Same pics, different day
It was in a month of Sundays, shirking from work, that I drove a shovel’s metal moon deep into the old farm dump & came up full. Squat bottles lay nested in circles like dinosaur eggs, or children at play suddenly engulfed by the pyroclastic flow from a backwoods Vesuvius.
To be human is to be the object of a bear’s withering scorn. You won’t read this in any philosophical treatise, but it’s true. I have found survey tape ripped from trees, hunters’ blinds torn apart, an abandoned plastic jerry can stippled with tooth-marks. We must seem slow & skinny & hairless & weak. But worst of all, we are heedless. We dump in the woods. A bear could be watching me right this minute, blinking myopically as the moist wings of her nostrils flutter open & shut.
Springs hope eternally for one last go-round before the ground swallows them, one more, rusty bump & grind of their hurdy-gurdy epithaliamium, muffled now under sheet music of leaves.
Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,
Go to sleep little baby,
When you awake, you will have cake,
And all the pretty little horses.
Way down yonder, down in the meadow,
There’s a poor little lambie,
Bees and butterflies pecking out its eyes,
The poor little thing cried mammy.
Good god, what hullabaloo used to qualify for a lullaby! No wonder the old toys still make a break for it whenever a flood interrupts their uneasy sleep.
Heaved from the bed of a pickup, the microwave oven bounded down slope and came to rest against a clump of witch hazel with its door ajar. Now at last it was free to welcome all comers, including metal forks & spoons & anything with an ounce of water in it, all the one-time occupants of Noah’s Ark. Scattered nearby, plastic bones of the microwave-safe leviathan slowly crumbled under the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Glass is forever, chant the moss plants as they crowd in for another mass betrothal.
After Ma Bell gave birth to the first transistor, an engineer quipped: Nature abhors a vacuum tube. But it’s not so. All circuit boards face an equally grim future as viscera: the glass & metal organs of some monstrous creature of habit, abstract & imperishable.
I peer down at the rusty bucket as into a crystal ball, seeing clear to the other side of a slightly squashed world where blue geese rise from rice stubble on wings of zinc.