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Sunday, 9 May 2010

Human Life


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File:Petrified Forest National Park AZ.jpg



Always behind my back I hear
The spastic clicking of jerked knees
And other automatic reactions
Tracking me through the years to where
Time’s winged chariot is double
Parked near the eternity frontier
And in such moments I want to participate
In human life less and less
But when I do the obligatory double take
And glance behind me into the dark green future
All I see stretching out are vast
Arizona republics of more



File:Scottsdale cityscape4.jpg



Petrified wood in Petrified Forest National park, Arizona: photo by Jonathan Zander, 2006
Scottsdale, Arizona cityscape: photo by Dominic, 2006

5 comments:

~otto~ said...

Los Suns ... shouldn't it be Los Soles?

"Time’s winged chariot is double Parked near the eternity frontier" loved that.

I often share the frustration of human life but seeing those vast republics surely makes you want to write more. Oh, wait ... you just did. Perfect.

zevstar said...

biology v. geology

our concept of time
based on children and death
so arbitrary
what is special time
species time is so limited

continents and earth plates are the sand we know are the rocks
fall on and off bigger stones
we bring all thoughts to the sea
where we can see enough to know
time only dances
time only
time

human being said...

'Time’s winged chariot is double
Parked...' was a killer!


and please always do that 'obligatory double take'... and remind us to do so, dear goalkeeper...

;)

TC said...

Otto, yes, good point, but well, better that the cup of lexicographic justice be at least half full... no?

Ah, time.

The winged chariot, of course, as everybody knows, comes from that old diehard supporter of Los Soles de Phoenix, Andrew Marvell ("To His Coy Mistress").

And, double of course, by the way, the Arizona Republic is a Phoenix newspaper, the largest in the state.

I have a very strong memory from early childhood of lying in the back seat of a car at night, during some sort of trip, while the car radio was playing a dramatic version of "The Petrified Forest". Instilled all sorts of strange mysteries in the infant mind, as to just exactly what the Petrified Forest WAS. I think I was working a bit too hard on the "petrified" = "scared" connection.

Many years later, 1951 actually, my first sight of the Petrified Forest, looking pretty much as above, maybe not so mysterious, driving through it. Very very hot, though. Stopped at a roadside joint, barbecued sandwiches were served, the demystified young person, now back in the car, becomes violently -- and inconveniently -- ill.

Radio dramas had their advantages over real life, maybe, and perhaps in more ways than specified in this anecdote.

Or this poem.

Who knows.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

And to think that this (Scottsdale) is where the Giants do their spring training -- oh my. . . .