Tag Archives: Death

WRITING ON STONE

WRITING ON STONE

Pop Bukowski in his coffin
dead as hell
but reaching for one last beer
and almost making it.

Al Purdy

On the stone on my grave
I have asked them to write

I’LL TRY TO WRITE

And I will

Seeking still
some simile or metaphor

What is it like, or most unlike

Am I below or above
does it taste like dust or love

If I can’t write about it
how will I know I’m dead

How will you know
I’m still alive

A FAREWELL TO ERIC

In nineteen seventy five
In the rainforests of Venezuela
Eric lived for a year with the Yanomanmi

He also lived with the Hunkpapa
the little people that only the shamans see
unless you toke what the shamans toke
then you can see them too

When Eric was ready to go home
the Yanomami gathered by the river
and wailed and mourned as if he’d died

Eric says his goodbyes and tries to start his boat
Tuned up, new plugs and all, but it just won’t start

He pulls and pulls while the tribesmen wail

After what seems like a very long time
the shaman comes down to the boat
and asks Eric if he’s sure he must leave

Eric insists again that the time has come

The shaman admits that he has placed
Hunkpapas in the motor to keep him there

He pulls them out one by one
juggling them hot in his hands
and throws them steaming into the river
One pull and the motor starts

In two thousand and twelve in Austin
Eric is ready to go home again
Many wail and wish that he would stay
but he knows that it is time to leave

At times like this it helps
to have a shaman for a friend

John Hawk flies in and reads
Eric’s poems to the Hunkpapas
and watches as the little people leave

It takes a few pulls, but the motor starts