Someone said that you must name something
before you can really know it, and we
have gone about naming everything, even
as we know less and less about those things.
We have grown so adept at naming things,
that we have created multiple names
for the things that we find the most problematic,
for then they can be more easily ignored.
Where once we found ourselves in wars,
we now engage in armed conflicts,
police actions, and where we are the aggressor,
active dispute resolution operations.
The bodies that litter the battlefield
did not stop to consider whether they
were at war, and had morphed into police,
they did not resolve any dispute with their blood.
The cat ignored him totally this morning. She wouldn’t give him the time of day if she could have told time. It was surprising, and for him it was painful. He loved the cat, and he thought the cat loved him. Once he thought he saw her sneer but he knew cats did not do that. But she looked away, if she had even looked at him in that moment. But to not even acknowledge his presence, to thank him for the food, that hurt. The cat hid her smile, knowing even Pavlov would be pleased with how well her training of the human was going. He would be wrapped around her paw before he knew it at this pace
A man stands on the peak of a hill,
staring down into the valley below him,
but it is not clear what he is staring at.
Standing in the valley, by the bank
of a slowly flowing river, I stare
up the tall hill to its peak, and see
the clouds gather around the man
as if soon to swallow him, and I wonder
what it is like to be eaten by a cloud.
The river flows slowly by, ignoring
the hill, with the man standing atop
its peak, ignoring me standing
on its bank, and ignoring the man
atop the ignored hill, staring at
the clouds, awaiting a hearty meal.
He walks with what he considers a swagger. He will gladly stare you in the eye, and you will look away. He prides himself on constancy, knowing you will arrive each day, knowing you will bring nothing in response to his request. He’ll turn his back on you and ignore you once again. Then he will waddle back to the pond, quacking his farewell.
Growing up my family always had dogs,
only one at a time, of course, since we
were a modern suburban family,
which may be why we had a dog.
It clearly wasn’t because they loved dogs,
they tolerated them on good days,
ignored them the rest of the time
and the good days were few if any.
I never asked for a dog, knew
the daily care would fall to me, for
my sort of brother and sister would
never lift a finger if they didn’t want
and they rarely wanted for other than
themselves, but I didn’t mind, for each
dog became my true family, we all
shared a common blood with them
which is to say none, and we all
in our own languages, which we all
understood while no one else did, that
we were orphans who beat the system.