Library Books

I need to accomplish something, even if it’s something dumb like finishing one of these goddamn library books I keep going out to get.  Stacking them on my nightstand, fiddling them back & forth, back & forth from one hand to the other, reading & re-reading the front and back cover before diligently returning them to their metal box, perfectly intact and on time.  Just one finished book, then it would start.  One accomplishment would lead to another and another and another before there was a stack piling high up and past the sky and when he looked back, when he looked back at me if only for a second, all he would see were stacks and stacks of books.  Library books of accomplishment.  He would have no other choice but to turn around, come back and push a stack over just to see me again.

STARLIGHTS IN WINTER

photo(Burbank, CA, 2013)

Chunky and noisy,

but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

(Mary Oliver)