.
I ask the birds for forgiveness,
for my body to make a move,
for the questions that sleep beneath my tongue.

I’ll wait so long I’ll turn to the bits of stone
lying crumbled in between.