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Author: Ben Wolfe

busy being born

poetry on wasan island
wasan island, may 31, 2014

i’m sorry i didn’t answer your message

i was busy being born

the trouble is
it happens every day —

how do i live, when
being born
keeps getting in the way ¿

— March 28, 2006

 

prometheus, 2009

(for earth day)

maybe god
left us with an irresponsible babysitter

all those aeons of loving care
since we were only hydrogen

and then some rube of a teenage sub-god
gave us a glimpse of fire, as a joke
and we were gone

out of the cradle,
over the rail,

taking in the fall
from this 21st-story balcony

stretching it in time
calling it a lifetime

making believe
we were born to achieve

this
terminal velocity

— March 26,  2007 / April 2009

 

 Oversoul, by Alex Grey (detail)

i hope that i will someday see

(with apologies to ogden nash)

i hope that i will someday see
that every they becomes a we

indeed, unless the theys all fall
there’ll never be someday at all

— Oct. 23, 2008

 

Circle Limit IV

just a moment to move a bicycle

just a moment to move a bicycle
and the full miracle is revealed to me again

quiet body of a mouse,
two tiny perfect blooms

damp grass, still air
all of life and death

here in a few square inches
and with them

the realization that
this year, i

did not slow down
enough to watch the spring

— May 18, 2007

 

just a moment to move a bicycle

tell me where new days begin

tell me where new days begin ¿
in facing up, in facing in,

in shedding sanctity and sin
like outworn layers of skin

— April 30, 2005

 

tell me where new days begin
Marc Chagall, America Windows, Art Institute of Chicago, detail (photo: Ben Wolfe)

black hole man

he was a black hole man
an invisible centre
he was being not-there
holding things together

said ‘you know it takes nothing
to make things spin’
and i saw nothing
when i looked at him

now i’m a black hole man
’cause i couldn’t absorb it
’til i fell in the centre
of my own orbit

and there’s nothing the matter
no, nothing at all
and i’m circling round it
and i feel the call

and we are black hole men
in a world of matter
and we move together
though we seem to be scattered

and it’s up, down, strange, top
falling in will never stop

but if you can read rumi
while you think john bell
better look in a mirror
while you still can

before gravity fails
and you’re a black hole man

— Sept. 22, 2006

 

sumach leaves / arranged around a hole, by Andy Goldsworthy