Watched by a chipmunk at the end of the stone wall, I hold a mouthful of coffee in my cheeks, do my best to look as if I know how to live.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 04-26-12
What does he know about being alive
that the chipmunk would not know?
Would laughing at his misadventure
be one of his given talents? When he
mimics the nutcracker with puffed-up
cheeks worked out by a mouthful
of caffeinated brew, might the rodent
hysterically guffaw (in its own style),
when he chokes on the mis-swallowed
coffee, coughs his lungs out, spins
out-of-body in a near-death episode?
Betting odds: Who gets to laugh last?
–Albert B. Casuga
Here’s Poem #27 in my poem-a-day project to mark National Poetry Month.
YEARNING FOR THE OTHER SIDE
Don’t add my name yet to the names of the dead on the wall. Don’t carve their letters edged in gilt on a crypt.---Luisa A. Igloria, “That shore from which we first pushed off, how far away is it now?”, Via Negativa, 04-25-12
When death and dying are lumped together
as “kicking the bucket,” there seems little
reason for a lachrymose ritual that will cost
a lifetime’s nest egg. And yet, and yet.
A send-off at sea is as good as any–one
is flushed off the starboard to become part
of whence life came, or where it ends. Debris.
Do not send for whom the bell tolls, some
tired man holding a ready bucket of waste,
warned the unready, unprepared, or untidy.
Inexorably, inevitably, the bell takes its toll.
Like a confusing game, kicking the bucket
is nothing but a tiresome waiting game.
Let the jasmine bloom where they may,
when they may; no one has yet come back
to say if they, too, were enriched by manure
from the overturned pail, nor say, when the day
the game ends, they had no bucket of waste.
—Albert B. Casuga