It is Difficult for Men to Say What they Feel

One is on the bus sitting.

The other has just gotten on the bus,

stands, recognizes him after a moment.

"How are you?"

"Okay."

"Still over in HR?"

"Yeah."

Two stops go by. People get off,

people starting their workday.

"How long you been there now?"

"18 years. I'm tired."

"I hear ya."

Two more stops go by.

More people leave.

The onewho is standing

remembers something, asks,

"You still into the Civil War?"

"Always."

"Me, too." He sits down. "McPherson."

"The Foote trilogy for me. Again."

"You know, everybody talks about how great

Lee was but he blew it at Gettysburg."

"Never should have gone so far north."

"Still, he almost took it."

"Little Round Top."

"Chamberlain saved the day. God, what a man."

"Fix bayonets!"

"Charge!"

"Then he gets shot in the hip in sixty-four.

Second Battle of Petersburg."

"Both hips."

"Right, one bullet. It goes right through him."

"Grant thinks he's going to die."

"Promotes him to brigadier general

to comfort the family."

"But he lives."

"Keeps fighting."

"Nearly loses an arm in sixty-five."

"Shot in the chest at Quaker Road."

"Lincoln brevets him to major general."

"Chamberlain's even at Appamattox."

"Has his men salute the rebs."

"Beautiful."

"Yeah." 

"Goes back to Maine after the war."

"Becomes governor."

"Then president of Bowdoin."

"Fluent in 10 languages."

"Dies at 85."

"From the Peterburg wounds."

"What a life." 

The men are almost to the last stop.

"I was at Gettysburg," the first one says.

"For the 150th anniversary.

I got up at 5 a.m. Marched in Pickett's charge.

There were a lot of men there.

Guys like us. It's not much of a hill,

but damn it's long. Especially under fire.

Men were falling all around.

Afterwards, we all just cried."

Your Meander Rights

You have the right to meander.

You have the right to pull over for pictures.

You have the right to go someplace else.

 

You have the right to forget what you were going to say.

You have the right to say something you'll regret.

You have the right to regret.

 

You have the right to misquote movie lines, eat dessert, get pissed.

 

You have the right to be wrong.

You have the right to say something stupid.

You have the right to be vulnerable.

You have the right to love what you love.

You have the right to fail.

You have the right to start over.

You have the right to be human.

 

Nothing that you say or do in this life

will be held against you in the next.

 

Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?

Thy Will Be Done

I fear what the day will bring.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear the dissolution of my life.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear Saturdays.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear my solitary bed.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear whiskey.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear a lack of whiskey.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear feeling dumb.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear feeling old.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear feeling.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear I'll love myself

too much or not enough,

read too much or not enough,

work out too much or not enough.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear I won't be loved

Thy will be done.

 

I fear I will not love

Thy will be done.

 

I fear the demons

shut inside will kill me

if I let them go

and kill me if I don't.

 

Thy will be done.

Thy will be done.

Thy will be done.

 

I fear giving up.

Thy will be done, oh Lord.

Amen.

 

                                                       water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       stone

 

 

 

                                                       water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       stone

 

                                                       water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       stone

                                                       water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                ripple stone ripple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                  ripple ripple          ripple ripple

                                                       stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       ripple ripple ripple          ripple ripple ripple    

 

                                                       stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            ripple ripple ripple ripple            ripple ripple ripple ripple

 

 

                                                       stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ripple ripple ripple ripple ripple              ripple ripple ripple ripple ripple

 

 

 

                                                       stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

into the tunnel

the field is raucous

with the shouts of your mates when you turn from them

looking for something

something without a name


                    
there's a glimpse of it

a hint here and there

but the afternoon wears on

 

light begins to abandon you

when

there ...

            something shines

the end of a golden thread

you pick it up

 

it leads you forward

out of the field

through brambles

and thick trees

to a tunnel

 

the others stay

playing in the remains

of the afternoon

they wonder about you

worry after you

        will you be safe?

(no)

one calls your name come back

you pause, 

turn your head

the planet stops its turning

waiting

for

    just

        a

 


                moment

 

you plunge ahead to see

where the thread goes it goes

into the dark

 

you don't look back

 

the light is gone

the tunnel is cold

there are noises

but you are brave

you have the thread

 

suddenly a howling

a scritching

a scratching

a clinching

a catching

 

shiver shiver shiver shiver shiver shiver shiver

 

you hold the thread too tight it breaks

the floor gives

you tumble

downdowndown

into mud

 

oh where is the thread

you are stuck

 

you call out

take me back

take me back

take me back

you cry

you

go

quiet

 

so quiet

you can hear

for the first time

the ancient loving song

of the Mystery

play through you

 

 

 

you    heave    forward

hands searching

there no there no there

 

you find the golden thread again

 

 

                               up

                       up

you climb up                         

         and out

                       out

                               out

 

 

gently

you hold the thread

gently

you walk

gently

you breathe

 

there's light

there's more light

 

you emerge

into the morning of the world

 

the golden thread ends

in everything

 

someone waits

by a stream 

a friend

 

you go to them

they wash the mud from you

 

you play

across this new day

 

after time

that feels

like minutes

or years

your friend hands you a gift

 

a small wooden box

inside ...

 

a ball of golden thread

i have to go back?

 

yes     

you know the way now

leave the thread for someone

 

will you be here when I come back

 

no

 

wait here for the next one

welcome them

give them the gift

cross the stream

to the far field

 

i will meet you there    

So far together

I love you not just to the moon

and back but also to the stars --

and not one of the really close ones

like Alpha Centauri A or B but

one of the ones from the galaxy

MACSO647-JD, which is about as far

away as you can get this universe

and still be in the universe --

and back, though if I had to go to

show you I would hate to go alone

because wouldn't it be beautiful

to go so far together, making light?