Poem (and photo) by Howard Pugh, copyright 2012
We shall forget all those we never met.
We shall rejoice in their absence when
the world is reborn, the land scoured clean.
It is not evil to burn fat by reversals in time.
It is not a harm done. The body gets stronger.
The memory awakens like melting ice,
a mountain thaw, we are young again, virginal,
shooting up tall like wild blades of grass.
It is time to dust off the furniture of unquestioned-beliefs.
It is awkward, like a forgotten nakedness:
gravity once felt good, reaffirming,
believing in things would run like liquid,
cascade from one shiny
calculus to another, and then.
The world became thick with ideas, too thick.
Navigation was hard-going through the abiding goo.
We’d arrive looking more like our surroundings,
camouflaged in degrees of transparency, confusion.
Who owns the food chain of our creations?
Who plucks their magic off the echoing walls?
No one here but us dwarves, us root-bound
drowned out by the multitudes:
Letting things grow and artificially complete,
harden painfully, like forgeries of coral.
Letting things go: the yard as it uncultivates,
the bailing wire of our human hand breaks,
springs free, death. Death in slow motion.
Comfort and neglect: the giddiness of dissolution.
But here along the soft banks of the western river,
here, at the end of the world, we build
and design and laugh and make love,
designate new gods:
a god of bathing,
a god for dreams.
But we are all like small gods now,
each of us explorers and makers,
mapping out wondrous strands
of the hallucinogenic unknown.
Our camp name is rekindled desire,
the river is history anew – daring us all
to take hold of vast nets across its maw,
feel the pride and pleasure tug as
we belong to one another once again.