Per Contra Spring 2009 Light Verse Supplement
THE UNIVERSAL LEAF
The universe requires that we be born.
As soon as that's been done, it's out to get us.
We become Peter Rabbit in the lettuce
Trying to hide away from Farmer Brown.
Hopelessly we hope we won't be torn
Away, apart. We pray he will forget us,
That he will have some pity once he's met us,
But all such self-delusion is forlorn.
Our hopes and dreams must come at last to grief
If they're not wrecked already, partway through
This span of years. We're well aware that worse
Must come to worst. We cower beneath this leaf
Which we turn over to find what we always knew:
No one cares. Not even the universe.
OUR LITTLE SPAN
We live our little span of years and make
The things we can—an elegy, a mote,
A play or dialogue, a dance or note
Sung in a minor key. We undertake
To quench a thirst that nothing else can slake
This side of Paradise. We wear the coat
Of many colors; in the zephyrs float
The flags of all the dreams we must forsake,
For there is little else that we may do
To pass the time besides wear out our minds
And bodies in the everyday of toil.
We plant the seed in the everlasting soil
And watch it blossom in its several kinds
Until the field lies fallow in the dew.
At times I feel that I’m a cloud in trousers,
A pair of Dutchman’s breeches casting shadows
Across the sun as I scuff through the meadows
Of afternoon over the heads of dowsers
Seeking fountains while they wait for showers
To fall from heaven and renew the credos
They’ve forsworn. They go on scribing dados
On the altars where once they were espousers
But now are merely alterers. We ignorers
Of such turnabouts seek out rodeos
Peopled by stars who tune their celestial radios
To the clown baiting the bull that glowers
At the spangled and bravely dressed toreros
Who stand, swords drawn, awaiting a storm of sorrows.
Wesli Court is an anagram pen name of Lewis Turco whose latest books are THE COLLECTED LYRICS OF LEWIS TURCO/WESLI COURT 1953-2004; FEARFUL PLEASURES: THE COMPLETE POEMS OF LEWIS TURCO 1959-2007; THE MUSEUM OF ORDINARY PEOPLE AND OTHER STORIES, (2008) and SATAN'S SCOURGE: A NARRATIVE OF THE AGE OF WITCHCRAFT IN ENGLAND AND NEW ENGLAND 1580-1697, (2009).
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