Contradiction Troubadour in Saint Minor

tiny birds big sky





I wish to be a laughing prophet,
divine and uproarious.
But there are rocks in all my pockets, and I am too fond of the grey, cloud-rich sky.

I wish to be a timeless mountain,
existing in unaffected melancholy contemplation.
But I cannot help the smiling, and the dancing feet; this world is such a strange and ridiculous place.

I wish to sweep the planet clean
of all that is not noble and brave and true.
But am unable to wrangle even my own soul’s baseness.

I wish to leave the plague of this day;
to wander deep into the solitary wilds and be heard from, never.
But I love my brother too well, and long for the notes of his voice to sound in harmony with my own.

I want the rain.
I want the exquisite, blinding sun.
I want infinite oceans.
I want burning wastes of desert.
I want love incandescent as a living thing.
I want to be always alone.
I want every spinning atom and every intangible grain of thought and all the ticking seconds that have come and gone since the winding of days.
I want nothing at all.

I would be vast as a universe.
I would be small and still.
I would speak every blessed thing crawling and striving and living and dying and having its self-soul’s sojourn under this invisible canopy of time.
I would be silent for ages on ages, and then for ages more.
I would Live.
I would die cell by gasping cell under a low sky of yellow and violence.

Tell me, then.
You, at the coffee counter.
You, at your desk chair with music falling, overcome by beauty.
You, in your car,
in your classroom,
in your sleepless bed.

Tell me this.
When you fight and rage and fly to pieces
in battles on craggy hillsides in the winter;
when things press upon you with the weight of invisible satellite moons,
and push out from inside with the force of ten thousand cannons, raging;
when you wrinkle, and sunburn
and bruise and bleed
and tumble around this life
of rocky joy;
when the moment comes,
and you reach the pivot point
around which all things spin
and soar;
what words do you speak
to free your one aching,
delirious heart?

Tonight, my words are these:

To my various scattered, and unlovely parts:
light up.
To my ceaseless, churning mind:
keep twirling.
And to my raucous, restless, deep-sinking, lunatic heart:
savage on.


8 responses to “Contradiction Troubadour in Saint Minor

  1. you have no parts that are unlovely

  2. in my classroom
    in my sleepless bed… these words resound.

    You have such a gift, Shawnacy, which you so generously give to the world… a gift of hope contained in words and tied up with love of humanity.

  3. Thanks, you wonderful people.

    a side note – credit to the great Mary Oliver for the structure of those last six lines. check out her poem ‘a pretty song’. you won’t be disappointed.

  4. The use of repetition gives power to this poem. Nicely written.

  5. This is the best poem I have read in a while. It speaks universally, to all that is, and betrays a deep love for life and all that lives. Beautifully conceived and written. Fantastic work!

  6. This has such profound power and beauty about it, so wonderfully done.

  7. divine wishes, love the sentiments shown here.


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