the rhythmic jarring of brain tissue



Here’s a poem by Marvin Bell:




Gray rainwater lay on the grass in the late afternoon.

The carp lay on the bottom, resting,while dusk took shape

in the form of the first stirrings of his hunger,

and the trees, shorter and heavier, breathed heavily upward.

Into this sodden, nourishing afternoon I emerged,

partway toward a paycheck,halfway toward the weekend,

carrying the last mail and holding above still puddles

the books of noble ideas.Through the fervent branches,

carried by momentary breezes of local origin,

the palpable Sublime flickered as motes on broad leaves,

while the Higher Good and the Greater Good contended

as sap on the bark of the maples, and even I

was enabled to witness the truly Existential where it loitered

famously in the shadows as if waiting for the moon.

All this I saw in the late afternoon in the company of no one.


And of course I went back to work the next morning. Like you,

like anyone,like the rumored angels of high office,

like the demon foremen,the bedeviled janitors, like you,

I returned to my job–but now there was a match-head in

my thoughts.

In its light, the morning increasingly flamed through the window

and,lit by nothing but mind-light,I saw that the  horizon

was an idea of the eye, gilded from within,and the sun

the fiery consolation of our nighttimes, coming far.

Within this expectant air, which had waited the night indoors,

carried by–who knows?–the rhythmic jarring of brain tissue

by footsteps, by colors visible to closed eyes, by a music

in my head, knowledge gathered that could not last the day,

love and error were shaken as if by the eye of a storm,

and it would not be until quitting that such a man

might drop his arms, that he had held up all day since the dew.




<a href=””>Rhythmic</a&gt;

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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