He had thousands of kodachromes
when he died. Nowadays they’d be snaps
stored on the cloud, given back
tritely as memories by some iphone.
Anyway, they went in the bin,
regardless of what they meant to him.
I have chameleon words, collections of notes,
playing the same role: tie it down —
capture it. What? You, me, the sound
it makes to live; not bringing old stuff close
again (that was bad enough back then),
but the dazzle of being able to comprehend.
Of course, insects don’t waste being alive
worrying about themselves;
they continue to batter themselves
against windows, the life of the hive
before their own; or fanatically nest
under stones, enslaving aphids and the rest.
And rabbits are the same, chewing and getting rattled.
All have better things to countenance
than their own permanance.
It’s baffling that we are so saddled,
knocked over by the whole picture.
What it says in the Scripture
at the start — about Adam and Eve:
it’s not really about sex and so on;
it’s about seeing yourself, alone.
Waking up. To what you may believe.