Wednesday 31 December 2014

(Poem) The Sacred

Photo by Allison Nichols, December 30, 2014
The sacred heartbreakers are codebreakers, armed with usernames and passwords
They enter, scramble with our circuitry and steal our SIM cards
Leaving us to writhe and reel through the consequences
Of their consequence-free cosmos
They leave us wondering why the hell we invited them in in the first place
And in doing so remind us of why we live and breathe
And of the sacred faults in our holy programming
We are alive - and that's kind of our own problem
We feel, we crave connectivity - and that's most definitely our own problem
We seek to share with others the fiber of our fabric - and this is definitely a terrible idea
And lest we forget, the sacred heartbreakers remind us of the futility of feeling
And hoist down our hearts from their swingsets on the ceiling

The sacred serenades emanate through iTunes and AM radio
Country boys from Kainai and Cowley through the Crowsnest Pass
All telling us to head on down to the riverside
With that ever-elusive gurrrrrl with five R's, double-D's and those jeans painted on
Leaving us wondering what river I'm supposed to turn off at
And whether the Oldman River Dam is a good scenic place to have sex
Why not? The water gushes, rushes and electrifies
Together with the towering turbines amid the fescue grass of the southwest
While the wind drowns out the drone of Chantelle J, Mountain Radio
Stopping here was the best idea ever
And lest we forget, that J-shaped scar from that twilight tumble
Will snap us back in a second without a fumble

The sacred coping mechanisms are always alive and ready
Kicking into action whenever we need them the least - and the most
They embarrass us in public, forever reminding us
Of how fucking underwhelming our better angels can be
Especially when they're drunk, stoned and overdrawn after a month off their medications
These mechanisms are inevitably embarrassing
Until they remind us of our own humanity, and the humanity of others
Whose better angels' behaviour we're quicker to forgive than our own
It's not our fault we're all walking disasters
In scripture we were rigged for reptilian recoil, and in science built to bloom and bust
And lest we forget, the universe's coping mechanism is simply to keep on exploding and rebuilding
Is that any better than any of ours - or more fulfilling?

The sacred fallen ones teach us a lesson in humility and focus
Provided we're awake enough to hear it
That guy who fell on his ass on the black ice ahead of us
That sad figure who disappeared in the labyrinth of Lagos after a sweet e-serenade from the son of Sani Abacha
And that nameless crazy lady down in Georgia, Alabama and windswept Wakayama
All telling us to pay a bit more attention than we currently are
And what we might do differently
Buzzfeed tells us to feel smug, but experience dictates otherwise
Reminding us that we're all someone's cautionary tale, their sacred stupid-person
And lest we forget, we all have a rendezvous with destiny
Just around the corner - you'll see

The sacred walk is the one we all feel compelled to start anew
Every time we buy a new calendar at the mall kiosk
Switching Doctor Seuss with Penguins, Puppies with Monster Trucks, all as arbitrary as ourselves
And each new skeleton we grow every seven years or so seem to irk onlookers all the more
Even as we're supposed to be striding through the Serengeti stronger and more springingly than before
The sacred walk is one to be taken as lightly and lotus-footedly as possible
Shedding the scorns and scars of bygone barfights and blunt force trauma
Marking our own time, righting wrongs and wronging rites of passage
Refusing to scream for attention through the unforgiving lens of McLuhan's bastard Zuckerberg baby
The medium is the medium
And lest we forget, see Thermodynamic Law Number Three
And absolute zero is wherever we make it be

The sacred ones are our fellow voyagers
The wondrous weirdos that latch onto our lives and hold on for dear life
And in doing so become us
Their joy is ours, their pain is ours
Their neuroses and infantile indignation become the burden we grit and bear
Part of the package deal lest we not be party to their dance parties and dazzling states of grace
We are the ones that made it, the infinitely improbable
The monkey that made his name in musical theatre, the swan that survived the storm
Still pretty ugly yet mighty pretty; barefoot, pregnant and full of rage
Full of resolutions and revolutions, depending on your whereabouts amid that yawning gulf between Tofino and Tegucigalpa
And lest we forget, those eight bright Edmonton lights stubbed out in a terrible December flash
Now seared immortal in our tribal memory cache

Here we all are, those who stand, those departed
I love you all - and on this I've only started.

- Pincher Creek, AB, December 31, 2014


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