Chaos Catalogue

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Ten legs in the air,
eight at various angles,
like those of Bruegel’s Icarus, but innocent,
two straight up,
as if purposely mid-somersault.
Nine feet midair,
six upside down, three sideways.
Six beverage bottles midair,
one spilling contents.
Five odd shoes,
four on ground, one midair.
Four hands desperately reaching out for support,
like that of Bruegel’s Icarus, but innocent.
Three cellphones,
two recording images, one midair.
Three “Solidarity” signs bearing red fist, raised.
Two “Black Lives Matter” signs.
Two pairs of glasses, midair.
Two STOP signs.
One “LOVE” sign.
One fist, white, raised.
One head, white, inches above the ground.
Seven point four billion pairs of eyes on America.

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True Love’s Labor

When you and I were young
And true,
And beautiful,
We never knew
Our warm satin tongues,
Best used entwined in warm
Thirsty passionate embraces,
Or saying silly stuff,
Like, “That must mean something!”
Upon learning each drinks coffee only with cream,
Could each ever cut the other down
With the blades of our words,
Leaving each a little less beautiful than before.

When we were young and true and beautiful,
We never knew the minor and major concessions,
Like, “I don’t care, darling, whatever you’d like to do,”
Which followed minor and major conflicts
Could lead to lopsided compromising
And that the giving in
Could become a habit,
Leaving each a little less ourselves than before.

When we were young and true and beautiful,
We never imagined these little changes,
These thousand cuts,
Could lead to heartbreak and pain,
That love could be leaky,
And that shoring up was necessary at times,
To fix the broken places and get us back on track.

When each was younger,
Truer,
More beautiful,
Our hearts each pounded for the other,
Our pairs of eyes each hungered for the other,
Our hands became electric in the other’s,
Our love combined with lust for the other,
Our lives became more focused on the other,
And all of that was so easy.

Now that we are older, wiser, weathered,
We can better see it coming,
The time for a tune up.
We know when there’s work to be done,
Fires to be lit,
Trash to be taken out.
The chores of love we thought would go away,
do not,
and like laundry,
keep piling up until we’re in our last clean shirts
And have to face into the tasks at hand.

Sands in motion

What is the value of that last grain of sand in the hourglass? It seems more important than the first, since it is decisive, an indisputable end. It draws great attention and energy, carrying thoughts of its portent. In one situation it says, Time’s up! You’re done or, You’ve failed. I’ve won! I’ve lost! Perhaps it says, You did it with a moment to spare! In another situation it says, It’s over, at last. In whatever situation, the hourglass’s last grain to fall marks a conclusion.

What percentage of a minute, of a second, does that last grain of sand represent? Do they all represent the same amount of time? Or should we consider the last grain as a representative of the full hour, or half hour, or minute that the hourglass measures?

Flip over the hourglass. The first grain that falls through seems more important than the next. Does the weight of all the other grains add pressure to the literal gravity, making it fall faster than the last? Does the last grain just mosey on down through the center, feeling no pressure? Gravity is a constant, and free falling objects accelerate at 9.8 meters per second per second, according to my friend Scott, who teachers physics. He says that every surface a grain of sand encounters creates friction, a force that slows down and stops motion.
Friction increases or decreases based on two factors:  the two surfaces involved and how hard those surfaces are pressed together. But sand in an hour glass performs more like a fluid than like a free falling object.

Instead of the last grain of sand, let’s look at the last child in a string of, say, seven. In this exploration, the mother is the hourglass, and the seven children, the grains of sand dropped from her womb over the nine years she spent (mostly) pregnant. Was there more pressure on that first child? Did he or she bear the weight of expectations for a successful future solely on his or her shoulders, in case there were no more to follow? Was there more pressure on the mother with regard to the first child for similar reasons? Is the last child less pressured than the first child was, free from the pressures and energy of new parents and grandparents? Is that last child freer to be herself or himself than the first? Or is the same pressure exerted over all, as with the grains of sand.

Welcome to my world.

I have often wondered if my perspective is interesting to others. I like writing, and sometimes write about writing. In this blog, my idea is to post pieces I’ve written about a small thing or even just a key moment, and how that thing or moment may have a bigger meaning.  Sometimes, I express that in a haiku, sometimes longer pieces of poetry, and sometimes it will be in just creative nonfiction.

I drew my own little icon or logo out of an idea to visualize my plan. The hourglass image is in itself often an image for the female body. This one has one last grain of sand in it. The magnifying glass has the cross in the handle, which also is a play on the symbol for females of a circle with a cross below, as opposed to the male image of a circle with an arrow at an angle above. I want the single grain of sand in the hourglass to be the focal point moment and the magnifying glass blows that last minute up.