There are notions which prove impervious

To the forces of nature, the whims of politicians and philosophers

Perhaps even, in the final analysis, to time itself.

Tell me, what epiphany is realized

Through the parsing of prepositions from the Hebrew or Latin,

Why should we hoot and shake our fists in some battle to the death

Over some microtonal discord lurking behind a bassoon?

What is revealed in the lolling gait of the harlequinesque priest

Promenading down the aisle, incense burner clanking in time?

Observe, rather, the ancient, scarf-clad women among the muzhiks,

Bent as if entreating the very ground itself, as they feel, smell, taste the soil,

Unearthing what peasants and saints believe to be the fingerprints of God,

And what is revealed to them in that rudimentary yet holy act

Is that which brings down Czar and prime minister,

That which exposes the proclamations and directives of commissars

As supercilious cant, the howling of a lost child into the wind.



9 thoughts on “stravinsky62

  1. Amazingly perceptive portrayal of the connection between the Russian peasant, her soil, and the various pretenders to the Russian soul. I loved the “lolling gait of the harlequinesque priest / Promenading down the aisle….” The priest, the czar, the commissar, they come and go. But the soil remains.
    Awesome stuff,

  2. I thank you most humbly for your kind comment on my blog, Ken, but in my mind, this is what all post post-modern poets shoot be shooting for: the gritty realism you offer, the social context which becomes allegorical or at least makes way for the universal truths you deliver with such consummate skill.

    Always my pleasure, dear sir.

  3. This is very vivid, almost flamboyantly intellectual in premise, yet strikes at the heart as well, showing the difference between rhetoric and the groundswell of reality, that the mind does not always know best for us, and that there are many kinds of epiphanies for those who look. Enjoyed it much.

  4. Whew! Takes my breath away. This calls for a reread or two. Your poem makes me smile in recognition of some baffoons and hopeful that we all hear the howling of the lost child.

  5. from one of a kind to a kind of another, it seems like we’re always half way to Zeno’s house on this trail of blood and arrogance, but then there are those who sing, like you old brother

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