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rip ritual remedy resolve

March 24, 2018

rip tear rend your garments cry out and engulf yourself
when you don’t know whether to run or crumple
because we know and because we don’t know

ritual because even the unfamiliar rituals that we do not know
allow us to wander while we stay on the path
so that we do not get lost
while our eyes are blinding with tears
because we know and because we don’t know

remedy is to find your family and embrace them
bombard each other with stories and silences
then stories again
because we know and because we don’t know

resolve to let it all make a difference
and not dissolve into windswept ashes
but to open yourself to inspiration
and to hear the voice that calls you on
because we know and because we don’t know

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hi-lili hi-lili hi-lo

March 23, 2018

they put my friend
in the ground today
and eased her weary bones

we love her
for what she gave
and for what she is

they put my friend
in the ground today
to the sound of keening wails
and choking sobs

we love her
each in our own stories
and different futures
have evaporated

they put my friend
in the ground today
and we struggled again
with the struggle

we love her
with her flaws intact
and will not stop
although our tongues be broken

they put my friend
in the ground today
hi-lili hi-lili hi-lo

we love her
as best we can
and love is never pointless


they put my friend
in the ground today
and she flew away

 

I hope you come back as a tree

March 20, 2018

I hope you come back
as a tree that grows
on a curve of a riverbank
dipping its branches
into the water
as it flows on by

to be admired
to be appreciated for shade
and tranquility

you went
out quick
still beautiful
after midnight
going home
after a birthday party
like a roaring twenties movie star
what a way to join the choir

there is no wind in any sails today
our hearts are at half mast
we’re running adrift on this currentless stream

tears creep around the world
as the sun rises
strangers are hugging
and friends are hugging harder

there is a great shaking of heads
and a great wringing of hands
and a great playing of songs:
your gifts that will never leave us

everybody!
dancing!
all together!

and so the meat still turns on the spits
outside Psar Kandal
and the children still run and laugh
in the twilight streets
and beer o’clock still rolls around
for those who only know this as news
not heartbreak

bong svar, chicken prey veng
we will never stop flying, never ever
with your gifts that will never leave us
never to be forgotten

this time around it was a struggle
so I hope you come back as a tree

event cancelled – seven years of thesilverpepper – reading event in Phnom Penh

March 19, 2018

This month marks seven years of Scott’s poetry revival in the form of the blog thesilverpepperofthestars.wordpress.com – poetry of the fifth decade and beyond, and to mark the occasion he will perform a rare reading appearance at Wang Dang Doodle by Space Four Zero (Street 240 1/2), on Wednesday 21 March from 7.30 pm: poems crossing many timezones, continents, and climates (meteorological and otherwise). The event will include book sales and signing.

https://www.facebook.com/events/107213573452329/

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/107213573452329/

the collapse of the universe has been delayed yet again

March 18, 2018

the collapse of the universe
has been delayed yet again
and our observer selection
quietly goes about its business,
survivor guilt swept to the gutter once more

it’s not twilight
but it is mid-afternoon
the youthful explosions of the morning
have given way to the fitful rhythms
of competence and aches

it is the Great Month of the rereckoning
or recommencement
once again around the track
as the head offcut sweepings
gradually whiten and
the focus further softens

stories become more familiar
surprises change in shape
character clarifies
priorities negotiate fragile victories

answers still skip ahead
drawing me down the path
bless ‘em, I hope to never catch ‘em
for fears of snuffing out their light

and upon waking, I find
the collapse of the universe
has been delayed yet again

a groovy kind of glove

March 6, 2018

history reminds us that
we’ve been here before
and provides hints as to where it’s going next

I don’t know whose times these are
but they’re not mine –
I’m just wearing them
like a pair of gloves left behind on a bus

as the strange momentum
of stillness
accumulates gently
in shadowy corners

because sometimes you just
do the work
not knowing where it’s leading/
where the flung stone
enters the water
and the splash
cannot be predicted or mapped/
where the critical phrase
reaches the ear 
at a critical phase/
where the butterflies
and the breadlines
and the jamboorees

not all chance encounters
are equal –
some bristle with delight
and others glow with awkwardness –
and not all have that sort of news

history reminds us that
we’ve been here before
and provides hints as to where it’s going next

 

Mother Earth and Father Time

February 17, 2018

Mother Earth and Father Time
slowly waltz
through dimensions of their own design
while the descendants of Eve and Adam
scurry about in some sort of manic two-step
across a flattening globe
weeping king and wailing queen

gradually the dance becomes a frantic tango
as in Heaven so on Earth they say
forgetting the mysterious, incremental moves of
Mother Earth and Father Time
the scratch of sand on the floor
underfoot
where once were mountains
overhead

the descendants dance
faster and faster,
further and further apart

and then they start to build machines
that they can wear, that they climb into
to make their movements more efficient

dancing devices that keep up the
relentless beat
even as they rest
even as they sleep

on waking they merely
resume their position
within the machine
and rejoin the furious, scurrying jive

meanwhile Mother Earth and Father Time
glide at planetary speed with ancient steps
without fear of missing anything

build better machines
buy better machines
do not lose your place on the dance floor
do not slip down in the rankings
no retreat, no surrender
bigger faster stronger quicker

Mother Earth and Father Time
watch silently,
unwitting judges of a competition
they don’t understand

will a whistle blow
will there be a last dance
will it at last be slow
will it be soft and sweet
who will you save it for