things which dangle in the wind and perhaps elsewhere

You have often chided me
(Gently most times, though sometimes my diffidence
Is sufficient to permeate your imperturbability)
About living the so-called life unexamined.
I would not dispute there is merit in what you say,
The wrack and ruin of repeated history and all that,
But there are limits to what be gleaned
From gazing at one’s own navel too deeply,
As what one extracts from the activity
Can be unappealing, whether done literally or figuratively,
And at some point what is done
Needs to be left done or undone, as the case may be,
The parsing and nit-picking no more useful
Than returning to our old half a house on Fifth Avenue
(Now condemned, the basement buckling even then,
The rats and termites likely battling for dominion in the walls)
And setting up some chair that had fallen over,
Or restoring some remnant of a plate
To a spot on a dust-covered and irrevocably slanted shelf.
Most times, I am content to simply get on with it
(Whither or whether there is a measure of nobility in that task
I leave to poets and philosophers and other fools of their ilk)
Until there is nothing more to debate
Save the whys and wherefores of the scattering of my remnants
(I have intimated I would prefer cremation;
You, in what I hope is mock irritation,
Have occasionally offered to a schedule a time and date)
On some side-road breeze, to float upward and onward,
Inconsequential, all but intangible,
Like the downy offerings from those dandelions
Which have stolen through cracks in the careworn pavement
(I have opined, in those infrequent moments
Where I am feeling somewhat feisty and quick on my feet,
That the fissures look to me as if the macadam
Is wearing beatific and wholly unheeding smiles.)

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3 thoughts on “things which dangle in the wind and perhaps elsewhere

  1. Your dandelion floats in the breeze upward and, perhaps, off to Never-Neverland, where our youthful fancies, like balloons, move toward unification. Forget those fissures.

  2. There’s always sipping brandy with nothing left to debate! Macadam is one of the many exciting and wonderfuls here. I had never heard of the word so naturally I thought it some kind of nut. Almond Joy indeed. That some Scottish road construction sits so near wearing beatific makes me wanna raise up a toast!

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