||[Jun. 5th, 2016|10:45 pm]
The air has been still all day, but a breeze has now arrived to help cool the torrid evening. The breeze is carrying the scent of my jasmine hedge out into the neighborhood. I imagine the fragrance drifting here and there, a faint trace of it catching the attention of some passerby who perhaps wonders where it comes from. The passerby has no notion of the cricket chirping somewhere in the weeds near it, or of the feral cat who uses it as a safe place when frightened by someone moving in the alley, or of the insects that buzz around the flowers in the afternoon heat. The world is often like that, sending out hints without any details. |
Most often the world doesn't even send out hints. It just runs along leaving most of its inhabitants oblivious to all but their immediate surroundings, most of which most of those inhabitants ignore most of the time. We're busy in our own heads, mulling over some immediate task, or some other time or other place, some past or future, near or distant. It's not like there's always a breeze and a jasmine hedge dropping hints into our noses.
My imagined passerby would go off about some business, and the perfume would fade from both air and memory. It's sticking in my memory right now because the breeze keeps refreshing it. But eventually I'll think of something else or of nothing in particular, and become the imagined passerby, passing by my forgotten self.
The Same Old Figurative
by Joel Toledo
Yes, the world is strange, riddled with difficult sciences
and random magic. But there are compensations, things we do
perceive: the high cries and erratic spirals of sparrows,
the sky gray and now giving in to the regular rain.
Still we insist on meaning, that common consolation
that, now and then, makes for beauty. Or disaster.
Listen. The new figures are simply those of birds,
the whole notes of their flightless bodies now snagged
on the many scales of the city. And it's just some thunder,
the usual humming of wires. It is only in its breaking
that the rain gives itself away. So come now and assemble
with the weather, notice the water gathering on your cupped
and extended hands — familiar and wet and meaningless.
You are merely being cleansed. Bare instead
the scarred heart; notice how its wild human music
makes such sense. Come, the divining
Let us examine the wreckage.
You're right that we're too busy with our noisy thoughts to notice much, at least most of the time. I try to stay alert, but I get wrapped up in my mental drama. One thing that helps me is crows. I try to stay tuned in to the crows in the neighborhood and greet them as I walk by. Maybe we don't have enough good smells on this city block to bring me to awareness, unless the burger joint across the street is grilling up a cheeseburger for someone. ;)
Interesting poem. I like the rain talk but got lost somewhere along the way. Look, a crow!
After writing that entry it occurred to me that the Internet is the world sending out signals, but nevertheless I didn't feel obliged to rewrite the entry.
In that poem Toledo does something I've tried to do, which is to make a metaphor of the way birds cluster along utility wires and remind me of notes of music. Except it actually worked for him. I've never found any song they were noting.
Have you seen this? birds