POET’S PLAN —Towers Infernal—

Towers Infernal electronics_computer_tower1

This is the start of a new series of posts, describing my effort to self-publish over fifty years worth of writing.

On Saturday something wonderful happened. I had three computer towers gathering dust, as they had become obsolete, plus the obsolete Windows XL I currently use, and a young fellow came by, took the brains out, attached them to a gadget, and downloaded the entire memory of four towers into an external drive the size of my wallet.

In one case the computer was so old it didn’t start any more. I had downloaded some things from it that seemed vital to me onto old floppy discs, and shifted them to a newer computer back around 2002, but lost in its faceless hulk was all sorts of other obscure stuff I never got around to printing  or saving onto a floppy discs.  I figured those things were dust in the wind, but they weren’t.  Suddenly, on Saturday, I was able to look back in time to the late 1990’s, when my aging parents were still alive, and I still had five kids in my small house.

What a blast from the past!

Among other things I found the following poem, which describes the attitude I had at that time about the fact I’d written my entire life, and no one cared.  I think the attitude I had towards my own abject failure is sort of neat.  Also it is neat that the writing I thought was merely dust in the wind was rescued, (for the moment at least,) by a computer geek with a neat gadget, last Saturday.  It was as if my house burned down, and my life’s work was ashes, but I was a man about the loss and got over it, and then the ashes all came together and what was lost was given back to me.


What signatures do clouds leave
Passing through the sky?
The next day, has their passage
Left their name, writ up on high?
Do they crave for credit?
Hanker fame? Press demands?
Or is their sole graffiti
Lovely greening of the lands?

And if they can be beautiful
Without demanding fame
Why should I desire
That someone notes my name?
Do clouds cry out for editors
And fall, becoming fog?
Why do I pester publishers,
Whimpering like a dog?

Each day Divine erasers
Wipe the chalkboard of the skies
So that the Great Kaleidoscope
Can freshly catch our eyes
And lift them from the greening earth;
From dirt that grows our food
To what food keeps us living for:
Amazement’s gratitude.

Those same Divine erasers
Change our language, over time,
‘Til someday this poor poetry
Will barely seem to rhyme;
‘Til creepings of obscurity
Make English ancient Greek,
Yet still the clouds will roll above
And still their silence speak.

Even if this poem sold
And critics called it great,
And future teachers scribbled it,
Chalk shrieking over slate,
(Trying to make lusty boys
Stop slugging, and free sighs,)
I’d be the boy who looked away
Out windows, and saw Skies.

A Greater Artist daubs that blue
With sunrises of flame,
Creates a fleeting masterpiece,
And never signs His name.
It’s little clouds, like you and I,
(Bad sports, within this game,)
Who carve our names on trees and time
And call it fame.

Why do we do it? Can’t we see
We’re each a passing cloud?
Who says we can’t just green the earth?
Who says it’s not allowed?
Or are we little children
Who grow loud to catch an eye,
Demanding the attention
Of the One who made the sky?

O you who made the clouds and us!
Heed us! As we hurl
Our mighty little thunderbolts!
See our tornadoes twirl!
We’re mighty little thunderheads
For three score and for ten,
Demanding your attention
Every day, and then…and then?

And then I guess we get to go
To editing. Review
The mess we made of earth.
See greening that we didn’t do.
And even if it’s true we then
Feel roasted by our shame
The heat makes us evaporate
And we escape the flame.

I’m not impressed by teachers
Who scratch blackboards with their threats,
Preaching everlasting hell
Is what a rain cloud gets
If he passes over gardens
Without greening. He who whets
Such fearing wets the fires
Of the poems. What teacher’s pets!

For nothing’s everlasting,
Yet threat believes in fame;
It claims our small graffiti
Carves an everlasting name.
Creation is a nothing.
The Creator is the All.
Believing dust-to-dust is real
Is why we rise and fall.

Only when you understand
That all will be erased
Can you rise above the sky
And feel your being Graced.
All will be forgiven.
God isn’t mean; He’s Love.
It’s written in the signature
Of Cirrus, high above.



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