Fourth of July
by Timothy V. Delaney
Wednesday, May 01, 2002
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In a straight line, horizontal upon this Earth
cuts a path between the stucco’d dwellings
& I can hear the ocean, barely audible
above the unrelenting noise of carhorns & yells
& dissociated come-ons spoken out of windows.
There’s something in the air I fear,
as rockets soar skyward, followed by twomillion eyes,
illuminating sky, reflecting on this water,
for the Independence of the nation,
& not the Independence of The Spirit.
There is an afterthought, all but forgotten
Until It is needed.
I can walk upright, stand on the strength
&nbsof muscle & bone, swim in the sea no need to breathe
&nbs& fall earthward at dizzying speeds.
I can touch another
with fingers and hands, bridging unimaginable distances.
I can wear my scars like badges of honor,
& pick clean the rotted bones of discontent.
I can go through, or circumvent, with equal determination
& happily ignore The Word.
II. A Garden Party – Guilt by Association
Everything has its place and all is in its place
& everything is boxed neatly, categorized & cross-referenced
by date by age by memory by desire
by form & by function & by utility.
& nothing is out of place:
no picture imperfect,
no scum in the soapdish,
& the fixtures are scrubbed and sterile
& the food is so pretty……
A signed list of daily affirmations hangs
next to the mirror:
Remnants of a war that rages
****to this day****
That accentuates the body & the bank account;
the opposite sex (cross-referenced);
and posessions and age and time.
And Ignores The Spirit
Wading in the warmth
plucking concretions, unidentifiable,
sedimentary, perhaps not,
given the history of the Depression.
The sand has been dredged from another place
to complete this idyllic scene
Chests robust & bodies postured by The Script
by a millennia of unmet expectations,
& unheeding The Word
then ignoring It
then refuting It
then unheeding It again.
Each shape the clay with a clumsy potter’s hands
into Mind & not Spirit
into Body & not Soul,
(& have no memory of the Loss)
ShowmetellmeShowme what you’re made of & what you are worth,
Showmetellmeshowme until I no longer care.
I keep asking I keep asking
I keep asking I keep asking
Keep talking keep speaking keep breathing
I can only hope.
Between the boardwalk and the houses
Between the sand and the concrete
Between the picnic benches and the boats
Between the sympathy and the understanding
I lie awake, indispensable,
Examining my shadow, haloed by the Moon
& look up at the sky, now supine,
watching clouds scuttling by
& trace The Name
in the sand
& watch the waves erase it
--> I am Healed <--
Looking North for seven years
& the pier juts out
so many miles away
this same one scene
that has not changed
A testament of the Engineer,
to attract the population
& the golf courses & the asphalt
& the sailboats & the restaurants
& the themeparks & the yacht clubs
& ignore the Desert that surrounds.
Your concerns are welcomed and despised
and the pointed finger is shaking
and the motor is running
and my wheels are spinning –
And we hold tight, 135degrees on the turn,
& my Faith in You
is deeper than my faith in the elements.
the time will arrive
and you transform your scabs to scars
& where you have failed
will be your success
& your loss
will be your gain
& your chest will be open wide
& your arms outstretched
& you will be exposed:
And more Beautiful than ever.
From motion to movement
From feeling to desire
From impulse to action
From thought to presence
From shame to grace
From satisfaction to joy:
There, in every cell, is memory of The Word
& The Voice, so subtle
& often unheard
Yet urgent & insistent
but no more than a whisper
And a decision to be made,
in the space that lies between the cells,
The resolution driven solely by The Will
to Declare Independence
from the body and from the mind
and from the city and from the marketplace
and from the field and from the home:
To reclaim what has been Given
in benevolence and selfishness
& to heed The Word with magnanimity
& the Emptying of The Soul.
© 2001 Timothy Vincent Delaney
4 July 2001 San Diego, CA
September 2001 Portland Oregon