[lit-ideas] Re: Monday Poem

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 21:15:36 -0700

On Vancouver island we had beers, Paddywack Pale Ales, and brushes with the gods, which tale requires some stretch of understanding. First you must imagine paradise, which is to say that we were kipping on the blow-up bed of the uncle and aunt of a friend who, since they sold their dry cleaning business in Spokane have owned a house that has a lawn which reaches right down to the edge of the bay's lapping waters. Having finished roasting marshmallows, on the fourth we decided that since all light poking through clouds is a sign of some sort, when one such streak touched a distant island, this meant that a wrathful god probably wanted us to bombard that place with cannon. Pacifists and warriors alike went scurrying in search of "Quaker guns," pieces of driftwood, meanwhile practicing our loudest "booms," when suddenly a huge coastguard vessel hove into view. Deciding we knew what the better part of valor is, and made doubly sure when the light moved and settled on downtown Vancouver, we abandoned that particular religion and reached for something more humble. Since my feet were wet, I stripped off my socks. Evident holes caused me, while singing a summons to the god of gold toes, to cast them on the fire. We pressed together for messages, expecting perhaps flocks of prodigal single socks returning from all the world's driers, or maybe smaller numbers, newly mated pairs arriving with gay pride, the red having in high cotton heaven fallen for the blue. Instead here came a bald eagle, chased by a gull and a crow, and a paddle of geese nibbling on weed. Dojo Bob rubbed his bad shoulder, and just like that, we suddenly abandoned belief.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon
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