Tagged blurtsobarn

“Blurtso is happy to be of help”

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I want to help, said Blurtso, but I’ve got to be honest about my abilities. Let me see, he said, I know that I’m not very good at carrying heavy objects, I tire easily and I recuperate slowly. I don’t read and I don’t write, and my hoofs are good for little more than standing on, which I prefer to avoid, if there is a patch of grass nearby. Hmmmm…. my nose is quite good for sniffing, and my ears are quite good for hearing, so I can usually hear when someone is asking someone to give them a hand with something, but of course I don’t have hands and my hoofs are good for little more than standing on, which usually isn’t much help. I’m pretty good company, I guess, if you’re someone who doesn’t move around a lot, or you just need someone to nap with. I’m quite good at that, I believe, taking naps that is. I can take a nap at almost any time and almost any place. And I must be good at other things too, but I can’t remember what they are, because I don’t have a very good memory. But I know I am happy to be of help. I’m quite sure of that. I’m very happy to be of help.

“Of the earth”

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The city before the city
was the earth
before hands held it.

The dark soil breathed
and the grasses sang,
until they were strangled
with slow cement.
To construct their shelters
the people went to the hills
where they razed
the orchestra of the trees,
stripping their strings,
so the limbless trunks
could be stacked and sold,
and only silence remained
where the music had been.

Not satisfied with a single roof,
they hired bandits
to return with their blades
seeking the slow heart
of the sequoia.
The lawyers at their windows,
unable to see through the smog,
signed the death warrants
of the hills,
while the rest
sat stupidly in their homes,
watching the walls grow,
until there was no door
for day to enter,
no crack for the wind,
and the dim light remaining
was tinted and conditioned.

When their prisons were complete,
they thrust their hands
beneath the soil
and melted its singing metal
into the graceless lines
of their automobiles.
In the sudden haste
they went from house to house,
smelling of synthetics,
stepping out only long enough
to curse the wind’s breath
disheveling their hair.

They put wheels on their homes
and carried them
groaning up the canyon.
They spread like smoke
through the trees,
splashing the branches
with obscene shapes and sounds.
They stayed until dust rose
where there had been blossoms,
and engines roared
where there had been birds,
and the waters choked
on their sudden blackness.
They left their broken trail
of plastics and noise
until even the wind could not wash
their echo from the trees.

Oh Lizzy, if not for you
the seasons would surely die!

Your sweet hooves
stepped from the foam
like polished shells
washed upon the shore.
You laughed
with the curl of the waves,
and your slow breath copied
its repeated rhythm and sway.
Your prints swirled in the tide,
and the jealous sea reached
to pull you back,
but its frothy fingers
touched only your heels,
then stretched and expired,
sinking in the sand.

Your hooves continued
over the hills and valleys,
moving in perfect balance
when the earth narrowed to a log
fallen across the stream.
They continued past the remains
of the beaver’s winter work,
along the unscarred path,
to the deer’s scented trail
that led secretly back
to the bank of the singing brook.

It was there your eyes learned
their color from the branches,
and stole the silver light
of the stone’s push upon the stream.

It was there your soul learned
the circling chase of the birds,
and your hair stole its aroma
from the cool in the shadows.

It was there your heart learned
the wisdom of the water.

When the wind
whispered your name
you followed it to the top of
a red-rock mountain.
It pressed its kiss against you,
sweeping the length of your snout,
and caressing with delicate patience
the curve and lilt of your ears.
There,
braced against the wind,
the extending light caught
and filled your form
with its rising breath of fire.

“Blurtso goes to market”

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To market, to market, to market I go,
with every sad smile and thought that I sow,
to market, to market, to market today,
to sell my poor self and see what they’ll pay.

“Blurtso fluffs his pillow”

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watch Blurtso fluff his pillows

“Graham Cracker Crumbs” (VIII)

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“I cannot offer”

The hills do not know me
and the waves erase my name,
I cannot offer the gifts of the earth.

I cannot offer the broad mountain and wild rose,
the moody sky and its quarreling clouds.
My hooves are frightened,
they fall on the rocky path,
and they tear on the virgin thorns.
Because its waters do not call me,
I cannot offer the gifts of the earth.

But you sprang from the soil.

You awoke in the blue day
that echoed in the trees,
opened your arms, and embraced the dawn.
Your voice flew from branch to branch,
and your happy hooves played,
laughing with the stream.
The wind whispered secrets of the stone,
and the sun sketched your soul
with stretching shadows.

I cannot offer the earth,
so I wait the night in silence
to admire your midnight crown.

“Graham Cracker Crumbs” (V)

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“Your name”

The world was still new,
uncertain shapes and sounds,
when first
you heard your name.
“Lizzy” could have been an apple,
or a butterfly, or a sunset in spring,
but its syllables
became a seed,
the sprout of your center.

Little by little
you grew comfortable
with the sound and the colors
in your name,
its wings sailed
from voice to voice,
crossing
the houses and streets and trees,
making its way
to the peak of a dream.

At the first competition
it seemed the chilly name of another.

It was not yet you,
its essence was untested,
so you went seeking,
searching in weary mirrors,
in questioning shadows,
in solitude,
until you found
its true voice singing
in the slow light of dedication.

It was then it lingered,
and stopped a Blurtso that passed,
thinking it was the echo of an apple,
or a butterfly, or spring.

“Blurtso parrots Papa” (VI)

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“Time is running away”

“Again?” said Jim.
“Oh yes!” she said. “I never get tired of hearing it!”
“I love you forever,” said Jim.
“And ever and ever?” she said.
“And ever and ever,” said Jim.

“Blurtso parrots Papa” (III)

 

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The sun after the rain dried the rain into steam and the steam drenched the street and the bay. Jim’s shirt clung to his neck and his arms beaded with sweat. His arms beaded and his eyebrows glistened with sweat.

In the dark his eyebrows still glistened and from his bed he heard the late voices rise from the bay. He heard a door open and he heard a door close and a streetlight cast a shadow on the wall. The streetlight cast the shadow of the window shutter on the wall. The mattress grew damp where his body touched the mattress and he shifted from where his body touched the mattress. Sweat beaded at the creases of his arms at his elbows and ran to his elbows. Sweat beaded on his neck and ran along the creases and ran behind his ears. “When this is over,” he said, “thirty nights will be remembered as one.”

The shadow of the shutter in the lamplight grew dim in the brightness when the late voices became early voices rising from the bay.