The World's Lap

The spirit keeps wanting to float off into Italian
frescoes, dissolve into acacias,
fall lightly like dust into the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile the body, tired mule,
pushes the grocery cart through Perishables.
The math is simple.
Spirit + body = a sadness machine.

Subtract either spirit or body and you’re left
with a story
problem for actuaries. 
Guillotines make permanent separation a snap.
Ditto famines and plagues,
ditto waves if you try to cross
the ocean without holding fast to a floating object.

But how to keep the machine happy—
supply it with live clams and dead auteurs? 
Dance it through corn mazes
in the Midwest? An owner’s manual
would help, but how does one translate
the Upanishads of the clavicle,
and where do you add oil in a sadness machine?

Once in a San Jose park, on vacation, I asked
my daughter, Where are we?
She looked up at me: My dolly sits
on mine lap, I sit on yours lap, you sit
on the chair’s lap, the chair sits
on the world’s lap.
There are a million
ways to say California. Only a few promise rest.

~ by Lance Larsen


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Godzilla! Now there's a religion I could follow!

goatman said...

Damn, and I thought February was over!

Frankie Jay said...

Love the way this sums up the balance of the mediocrity of everyday life with the need to keep your mind and soul nourished. And how easy it is for the former to win out.

red dirt girl said...

My proselytizers are surprisingly mum ...

We knew Japan would eventually rule the world ...

If YOU'RE surprised goatman, can you imagine how I FELT when February slapped me silly in May ???

Love the way you've summed up The World's Lap, Frankie Jay. You found the words I was searching for.

And they say there is no rest for the wickedly weary ...

"True and sincere traveling is no pastime, but it is as serious as the grave, or any part of the human journey, and it requires a long probation to be broken into it. I do not speak of those that travel sitting, the sedentary travelers whose legs hang dangling the while, mere idle symbols of the fact, any more than when we speak of sitting hens we mean those that sit standing, but I mean those to whom traveling is life for the legs, and death too, at last. The traveler must be born again on the road, and earn a passport from the elements, the principal powers that be for him. He shall experience at last that old threat of his mother fulfilled, that he shall be skinned alive. His sores shall gradually deepen themselves that they may heal inwardly, while he gives no rest to the sole of his foot, and at night weariness must be his pillow, that so he may acquire experience against his rainy days. So it was with us."

-Henry David Thoreau


Dave Renfro said...

In my case, spirit + body = an absurdity machine.

Happy Mothers Day, mule friend!

goatman said...

In keeping with the theme of these thoughts I offer the following: Henry David had a brother (John, I think) who died young of tetanus - a certain killer in those days.
They were very close, till then.

Lee said...

If the spirit is willing...well...there's no stopping it!!

red dirt girl said...

Thanks Dave :)


red dirt girl said...

That is a sad story to share, goatman.


red dirt girl said...

You are exactly right, Lee! Though there are times when the body is willing but the spirit is out to lunch .... or lost in the forest.

Trying to get these two together seems almost as difficult as trying to get Soub to America :P !!!