not sweating the small stuff.
he was perplexed by the how or why, he
underestimated how much
understood what to do,
By Joseph Hesch
Outside, early morning, mid-December
and the howling wind is strumming a
C-chord through the trees.
Even above that din, I hear
the familiar tones overhead.
There, moving in a diagonal,
like a sidewinder snaking south,
or a streamer of mercury sliding across
a wobbly zinc tabletop,
are half a hundred Canada geese.
And I shiver. Not because of the wind
and December’s cold, but because
the unspeaking natural world had
once again addressed a question
I hadn’t even known I was asking.
The question I couldn’t
speak or write is answered across
the December sky in that language
without words, the one that speaks
more truth than that of Man:
It’s never too late.
As I was working outside the other day, I heard in the distance something I used to not hear until it was just above my head (if at all). There, in ragged V winging south, was the first company of migrating Canada Geese I’d seen this Fall. I’m not sure why, but that incessant honking sound, some overlapping the others as if they were sound shadows, stirs some visceral response in me. I feel somehow energized and inspired. And so I was this time. Seeing them put me in mind of another group I had seen last year. I write about those travelers here.
By Joseph Hesch
Too long, I’ve worn delusion as a hood
covering my better judgment, when,
time and again, I tortured myself
with chains of baseless obsessions.
Sense of duty, senseless mooning,
all cloaked in claustrophobic darkness
where, if some small ray of truth leaked in,
I willingly closed my eyes to accept
my next bruising lesson in Life.
I wish I could find that hand,
the one I could trust to lift this hood,
leading me to daylight, instead of
coming down upon it again and again,
beating the emotional daylights out of me.
I’m willing to crack open my eyes
and extend to you my hand in something more
than its defensive or aggressive attitude,
but only if you promise never to use yours
upon me while my back is turned.
Or are you another of my delusions?
I stopped trying to be who
the world always wanted me to be—
pliant, compliant, the good boy,
and the better man.
With age I see why
I’ve hated the effort I made
to color within everyone else’s lines.
Inside, I’m trying to be
cold and dark and
— just to be me —
I keep all those beans
we’re supposed to count
in alphabetic order.
This is my life, my obsession,
and I’ll keep it the way that I want.
That’s who I am, for better or worse.
No partners, no bliss, self-service.
Deal with it.
Oh, excuse me, did you drop this?