Tag Archives: creation

Creation of Meatloaf

Playing twenty questions with the kids always starts the same and then changes, like confession or saying grace, but instead of “Bless me, Father” or “Bless us, O Lord,” it’s the question, “Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?” Meatloaf is like that. Ask me how to make a meatloaf. Go ahead, ask me! I could reply, “Animal, vegetable, mineral.” Really! Think about it. Infinite variations on a theme, but they all start with ground meat, some sort of grain or starchy vegetable, and salt. Meat, starch, salt. From region to region, family to family, the traditions change, but always as absolute as prayer. “It isn’t meatloaf without ketchup,” “without spaghetti sauce,” “without salsa,” “without chili,” without whatever savory spice makes that heart say Home. Meatloaf comes from the poor, but not so poor there is no meat, just not much and not the best. The meat is whatever the deity has provided, what is easy to use and easy to find, ground fine to use bits that aren’t most wanted, and stretched out to make it fill many mouths. Beef, pork, sausage, turkey, chicken, lamb, in some places fish or eggs, or even beans (the vegetable meat). Bean loaf? Yes, bean loaf. Every evening, somewhere, someone is making meatloaf of one sort or another, as if it is a fundamental human act. Just change the names and shapes. Meatloaf, bean loaf, tuna loaf, spaghetti loaf; meatloaf wrapped instead of square — pasties, kibbeh, kubbeh, dolmas; who knows? Maybe even sushi is meatloaf. Meat, starch, salt. Cook kibbeh in a pie, in a loaf, in a leaf, in a crust, in cabbage. What is a quiche but a flat round cheese & egg loaf? Where are the boundaries of the transcendental quintessential Meatloaf? Does meatloaf even need boundaries? Begin with bread, rice, potatoes, noodles, tortillas, bulgar, burghul, couscous, quinoa, lentils, whatever is to hand. Layer beans and tabbouleh and brine. Meat, starch, salt. Whatever is spare, and there. Be humble. Let the food be humble. Bury your hands in the mix. Meat, starch, salt. Touch it. Play with it. Cook it, share it. Let the meatloaf be our meal. Let the making of meatloaf be our prayer.

Creation of Storms

Blowing hot and cold,
isn’t that the phrase?
That’s how it begins, you know.

It begins with wind’s laughter
lightly drawing a line dance
upon the water. Water

slips sideways to draw
another line, another …
and then the wind is blowing

all the lines to some far shore
that doesn’t yet exist, but
looms gray on the horizon.

There is a faint ache, an edge;
the hint of salt in the mouth,
on the tongue, abrupt & sore;

a vague discomfort, restless.
The wind whines, whimpers, dies down.
The sudden cold silence is

charged with incipient loss,
an electric hurt.
Hot/cold, hot/cold – what is it?

What do you want?
Trees and waves work out
with unusual vigor.

Right/left, right/left, exercise,
work it, work it out.
There is a rhythm to it —

the dark deep drumming
of thunder, the ache.
Hot bubbles’ warning startles.

The air is so turbulent
it feels as if the wind is
catching the words from

right out of your mouth
and sucks them right up,
claims them for its own.

The sky has turned a sickly
yellow green, still dry.
The unbearable waiting.

It begins with the water
flinging her salty sweat right
into the face of the wind.

Wind tastes salt and howls.
Waves roar back and weep.
That is just the beginning.

It builds from there. Into what?
The howling of hurricanes,
the wounded broken silence

in the black eye of the storm,
finally — cataclysmic
and devasting,

the orgasms of planets.

Creation of Rhythm

Before rhythm was in the drum, it was in the skin;
before rhythm was in the drum, it was in the tree.

Before rhythm was in the tree, it was in the leaves;
before rhythm was in the tree, it was in the hands.

Before rhythm was in the hands, it was in the feet
raising staggered clouds of dust from the hard-packed earth.

Before rhythm was in the feet, it was in the voice
panting, crying, howling, or murmuring far away.

Before rhythm was in the voice, it was in the breath,
just breathing, breathing again and again, nothing more.

Before rhythm was in the breath, it was in the eyes
blinking, shivering with the pulse, it was in the heart.

Before rhythm was in the heart, it was in the body;
before rhythm was in the body, it was in the day —

the day and the night, the sun and the moon, the seasons
of mating and birthing, sleeping and waking, and death.

Before rhythm was in our deaths, it was in being,
it was in being, it was in being, it was, is.

Rhythm is in the being, rhythm is in the air;
rhythm is in the smallest element of atoms,

rhythm is in the spaces between all the atoms,
between all the stars or galaxies or clusters.

What are we when we are moved by rhythms we hear not?
What are we when we are moved by rhythms, and aware?

Rhythm was not created. Creation was rhythm —
the pulse that opened all still echoes, echoes, echoes.

Rhythm is not created. Creation is rhythm —
begin & bend, pulse & pause & point, guide & full stop.

Rhythm was not created. Creation was rhythm.
Rhythm is not created. Creation is rhythm.

Creation of Dance

Dance began with the first
separation of elements,
of wind and of water.

Dance began with the wind —
the faintest slightest shift of air
against the skin of the water.

Awareness of surface tension.

Dance began with water —
the tidal swelling without words,
“lift me up,” “lay me down,”

a slow slow silent sigh.

