16
Jul
11

Two Poems

One of the books I’m currently reading is Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins. With the death of a friend this week and the memorial service today, I can’t help but think about several of his poems that reflect on the brevity of life. Here are two of them.

Memento Mori

It doesn’t take much to remind me
what a mayfly I am,
what a soap bubble floating over the children’s party.

Standing under the bones of a dinosaur
in a museum does the trick every time
or confronting in a vitrine a rock from the moon.

Even the Church of St. Anne will do,
as structure I just noticed in a magazine–
built in 1722 of sandstone and limestone in the city of Cork.

And the realization that no one
who ever breasted the waters of time
Has figured out a way to avoid dying

always pulls me up by the reins and settles me down
by a roadside, grateful for the sweet weeds
and the mouthfuls of colorful wildflowers.

So many reminders of my mortality
here, there, and elsewhere, visible at every hour
pretty much everything I can think of except you,

sign over the door of this bar in Cocoa Beach
proclaiming that it was established–
though established does not sound right–1996.

As Usual

After we have parted, the boats
will continue to leave the harbor at dawn.
The salmon will struggle up to the pools,
one month following the other on the wall.

The magnolia will flower,
and the bee, the noble bee —
I saw one earlier on my walk–
will shoulder his way into the bud.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
July 2011
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"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire

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