How do my feelings about myself reflect how I see the world?
What do I tell myself about the world to feel safe?
What stories do I tell that confirm my world view?
by Jim Harrison
Most of my life was spent
building a bridge out over the sea
though the sea was too wide.
I’m proud of the bridge
hanging in the pure sea air. Machado
came for a visit and we sat on the
end of the bridge, which was his idea.
Now that I’m old the work goes slowly.
Ever nearer death, I like it out here
high above the sea bundled
up for the arctic storms of late fall,
the resounding crash and moan of the sea,
the hundred-foot depth of the green troughs.
Sometimes the sea roars and howls like
the animal it is, a continent wide and alive.
What beauty in this the darkest music
over which you can hear the lightest music of human
behavior, the tender connection between men and galaxies.
So I sit on the edge, wagging my feet above
the abyss. Tonight the moon will be in my lap.
This is my job, to study the universe
from my bridge. I have the sky, the sea, the faint
green streak of Canadian forest on the far shore.
What’s in a Question?
By Eugene Marckx
Growing up the boy had questions
His father would turn them into paper kites and
sail them into turbulent winds until
they’d break off and blow away
His mother would cut them into paper garlands and
string them around the windows until
day by day they’d become brown and flimsy
Then the boy dreamed of a storm sweeping in
toppling the table and chairs
or he dreamed of a road winding through the hills until
he woke up with his nose against the wall
But now the boy is grown and so out of his hand
springs a songbird that flies here and there
His father worries it will knock over his reading lamp
not to mention that restive beak at his precious papers
His mother is unstrung by the too-boisterous birdsong
not to mention those wet blotches on the dining room table
So the songbird leads him out along a winding road
to where an old man has been waiting all these years
who tells him of islands in a far-off Southern Sea
where bees gather and play among the rainbow flowers
where trees dance in the wind like swirling maidens
At the old man’s door the young man opens his hand
improvises how to rise over the waves until
out flies bird after bird after bird
Only these two can see
how filled the skies become
and among the loose feathers left behind are questions
of where they’ve gone …