LEX

Well before there was
Aristotle, there was aa,
which comes as no surprise
to geologists who never
doubted the history
and creation of
this planet.

Well after the zebra
there was the zygote,
which a biologist
would tell you
is putting the cart
well before the horse.

The lexicographer will say
that he did not create
this disconnect, for he
or she is a mere recorder,
so you’d have to go
back the the source —
if you can find
an etymologist
to lead you there.

The Japanese invented
haiku certain that a painting
of great beauty could
be completed with only
a few strokes of the brush.

The Japanese have no word
for what we claim is higher
order poetry, academic and
pedantic are two other English
words which easily apply.
And the Japanese are hard put
to comprehend so much of what
we deem experimental, the result,
a friend named Yoshi said,
of what seems the odd scraps
of a dictionary torn apart
by an unexpected tornado.

In Tokyo every tree knows
that at least four
poems lie within it, each
awaiting the appropriate
season.

HISTORY

I took yesterday and pressed it between the pages of my unabridged dictionary. The day began at sunrise and ended just before it became a supplicant, though to what, was not at all apparent. Days can be frustrating when they refuse to allow sufficient margins. I always thought Thursday’s among the best behaved, or at least the most compliant but that’s no longer so. The promise they used to hold out is evanescent now. It doesn’t really matter anyway for when I went to get it today to place it in my book of days, of course it was gone. I won’t look for it, yet one day it will, like so many others turn up amid the page barely preceding histrionics.