In those long and pasty days,
wrung out with the common befuddlements of
our race, there can seem to be no
end to the tributaries,
soggy back roads,
sullen detours, the personal politics
of working in a chain gang fog.
The sun, warming and full, is the same to
saint and sinner, soldier and sailor.
But doubly-parsed is its heat, meted out to all,
recklessly packaged for warmth, whim or want –
hope to one, threat to another, necessity to all.
Yet in between the particles of dreams lie
the pocked and random picture of our days.
To hoist and heft, backs bent and necks strained,
seems lighter when singing – or laughing because
the joke is good.
To laugh means more when everyone hears
the same words but the punchlines are different.
And only the skilled purveyor of the phrase, delicately
turned and timed with skill, can help the cautious and
skeptical, proud and aloof, naïve and wide-eyed alike
to get in on something good.
The better the tale, the shorter the toil.
So we dig deep to find the best tales straining
to sort and sift and make sense of
the broken, unpatterned pieces
strewn about the edges of things.
So, with subtle indirection, the toolbox of yearning
wed to oratory, wed to a cloud of unknowing,
expecting nothing more than a tale well told,
comes the bard and we are given –
a road for our story.
Dedicated with great respect, gratitude, and love to pastor and friend and retired bard, Duncan A. MacLeod