The world will never starve for wonders, but only the lack of wonder.G.K. Chesterton.
I'm not sure this can be called a poem …its almost pure verbal spew, but the kind of thing from which latter poems are born. I like it as a kind of thought-map. It’s so dense, that some of you may want to skip it, but I think the end is worth reading.
From the journals of the Kirk (direct from tape with minimum polish, sometime about 1991 or so?)
They now have these books, extraordinary pictures and idea, called .. A day in the life of the US. … Or, a Day in the Life of China, or Australia. The idea is that photographers from all over the place take pictures within a twenty-four hour period. The big idea that shouts through is that all these images, from people dancing at the prom, to car sales to violent storms or whatever, all happened on a given day. And to think of all that happens in a day -- especially on the human-scape is astounding. But this is only the record of seen things, or at least a small fraction of seen things found on film. But what if we were to surround our globe with some billion lenses and record for two seconds …. Oh we do that all the time – only its hard to share the pictures! HA … But For a moment I will try to think of our world in a two second span. I can’t get much of the whole … but I wade into the spill. So in this last two seconds …
Some trillion grains of pollen dripped down
Some hundreds of bullets left pistols, some million toilets flushed. Water runs downs the sinks, Tornadoes whirling somewhere, sinks in Australia the opposite direction, Ferris wheels and galaxies . Centipedes marching - legs waiving, a chorus line of kick dancers, clocks ticking, blood moving through the capillaries, water running through a hose, mucus in the nose, blubber forming on a seal, fat being cut from the Sirloin, blood into milk, breath into blood, water reaching to the outer edge of leaf, evaporating out the edge, sweat under my arm, 3 billion sweating arms, arms with hammers crushing rock, dynamite exploding tunnels, trains moving though, the wheels of trains, seagulls circle, clown nose (?) Acrobats are spinning in China -- the bent ones, kids stuffing rice, rice swelling in the stomach, water balloons filling, rocket ships toward the moon, the moon is moving, a horse jumps over a fence, a stampede of buffalo over a cliff, water on the cliff, dripping, slipping into ground, coffee running through filters, oil in the ground sitting, the perking places in Yellowstone bubble up, water boils, yellow with blue, the deep pool of Old Faithful, Waterfall, everywhere the rain, the ground with water in quiet run under, a … puddle, kids jump in puddle, skip rope, the St. Louis Arch, rainbows, colors, a box of crayons, crayons melting, the sun on sand, the sun on glass, Hot fenders, California traffic, the crush and Horn, New York, cabs swerve a dog on the heel, elevator up, hypodermic down, a needle into the arm, blood in the vein, microbe war, Star wars. Super Nova, light to my eye, a blink, a battle ship? Boat going under-- thousands in the water, sharks at a banquet, fish, zebras running, the mouth of open shark, blood in the water, blood on the cross, the drip drip in the Ben Hur film, the wash of rain. forgiveness. … clean, clean, clean, the squirm of the night, birds in flight, worm from the hole, grasshoppers leaping, car screech, radio blare, wind in the hair, breasts like towers, teeth like sheep, all these clacking mouths, teeth growing into the gums, teeth cracking falling out, boulders fall onto the highway, cars weave, Highway 1 in California, waves crashing, seals barking .. My Mom, a picture of old car, trains, on the way to Auschwitz… (pause) redirect. Bumper cars, cue balls, atoms glaze the surface, pinball, bubble up through soap suds in the sink hands, veins, veins of gold in the earth the earth crushing down with root and drip hole sinking into earth, stalactites grow teeth in the mouth the slow downward thrust of mineral.
Dear! I don’t think I've ever tried that before. It is kind of fun just to see how thoughts bridge.
So I think of this all this wind and creep and growth, the cells in the blood and sap, fluid in the bones and boil … all this love speech and lovers moving in the night. Do they look like oil wells in China tonight, all those bodies pushed and swayed? Life erupting … God is breaking in, God hovering above each union, sperm penetrating eggs, new life; everywhere new lives, new souls, God smiles, God waits, God in love with the life of His hands, God breaking into hearts, God like water softening the Heart, God like the groom pushing though the heart, God arching bow, tightening knots, God leading the blood, God pulling the antlers, God blowing the wind of dandelion seed, God like Spirit, the sheets on the line are waving, Big boats with sails. God in the wind driving the boats, Christopher Columbus. God in History. Missions to serve. Wed to broken flesh and bad dreamers, dead Indians. Is God weeping? The tears of God, the wail of God, God …
Shhh, Shhh ... quiet my soul. Try as I might, I can only hold a part, a small part at a time. Hold three ideas at once maybe four. God holds the motion. Dad holds the motion. Nothing unseen, Nothing unknown. The whole is known. Loved or judged or waiting for completion. God as groom waits in the wings. The atom bombs go off, God waits in the wings. The curtains tear. God in the world, with me. This moment. God is so much here.
I will not fear.
T oday I think of the feeling of my tongue behind my teeth and caged like a turtle in a box, and consider the fact that 6 Billion other people have this feeling, but everyone feels a slightly different mouth.
