Sunday, February 20, 2011

Questions, Answers, And Kitsch

Do lions dream?

Of course they do.

They dream of zebra--

Enormous, endless herds of zebra,

Nearly all of them young,

Or lame,

Or so stupefied by the afternoon sun

That they simply blink and lie down

Like mail on the little table

By the front door.

Do zebra dream?

Of course they do.

They dream of wings--

Enormous, glorious wings, so that they barely need hooves at all;

They dream of taking to the sky and making it appear as a black and white checkered tile floor

In a little diner

By the freeway.

These are things not spoken of;

Not generally known--

Like the way your eyes remain calm but the corner of your mouth turns up

When you have already pounced

In your mind.

Do Romans dream?

No, not ever.

Their mouths have filled with mud and they have rotted along with their laurel leaves.

Tourists fill their coliseum, fearing nothing.

Their gods and goddesses have been pitifully reduced,

Barely hanging on as the names of automobiles

Or household pets.

Rome is dead,

Like a blue bottle fly

Dried up on a window sill.

The Romans are gone,

And with them, their hubris and gory entertainments--

But there are still lions,

And there are still zebra,

And there is still my love for you,

Sitting lightly atop your head and in your hair

Like a pair of ginormous and kitschy



for One Shoot Sunday. Photograph by jackAZ.


hedgewitch said...

The Romans may be gone, but I think we Americans are working pretty hard at taking their place.

The first two stanzas of this are smooth and arrow-sharp,--and there's no diminishing point, the poem just gets more subtle and more tightly coiled til it too pounces in the last analogy---the last lines are the perfect ending to what didn't even seem to be a love poem, but turns out to be a most remarkable one.

Claudia said...

oh this is beautiful shay...made me dream as well...of i barely have need for my feet any more...smiles
loved the blink and lie down like mail.. oh and i will visit rome in summer...let's see how much life is left there..

TALON said...

This was so love-filled, Shay. But not traditional and not puppy love...but the sustained kind that just "is"...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

So many wonderful, fresh and surprising images - "like mail on the little table",the zebra dreaming of wings and the "checkered tile floor in a little diner by the freeway", the facial expression "when you have already pounced in your mind"........the blue bottle fly.....and then the totally unexpected segue into the last stanza's declaration of love.......and the sunglasses.

Wow. You so rock!

Helen said...

My lion dreams of Dorothy and the Wizard ........

Steve Isaak said...

Wonderful, great flow, all that. Excellent work.

hpicasso said...

a wonderful write...mied with emotions of then and now...I wanted to venture off into Jack's pictures, but I stuck with Darth

Peace, hp

Raven said...

So clever and creative! I love how you don't give any hint that this is poem about love until the very end. It's such a sweet surprise!

signed...bkm said...

Agreed..the whole piece is wonderful...glad you chose that is a great one and a perfect write to accompany it...beautiful soft ending....bkm

Beachanny said...

Reading your work is an exploration in itself and through this time travel as well. Africa, Italy, home as where the heart beats. Always scintillating and dazzling, dear Shay.

flaubert said...

Shay, this is fabulous and the
ending is superb.


Neva Flores said...

This is glorious!

dustus said...

Great love poem with an edge. "kitschy sunglasses" speaks volumes about the speaker after considering animal dreams and the impermanence of human life.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Romans still live in the hearts of every prod Italian man ;) lived the take though and the fact you chose a different photo. Zebras dream standing up! ;)

Mama Zen said...

"When you have already pounced

In your mind."

That is just gloriously descriptive.

Cloudia said...

you are you-nique!

Aloha from Honolulu
So SORRY I've been missing too long!

Comfort Spiral


mac said...

Those Romans tried to kill love.
But, they did not succeed.
Indeed, love rose above.

And there it sits atop your head like kitchy glasses.

Shadow said...

the romans are no loss, let the lions and zebras dream forever...

cinderkeys said...

I like how this one rattles around in my head.

Anonymous said...

Great weave of zoology, history, and the mystery of love. First, as you say, human nature is nature; second, culture's death is our dark dream; and third, love - or the present -- kindles from the first two. Great cognition and ignition. - Brendan

Anonymous said...

Great weave of zoology, history, and the mystery of love. First, as you say, human nature is nature; second, culture's death is our dark dream; and third, love - or the present -- kindles from the first two. Great cognition and ignition. - Brendan

Brian Miller said...

love it...i dream of being a lion and eating romans...think i'll slide those sunglasses into place so i can see through them...and they can block the brightness of the sun a bit...

Lynn said...

Very vivid dreams! You have the best imagination.

moondustwriter said...

Gawd Shay I can't take it - you are on a roll.
Romans never did dream they were too busy feeding their pet lions

I love your writing

Lydia said...

I'm in dreamland again. Being a "grown-up" reading your blog is so much better than what I remember from childhood stories...

You need to be working on a book, Shay.