Happy April 1st, and happy Poetry Month!
And here’s a slightly edited version:
Have you had it up to here
with all those creative-come-mystic types going on
about the quiet wonder of the quotidian?
Do you, too, cringe when you read the reviews?
Poet enters into the everyday and emerges enrapt.
Artist finds numinous splendour in the prosaic stuff of life.
Whatever happened to the daily grind, the brine-soaked
reality of every morning—their minutes
passing like anchoritic decades?
I swear, if I read of one more apple-cheeked author
who stands amazed under an ordinary afternoon
I’m going to shoot myself!
That snow mixed with salt and sand is not marzipan!
That sunrise is not a host of seraphim with wings of flame!
The burgeoning leaf is not the hale harbinger of…
blah, blah, blah!
It’s chemistry, astronomy, biology.
Its physics! All physics!
Always been physics!
Okay, maybe “sunset is an angel weeping, holding out a bloody sword,” *
but that’s because it’s bloody tired of everyone’s delight
in the predictable movement of the planetary system.
Hark! Everyday is not Christmas. Life is NOT a box of truffles.
It’s a string of purgatorial Mondays. Or if your lucky,
a boring slide to obscurity.
You want awestruck? Wait for the giant flash on the horizon.
Wait for the Four Horsemen, the Seven Trumpets,
the apocalyptic haemorrhage.
Wait for the moon to burst its seams
and bleed its achromatic pall upon the earth.
Then go oohing and awing.
Don’t be a schlub. At least win a lottery.
Then maybe, for a while,
you can go telling people of the élan within the mundane.
For the sake of all that’s marketable, don’t let them fool you.
Don’t relent to wonderment. Don’t accede to mystery.
It only breeds trust in the supposed sufficiency of any given day.
And if that catches fire we’re all screwed.
The stage will crack, the façade fall.
The ad will atrophy and the cult of consumption crumble;
and all our sacred edifices—with their theatres of envy and rivalry—
will collapse into laughter,
uncommon kindness, and liberated longing.
* a Bruce Cockburn line