Monday, July 13, 2009


The weather turns and the way we hold our faces shifts.
If I called life a parade of moods, would that suffice?
Perhaps the numbers—the scores, the accounts, the taxes—
are keeping us too tight, too inward and false.
Perhaps the weather doesn't surprise us enough.
Why else would we build our worlds so small and fearfully?

It’s the wind through the leaves
and the speckled shadows on the concrete sidewalk
that turn all ideas loose into a playpen of our own making.
What I’m saying is when the weeklong rains finally disperse,
leaving the city basking in its verve and sunshine,
something of the communal does seep into our day,
reintroducing itself as that famed Something Greater
than ourselves...

Meanwhile, birdsong is greater than myself,
in fact, I’d like to say everything is always greater than myself,
but it’s more complicated, or less simple, than that.

In other words, the gardener of this West 12th St. greenspace,
a cheerful old woman in a blue plaid shirt and baseball cap,
with whom I have discussed the tricks of teaching kids math,
is part of this larger portal that I’m trying to get at,
the one through which we sometimes choose to pass,
more easily on a sunny day

and easiest in that moment when the weather shifts,
revealing the blue sky and a kaleidoscope of shadow
and light dances before our eyes,
phenomena forever passing itself off as self.