Friday, August 26, 2005

Morbidly Obtuse

"Words of Welcome" was originally the introduction in my 2004 chapbook, Ars Moriendi. It has since shape-shifted it into this week's poem. Really, I think it was a poem all along, just squarer than most.

Do we really need one more metaphor for life and death? No. But I'll never stop thinking of them.

Not quite finished beating that dead horse,


Words of Welcome

Dear Guests,
Welcome to this rite where
we’ve gathered to pay our
last respects to that denser stuff.

Today, we bury impermanence:
the withering of flesh and grass
and mortal stone.
Let us give thanks to the body—the clay
that is every bit as fragile as it is tensile.

We trudge the earth, more
sluggish in this meat suit,
until time, attrition, or violence
allows us to at last uncloak.
Bless that glorious atrophy
and its gift of deliverance.

Mastery of this life requires
us to deftly maneuver in and
out of its thickness and tedium,
only to unlearn everything when
the memory of who we really are
comes flooding soulward.

So, my most august sisters
and brothers, make the most of
your expedition to this heavy place, because
minutes are dying into hours, themselves
shall wane to death.
For all things once manifest, must
sleep, end, combust.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

lovely as usual...

11:40 AM  

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