Thursday, April 29, 2010

Monkey Horse



author’s note:

It bothers me that, on some computer screens, my longer lines may be broken at the wrong point.

I satisfy myself with the thought that what is most important will not be lost.

“A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!”
                               --  Shakespeare


MONKEY HORSE

If you want to know how
a horse performs
with a monkey in the saddle--

I will tell you
of my years of trying
to break through.

A horse knows where to run and when.
A horse can feel the wind
and follow the currents to the stream,
follow the flow of grasses
to the stream.

The horse can feel the veins
of various invisible ores.  Veins
of earth blood.

So the horse doesn’t even need to think...

Whereas, the monkey--

don’t even mention that monkey to me--the monkey

has a calculator.  And when the monkey
spies the portrait of a banana
in a department store window, the monkey

calculates the angle, the distance, the wind resistance.
The necessary trajectory for its jump…

but does not feel the question mark
as the hair rises on its back--

does not see the clear plate glass
until too late.

Through force of will
I have sometimes broken barricades.
But I’ve also been broken.  Too often.

We proudly display our cuts
from the shattered glass.
But to what good?

I’ve felt enough cuts--enough
to make me finally accept
another way.

A way not so grandiose
yet equally dramatic.
A way in which I can be simple, humble.
A way in which I can flow down
through the earth veins
to the heart, to my own heart,
to a heart much greater than I am.  A heart
that frightens me
with its grand power.

A heart that comforts me, comforts me
with its grand power.

I tried to calculate
my way down to that heart.
Now I’m listening
to the hair on my scalp.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton

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