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Chapter 6

STRANGE RENEWAL

This chapter highlights sudden as well as gradual change punctuated by drama, satire and a measure of spiritual awakening. Sometimes we change by choice, while at other times observe change after the fact, generated by circumstance.

 

 

102 The Language of the Future

103 Looking at the Taj Mahal

105 Long-Lost Books

106 The Sahara – A Spiritual Journey

109 After Reading an Obscure Volume of Unusual Poetry

110 Nocturnal Squeaks

111 On Reading That The Atlantic Monthly Has a Backlog of Poetry Submissions

114 The Freight Train From Houston

117 Strange Renewal

118 The Chimes of the Clock at the Courthouse

119 In Sculpted Sentences of Verbose Prose

122 Wild Geese From Canada

124 Books

126 The New York City Zoo

130 Apples and Oranges – A Play on Words and Concepts in Five Short Acts

131 Your Face

133 Healing

134 Small Town Routine – One View

135 Small Town Routine – A Different View

136 The Addressee

137 Tropical Jungle in the Amazon – A Lyrical-Dramatic Tableau

Books

 

Sometimes, when I think of the vast wisdom ever

contained in books; countless scriptures of all creeds;

 

scrolls in indecipherable languages; tomes of science;

the great Library of Alexandria destroyed by fire

 

centuries ago, priceless knowledge gone; thousands

of books burned by the Third Reich; books still held

 

secret at the Vatican; hieroglyphs in Egypt and 

whatever Atlantis may have contributed to the written

 

word; books simply lost and never found; others

molded, fallen apart, discarded, and all the many

 

books I’ll never be able to read in a lifetime, even if

I lived a thousand years; and when I think of all these

 

while browsing at garage sales, used bookstores (oh,

the good feel of an old book and the sense of care for

 

books you surmise some previous owner had; to see

his or her name written on the title page, sometimes

 

with the date of purchase or gift – yes, then I tend

to hold a book in my hands a little long sometimes,

 

deliberating whether I’ll buy, and I read again what’s

on the flap; scan a few more pages; look for a keen

 

phrase here and there; ponder on the title, the design,

the author’s name, weighing it all in my hand . . . and

 

page after page of long-forgotten lore, adventure and

myth slowly take shape, mingling with my own memory

 

of myth in the back of my mind, passing through my

skin, stealing into my bones, my heart; holding me

 

spellbound for a lifetime it seems, and somehow

beneath my feet the deeper caves and mysteries of

 

the earth open wide where I can glimpse that which I

cannot name but know that it exists; and I’m feeling

 

strangely rooted and connected to all cultures, wars, beliefs, poems, romance, history, peace, and then I may

 

take the book home, but as I’m standing here, lost in

time for a while, some power is reclaiming everything

 

I thought was lost to Man one time, and I see the

Great Communicator of it all in all these many chapters,

 

paragraphs, sentences, words, working their way with

a purpose, meaning, and conviction across so many

 

ages, and suddenly it seems that everything is here

now, and really never went away at all as long as books

 

have ever existed and readers found them, and as I

close the book, walking out to get some fresh air,

 

there’s all the magic in the air as of old still . . .

and I can live with that and be an open book to all.

Books

Sample poem: Books

Published in The Neovictorian/Cochlea, 2006, Winning Writers, 2006, This Enduring Gift, 2010

 

On permanent display at Revelations Cafe & Bookstore, Fairfield, IA, since 2004

 

Comment on Books:

 

I really liked your poem. It captures the spiritual dimension of reading and writing, and the connection to eternity that we make through books. I’ve often had the same feelings — the multitude of books overwhelms me with awareness of my mortality and yet at the same time connects me to something immortal. Nice job.

—Jendi Reiter, editor of WinningWriters.com and author of Bullies in Love and Two Natures.