Creation of Logic

Logic must be laughable.
After all, so many jokes
about Mister Spock exist —
eight million, six hundred and
seventy thousand at least,
as an approximation,
most of them variants of
the classic six on eyebrows,
green blood, “yo mamma,” Kirk, sex,
and, yes, vulcanized rubber,
but there are three million less
if Data is excluded
from the search, which is not like
removing the evidence,
except that Data, too, is
logical, of course, and if
the search includes both Spock and
Data, as well as more terms
related to logic and
logical, such as geek, nerd,
logic of course, computer,
research, and both rational
and rationale, you will find
the number of jokes totals
thirty-three million and eight
hundred thousand, which is more
than fifty percent of the
total universe of jokes
in your language, that being
sixty-seven million and
one hundred thousand —
so much evidence supports
the premise that your people
for some inexplicable
reason find logic funny.

Creation of Dreams

Oh, no, not sissy dreams of what you wish
or what you want to be when you grow up,
no strategy for making ‘dreams’ come true.
Not the fears that itch & shiver in our skin.
Just ordinary plain vanilla dreams
(if any of the nightly concoctions
our brains cook up could ever be called “plain”),
or the dizzying disorienting
paths our minds wander when we aren’t looking
that pop like bubbles when we snap alert,
leaving only the faintest chill sprinkling
that quickly dries, or a faint scent that fades.
All the hard work our brains do while we sleep,
trying to assemble meaning, structure
and link the gathered fragments we rolled through,
stitching them like quilts to hold the layers
together, or perhaps some more fragile
metaphor. In the morning, I’m muddled
riding the bus, and wishing I was still
asleep. Looking out the windows, watching
very simply — what is familiar, what
is not. The ribs of the bridge at dawn strip
light and shadow like torn fabric, create
rhythms that bump along my brain’s ridges,
creating a sensory cavalcade,
memories escorted by eyes into
jumbled juxtapositions, strange puzzles.
The knotting network of nerves stretches out,
nudges the delicate dendrites that nose
from cell to cell blindly, tasting their way,
triggering a blip here, a sizzle there,
an ache, a bruise, bewilderment, old friends
familiar though you’ve never met before,
chatter, colors — stuttering chemicals’
curious cascading kaleidoscope.

Creation of Space

The green and white shell is just big enough
I can curl my pinkie finger part way
inside, where it is smooth, slippery, clean
and dry as it never was when alive.

There are many kinds of spaces like this,
lovely but slightly odd with absences
of some past or future that will/was/won’t
fill the gap hollowed with infinite care.

There are other types of spaces, you know,
in which some enormous pressure is gone
or at a great distance. I dream of life
somewhere with a few folk and many pines.

For others it is the space in the day
after the kids sleep or before they wake;
the high emptiness of the clouds over
great waters; streetlamps after the bars close;

sunlight through lace streaking faint trails of dust
over wooden floors freshly swept, while flutes
and guitars quietly sift through the air;
the loud crowds in which there is no known face.

These are all intimate spaces, defined
by presence. For good or ill, we know what
is lacking, what is missed, unlike the first
space before any others, when nothing

was nothing; nothing was needed or lost,
nothing was missing, and everything was.

Creation of Stained Glass

The first stained glass was sunlight
bright shining through the trees,
broad flat
hot petals and sour leaves.

The demarkation of light
and shadow made lines as crisp
as lead
but fluid
and limply mutable.

Colors bright as that famed fruit
whose flavour first made folk say
this is
a private
moment, when everything is

alive with savor and portents,
purpose and sensation,
the light
makes urgent
more than at any other time.

Millennia before glass,
before geometry,
men’s fires,
cultivation’s mysteries;

before St. Patrick’s shamrock,
before Venn diagram’s
faint between
two brights, the meaning of three

was there to see — apricot
gold, mango orange frame between
the two
a spearhead
shadow bold as bittersweet.

Creation of Humility, Part Two

It begins with breaking, but does not end there.
Like by becoming pregnant you find you
have joined a secret club you did not know
existed. Exists. But after pregnant
comes birth, after birth comes baby, and more
afters – after baby comes the long haul,
the forever and ever amen. And you
did not know it was a club, but there it is.
The forever and ever amen club,
and you’ve just become a lifetime member.

Being broken, you feel different, ashamed.
You scrap plans for dancing Saturday night
with the unchipped china on the top shelf.
You have nothing to talk about with them,
and can guess what they have to say about you.
You begin by staying home. Every night.
During days you walk alone down the streets,
noticing every now and then someone else
who seems broken, too, but what does that mean?
You practice a small shy smile. They smile back.

Creation of Humility

First, be broken.

Fight back, or don’t. Bide your time,
or endure, biting your lip, and hope
to survive. Choke back a groan, whimper,
or let them loose. Moan. Throw your pain
in the faces of those around you, or
let it pulse once in silence across your face,
and be swallowed like a wave into the sea,
then like a wave return once again, again.

What is broken?

A bone. A heart. Whatever you ignored.
Whatever is most needed at the moment.
The body. The mind. The spirit. Pride.
A sense of wholeness. Ability. A sense
of self worth. Identity. Who is who and
who is me or you. A barrier. A boundary.
An imagined dream. Hope. A voice. Someone
you love. Sometimes it is the pain
that breaks. Sometimes it is a fever.

Give up, let it go.