December 25, 2010

Sacred Crèche

Happy Christmas, world! While I cook chinese food with some jewish friends, I'll offer you a new "sacred song" poem:

Sacred Crèche

A half dozen young geese clumped behind their mother,
Out in the duck pond behind the watering trough.
It’s cold, but they haven’t flown North:
Certain meteorological events have kept them from flying off,
So they cuddle in the dark, bodies close to each other.

Maureen Dowd announces it in the New York Times:
Her brother Kevin owns about seventeen Christmas crèches,
Hundreds less than some collectors’ collections, & for what it’s worth,
A child is born, the wings of a swallow, the little wishing fishes,
And all the other animals for which the rappers know no rhymes.

There’s two rats in my nursery,
So much incense, & other useless gifts for a baby,
Several unexpected human guests, uninvited, and others missing:
My midwife is imprisoned at the airport in St. Louis,
And the bridegroom & his beloved are in Vegas for their millennial anniversary.

The geese stretch their pinions to the four winds,
Take to the night, & fly into the east star.
Their take-off ripple in the duck pond freezes like an old man reminiscing.
Take to the night in Phaethon’s stolen car:
Just six friends on a sacred joyride, six friends, a means & no ends.

Maureen Dowd calls me on a two-way radio.
We rent out billboard space in Times Square
To advertise the the dawn with the world’s largest ultrasound.
Meanwhile, in a cave owned by an exiled billionaire,
In relative anonymity, a booby bird makes a nest out of guano.

There’s two rats in my nursery,
Joined by the widowed mother goose,
While bankers watch their stocks, all seated on the ground.
Since antiquity, the rats have had nothing to lose.
Their story is a universal story, a cursory, unmiraculous story.

No comments: