(For C. Dale Young)
“It’s been a lazy day here, one for which I am very grateful.”
I’m not exaggerating, dear. I’m dead.
So dead. Dreadfully dead. I’m writing you
This letter from Oblivion: a small
Oblong—a glade—with crunchy gravel paths,
Bare patches, birds, leaves of brown and green,
Tall grass, an inclined lawn, flowers, me—
Palaver somniferum, by my stink.
I must reek of the afterlife. No that’s
The artificial pond, recently cleaned,
Lying listlessly at my feet. A sulfurous
Yellow scum blots out the egg-blue sky.
Pan has been here holding one of his
Pollen-fueled orgies. A panting wasp
Molests a mountain laurel to my left:
Leaf by leaf by leaf. Apollo. Lord,
How the mighty have fallen! Unlike me.
The bad eminence I sit upon—
Legs in the sunshine, my head in the shade—
Comes straight from China—Thank you, Chuang Tzu!—
A beautiful gray nylon butterfly
Chair made for camping. Collapsible. Light.
A skeleton of lime titanium
Supports us both, butterfly and me,
My pen and my black notebook on my knee—
I’m sorry that is three. No four. No five.
I have lost count of all the butterflies
I’ve been. A philosophical fancy:
Who is who and what is what is what
Is vaguer than Reality on a
Clear day—like this one—with plague everywhere,
Raging through the populace. Some souls,
Like me, insist on living all our days
As if they were the last on Earth. Nihil
Novem sub sole: art, poetry,
Light, butterflies, you blades of grass,
One line of ink, in a long line of links,
A daisy Chain of Being, that I AM,
My Alpha and Omega, DNA
To DNR. (Do Not Resuscitate.)
I really hope that we will meet someday.
Eric Norris’ poems have appeared in, around, and at Impossible Archetype, Soft Blow, Assaracus, The Raintown Review, Ambit, E-Verse Radio, and many other fine journals. He lives in Portland, Oregon, USA.