Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reasons for Living

There aren't that many, surely.
A tiny, crumpled list
you keep in purse or wallet.

Meanwhile, though,
think of your life as a bulky
present you were given
sometime around your first birthday--

You spend your years unwrapping it, perhaps.

Or you finish unwrapping, discover it's a kit,
and spend your years assembling it.

The directions, if that is what they are,
are too confusing, with lots of gaps,
and there are way too many parts.

What you finally manage to put together
may or may not be what the kit intended,
but it's yours, like a pet you never planned to own;
even if you run out of reasons to live
it expects your care and maintenance.

--David Young

The Merry-Go-Round

To be stretched out forever,
floating in full gallop,

to have the bright-red saddle fused
always to the smooth white back,

to be impaled, with a slow rise and fall,
on one long gleaming pole...

no wonder the teeth are bared,
the eyes wild and bright,

as if to say, unheard, unlistened to,
bad art! bad art! bad art!

--David Young

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Him Really

Winter coats make him anxious.
Mired in layers—woolen burden,
poly-cotton holding pattern—
his muscle memory tapers to almost nil:
instruction for the minor finger lift.

His position has me wondering
what’s to come, how long before
he says the same of his body—
shell too bulky to accommodate him really.

--me

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stories for Nightime and Some for the Day

... is a beaut. Do yourself a favah and ordah.

Excerpt from "The House on the Cliff and the Sea":

The sea didn't know what to do or say--and there was really nothing it could do. The house was trapped at the top of the cliff, and the sea was a million miles away.

I'll just stay down here, the sea finally said. We can tell each other stories.

Really? said the house. That would be nice.

And so that's what they did.

They told each other all about themselves, about everything they'd ever seen or done. The sea talked about the origins of life, and the house described its living room.

And as the years passed, the two grew very close, even though of course the cliff was between them.

And then one day--out of the blue--the cliff just crumbled away.


Who knows, it may have just been an accident--maybe an earthquake down below. Or maybe the sea's attempts to climb the cliff had worn the rock away. Or maybe the house's tug-of-war with is foundations had somehow started the process. Or maybe--just maybe--it was all the talking. Maybe it tired the cliff out.

Or maybe it was none of that--or all that--or more. But whatever it was, the cliff crumbled. And, as it did--as it fell through the air--so too fell the little house.

Aaa! cried the house. I'm falling! I'm falling!

It's okay, said the sea. I've got you.

And it reached up and caught the house with its waves, and set it down in the shallows.

And now, today, the two are together. They wander the world as one. They eat cakes and scones and lots of fish, and every now and then some coconuts.

The sea doesn't care much for the land anymore, but sometimes they drift on by. And the house smiles and waves at its friends on the shore, and then they drift on some more.

At night, the sea lies there and listens to the house creaking gently as it floats, and tries to remember that it now has a new name.