Friday, May 02, 2008

Today's Poem: Meditation on "The Quarter" by Jim Harrison

From the Writer's Almanac. (Thank you Garrison Keillor and MPR.)

Poem: "The Quarter" by Jim Harrison. Used with permission of the poet.

The Quarter

Maybe the problem is that I got involved with the wrong crowd of gods when I was seven. At first they weren't harmful and only showed themselves as fish, birds, especially herons and loons, turtles, a bobcat and a small bear, but not deer and rabbits who only offered themselves as food. And maybe I spent too much time inside the water of lakes and rivers. Underwater seemed like the safest church I could go to. And sleeping
outside that young might have seeped too much dark into my brain and bones. It was not for me to ever recover. The other day I found a quarter in the driveway I lost at the Mecosta State Fair in 1947 and missed out on five rides including the Ferris wheel and the Tilt-A-Whirl. I sat in anger for hours in the bull barn mourning my lost quarter on which the entire tragic history
of earth is written. I looked up into the holes of the bulls' massive noses and at the brass rings puncturing their noses which allowed them to be led. It would have been an easier life if I had allowed a ring in my nose but so many years later I still find the spore of the gods here and there but never in the vicinity of quarters.

I notice....
Something of God. Something of money. Something about seeing The Divine in fish. Something about sorrow and anger and possibly experiencing dark-side-seepage by virtue of sleeping outdoors. Hmmmmm....The woe of not riding the ferris wheel. What losing his money stirred in him, emotion wise. Hmmmm.... And this business of being a bull lead by the nose?

I wonder....
Who are we in our faith?
Who am I in my relationship to money?
What do the rivers and fish teach us?
What does the poet want me to think?
Is the "wrong crowd of gods" really fish and birds in nature?
How could the "spore of gods" ever be found in the vicinity of a quarter?

I think....
Jim Harrison and I have a lot in common when it comes to where we find our church.
He invites us to contemplate being lead by the nose with him, a pierced ring that perhaps might get us to the "right" place.

What do you think?

No comments: