by Jeff Burt
It’s natural to think the thread of a spider that wafts
from a dying oak branch toward a blueberry bush
is cast like an anchor from one ship to a floor,
but the filament is spun as it drifts, the spider is not in safety
on deck but riding the forefront whiffed by the breeze
eyes set on nowhere in particular or a vague set of greenery
where chances of prey are plentiful, being prey are few.
They are the perpetual first astronauts launched
in a cone on the top of a rocket screaming into space,
Not a void as in nothing in it, but void as in empty of experience.
My ancestors from Sweden took trips in the dark night
and ill holds of transports with all the other poor farmers
for a vague territory on a map of the western Great Lakes,
not attached to a tow line that could snap them back to Sweden,
but riding the deck, splashed with spray, to an unseen port,
like yearling whales on ancient and epic excursions
ribbing sea’s mountains and shoals following the same
genetic geographic destiny without a clue of a resting place.
Even today at the 7th Avenue stoplight
I think of being taught detachment from desire
will enable us, but to what when we do not desire?
We feed on want and wish like fire eats oxygen
and bound carbon until the flame poofs out.
Bound carbon—that is what we are anyway,
waiting to be unleashed, our DNA demanding
the chains be sparked into explosion,
to do, to act, to have something other than.
Other than—to be other than what we are.
Some of us are not meant to stay on the dying oak
or strung on a taut string in comfort.
Some of us are not meant to farm the old land.
Some of us are meant to launch into the air
screaming as we head to who knows where.
The red light changes. I walk. I dream
I have somewhere, anywhere, to go.
Source: A street corner moment
Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California with his wife. He has contributed previously to Red Wolf Journal, Williwaw Journal, Heartwood, and many other journals.