October Not Church on Zoom
Thank you to Doug Rye for hosting the October gathering on ZOOM, to Yella for her comments on words, Bene’s meditation, Erin’s talk, and to Keith and John for the inspiring poems posted below.
Thank you to all who joined us we look forward to seeing you all again on November 8th.
Before Winter by Kwame Dawes
read by Keith Williamson
I imagine there is a place of deep rest—not in the resting but after,
when the body has forgotten the weight of fatigue or of its many
betrayals—how unfair that once I thought it clever to blame my body
for the wounds in me: the ankle bulbous and aching, the heaviness
in the thigh, and the fat, the encroachment of flesh. It is hard to believe
that there are those who do not know that it is possible to let things
go, to then see the expansion of flesh—it is so easy, and that knowing
is a pathology. What is unknown to me is the clear day of rest—
I carry a brain of crushed paper, everything unfolds as if by magic,
every spot of understanding is a miracle, I cannot take any credit
for the revelations, they come and go as easily as the wind.
You must know that this is a preamble to an epiphany I will record—
the late-morning light of October, the damp soiled back yard,
the verdant green lawn, the bright elegance of leaves strewn
over it all, turning nonchalantly in the wind, and the Nebraska sky
blue as a kind of watery ease, a comfort, it is all I can say, the kind
one knows, even standing there waiting for the dog to squat;
one that I will remember for years but will never have the language
to speak of—one of those precious insignificances that we collect
and hoard. The moment lasts ten breaths, and in that silence
I imagine that I can see spirits, I can know myself, and I will not fear
the betrayals of body and love and earth, and the machinations
of self-made emperors and pontificates. It will be winter soon. I know my body
is collecting water in its nether regions, the weight of the hibernating
mammal, storing everything in drowsy, slow-moving preservation.
I mean I am losing myself to the shelter we build to beat back
sorrow and the weight of our fears. I have covered thousands of miles
in a few days, and I feel my parts flaking off, a shedding of yellow
pieces covering the turning earth, and I am helpless to this soft
disappearing that some call sleep. I will stretch out and breathe.
Abyss by John Stadelmann
Free time is an abyss.
Life has changed.
A cat in a kennel
exploring a space getting smaller
Senses more sensitive,
to the point of distress,
DEFCON 2 all the time.
Choices of what to do
as we head toward a sharp apex off in the distance.
We crave normalcy but the experience is too brief.
Not much of that commodity around these days.
So, we got up early to get flu shots,
an event as normal as you’re likely to find […]