Friday, September 18, 2009

The Pistachio Nut

Painting by Timothy Wyllie

The Pistachio Nut:

God crouches at night
over a single pistachio.
The vastness of the Wind River Range
in Wyoming
Has no more grandeur than
the waist of a child.

Haydn tells us that we've inherited
a mansion
On one of the Georgia sea islands.
Then the last note burns down
the courthouse and all the records.

Everyone who presses down the strings
with his own fingers
Is on his way to Heaven;
the pain in the fingertips
Goes toward healing the crimes
the hands have done.

Let's give up the notion
that great music is a way
Of praising human beings.
It's good to agree that one drop
Of ocean water holds all
of Kierkegaard's prayers.

When I hear the sitar give out
the story of its life,
I know it is telling me
how to behave—while kissing
The dear one's feet,
to weep over my wasted life.

Robert, this poem will soon by over;
and you are like a twig trembling
on the lip of the falls.
Like a note of music,
you are about to become nothing.

Robert Bly

Posted over on Paul Hotvedt Page

from My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy, Harper Perennial, © 2005

****Actually, Robert, in regards to your
last line, I believe the subtext really is;
"you are about to become everything."

Glenn Buttkus

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