Today, I sing a song of praise to God. He is pulling on the shells. He is pulling on the blood. Everywhere the world is cloud. Climbing particle by particle, out and big … Like a slow motion boil or contained in skeleton cage.
I have seen these films where they speed things up. Clouds climb and bulge, ever churning, ripping building … one particle at a time, but together massive movements in a moment. Flowers too unfurl. Bloom in speed like slow motion popcorn.
Today, the trees of the world are Play-do, pushed through the branches and squeezing out. We can’t see ‘em for our on normal timing, but I think if we were to take a frame every hour then run the film at 16 frames a second … that would be just short of a day in a second .. And with night, the thing would look like strobe or an old-fashioned film, hot blink and dark -- in and out -- and the trees would shoot up and flower and grow green in the span of 10 throbbing seconds.
Today I play the world fast and I think of ourselves riding through and under the green molten. I’ve seen these films, National Geographic fare, where they show molten fireworks -- Hot lava spitting up like muddy flame or spit up in the sky for a moment like a burning tree. And now, I see the world with trees, like so much green molten toss. If we speed up time a million fold, each tree might leap to life, blink and pulse through the seasons, then crash down again like so much descending lava. Press a hundred years into some seconds and the ground would writhe and build, billow and flame. So today the world is writhing, building, billowing and dropping down on itself, all at a rate we will not see for our hurry!So too our bodies, and the bones. These ever swelling growing bones. Then shrinking with old age to crumble like chalk, or writhe among the churning rocks.
The planet builds and billows at a pace we can’t see. Today the shells are growing. One hard atom at a time. The little mini clams at the beach, or underwater, Shells curling out and fanning, spinning in 3D whirl. Given the shells in the world, did the earth just transform some hundred tons of sea and plankton into shell in the last second? Did the earth grow harder by a thousand tons? And grass. Did the world gain weight? -- and could it implode with the weight of its ever newness.
Starfish radiate … wheat seeds building, grapes swelling, bodies expanding. This is the water balloon world. This is the crystal world. The thing is flaking, climbing out. Unfurling. All this atom smash and warm all this terrific speed, and All I see for the view is so much slow and sway, like a lake in gentle breeze. But this is illusion for the smallness and the slowness of my eye.
Today the world is heaving. Every living thing swelling with breath, the mosquitoes and snakes and the lungs of some billion souls. I think of our corporate breath. Given that I must take in a breath every five seconds or so. 5 Billion souls. One billion just breathed in with me. One billion in exhale. I try to hear with my mind the whoosh. This is a hurricane of sound. This is the bellows of life. (Does God, apart from incarnation, draw breath? Here we are fighting for life with every breath. But God is holding His and will not die, even though He be placed underwater. Okay, I’m sounding weird to myself again. But it is a thought … God is life, and life without breath, for he has no need of anything.
Is anyone out there ever startled by existence? I am. Sometimes all it takes to startle me is to be made aware that I see … or that the world exists ... right now.
IS! ! ! ! ! --- and I want to peel back with the shock of it all.Can you believe it! Something is here and it isn't me! Look Mom … look Dad …
The world. Is.IS-ness!Are-ness. Am-ness!WHAT-ness !!
Could you ever have believed it … Let me tell you a secret … stuff exists … and I know it!HA!
And then there are those times when I suffer another kind of shock … I move away from the awareness of self, or even surprise at the external world … to the knowledge that HE is here. …Now at once, this would sound odd … This idea, that God exists … is SO central to the way I see the world; it drives my politics and art, my ethics, and my sense of creation, and who and what we are.But all that belief stands in my mind like the idea that Antarctica is real. I believe it … and would make a sound logical argument that the ideas I expressed in photographs are real … but it remains an abstraction.
But then there are the times when I believe what I believe … when the idea settles like air into my lungs and I pull back like my brain is swimming in soup and I can hardly hold the idea … I am stupefied … I go through my days in a daze … …. I consider that I can only have these thoughts because HE is ongoing and before -- holding together the world of atoms before my eyes and the cells and the soup of electric thought -- and if He would just let go for a moment my thoughts would fly like electric shrapnel into space … I think of His bigness… His presence, His ISNESS ...His absolute GODNESS
HE does -- RIGHT NOW.
He is by me, letting me have this thought … HE IS EVER NOW, HE BESI …D---over when …When you …
YOU, YOU , YOU … You climb in my senses like an invading force. You stand behind my thoughts like you hold them, and I am in you and you are so much bigger. …I see the weeds waving in the sea and see You stretched before time … I see the lions Yawn, I see the planets like electrons, I see the … Dear
How can I hold all of the ideas of where you are, and what You govern and what you say and think? How can I even begin, and then I know …I know that You are in the room, and this room is in … and this world is in …and that my brains will not burst like over-stretched lungs … because you are kind and let me in on you presence in small packages.
Thank you Dad.
Today I see cathedrals,
slamming into the sun
and grating light like cheese.