Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mission Trip

Odd collection of mission trips this month - an unexpected dash up to Cheyenne to see my sister and niece (picture), an upcoming trip to Boston for a Global Network conference to rant about militarization and other icky things, and two specific spiritual missions, spelled out in two poems below:

Jacou's Children

Jacou has carried the agony of all Liberia
across the shoulders of the zig-zag batik
that reflects the specific cries of a missing family.
It has been a particular burden to listen for faint cries
in a noisy year.

Blood echoes as it coagulates.
Hama echoes 30 years.
Sana’a echoes 30 years.
Monrovia, Abidjan in gurgles of the half-remembered.
But the very moment sobs choke each possible Pranayama,
the perfect cast into Cavally River
brings forth four escaping the forest of anechoic chamber.
For every thousand broken, one is made whole.
Ignore the success ratio, fishers of men,
embrace the few you may catch and release.

Loring Wirbel
June 5, 2011

Let It Be Said Of Us

“Every blessing and curse a choice.” – John G. Waller

If the moving saccadic finger of autism is a language of inclusivity,
then the task of the translator is to banish each bandpass filter,
for a spectral roar of color and near-color in messy splash,
for a blasphemous babel joyful noise where song is scream,
for strawberry become wasabi become digitalis on the tongue,
for the tactile coming indistinguishable from herpetic nerve damage,
we sing them back to life.

Be as mud children set loose with fingerpaints on butcher paper.
Be as Lot’s wife in a Springerville summer,
frightened of scorched earth and turning to trace the manara,
the pentecost, the pillar of fire by night,
spreading salt along U.S. 60 to the pulsing salvation of radio-dish array.

Sing to melt the last traces of the semipermeable membrane
that keeps weepy country murder ballad from harsh saxophone trill,
that keeps smooth cold Remington steel from the stippled areola of erect nipple,
that keeps the hand blistered in a dozen post-hole prayers
from the hand cramped in a Sharpie observation of God’s thousandth name.
We sing in the inclusive tongue that never noticed a difference.
Let it be said of us, we sang each cell to life.

Loring Wirbel
June 12, 2011

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Oh goodness, Loring, "Jacou's Children" is phenomenal. ". . . faint cries / in a noisy year." Wow. And then those final words "catch and release" in the context of fishing for men is just incredibly powerful. One at a time. It's always worth it.

Then "Let is Be Said of Us"! After that litany of gorgeous language about awful things, we have "inclusive" and "Let it be said of us, we sang each cell to life."

Between these two poems, I have mantras for the age upon us. I thank you, sir, for living your life.