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.