Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cookie Fortune \ In The Bleak Mid-Winter

Nancy:  Cut loose from the future, a victim of fast-fading red ink.

Cookie Fortune

^   The ones that clearly were intended
for someone else at the table.
Those you can toss into the rice bowl,

^   The ones that you read thinking,
if only I’d gotten this before my last
car, job, man, it is so right!

^   The ones that you read, clear your
throat, roll up into a little ball and
toss into the rice bowl while turning to
the person on your right and applauding
his/her excellent good fortune.

^   The ones that you slip into your wallet
and take home and add to the small fluttery
pile in the corner of a drawer.  Not you,
maybe, me, my little collection of papery
promises.        Just a joke.      Really.

#    I am going to tell you a terrible thing.
Until I opened the drawer this morning I
was witty and wise, admired, steadfast and
destined for fame.  Romance was mine and
fortune was on its way.  Until I opened the
drawer.  Until I saw the carefully smoothed
slips of blank paper, their messages degraded
to nothing more than faint discolorations.

I’m wiped out.  All my fortunes, all my futures
were written in fugitive ink.

Alan: How did Ryokan get through the winters in his little hut?  How do we get through our own harshest weathers, when it seems we having nothing left to sustain us?

In The Bleak Mid-Winter

Day after day it snows
filling the path
drifting high against the walls
of my hut.
Nothing to eat but old roots:
the mice and I hungry, hungry.
I’ve seen no one for weeks,
not even the sun peeping in.
Dying now, I won’t be found ‘til Spring.
Tayatha om: this is how it is:
burning my poems
to make one small flickering fire
after another.

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