And Now . . . . 

by Lucien Stryk

Ancient recorder: mind leaps
through centuries of pain,
beyond war, peace, genocide,
even love.  Circles like swallows
over and beyond the madness.

Skims through ash of shifting
empires.  Sifts through a flush
of flowers.  Chips through layers
of ages.  Panhandling thoughts
over a rainbow carpet into

moon-buttered gutters of time.
Leaps like a trick of light
on a burst of dandelion fluff,
scattering seeds over boulders
and thistles.  Latching on

creeping mimosa snagging
a tree.  Drifts by songs of deep-
throated fluting birds caught
in the terror threatening their
world, with blunderers conducting

battle hymns in suits and ties,
spit polished with a prayer, that
bandaid for the soul.  Wind turns
the pages — eighty-four years
fold into this moment.  Rummage

to make sense of it.  With all
the tricks the years have played
on me, I see more clearly now
with my one eye.  Shake rain from
my umbrella.  Tomorrow’s promise, sun.