Sunday, February 3, 2019

ODT #5 a curtain of bliss

Another in my growing collection of poems about the truth.  The rising water threatens to wash everything away.  I miss my blindfold.

A Rhinoceros at the Prague Zoo | Phillis Levin

While ducks and swans paddled placidly on the Vltava’s rushing
waters, penguins, storks and gorillas were evacuated from the Prague
Zoo, and a crane was used to lift two rhinoceros to high ground. But
one turned violent and had to be killed, and keepers had to shoot a
35-year-old Indian elephant named Kadir as water rose to his ears
and he refused to move to high ground. 


–The New York Times, August 14, 2002

A blindfolded rhinoceros
is being lifted
out of the water.
It is important he doesn’t see
what is going on.

Please pass it on:

please pass along
his blindfold
so we can be lifted, too.

Take us slowly from the flood,
the rising water
that threatens to wash
everything away.

The world keeps unraveling,
the riverbank
dissolving,
the blood flowing,

and the rhinoceros
had better keep
that blindfold on

because he is dangerous
if he sees what is dangerous.

Unlike a unicorn,
he is heavy and
clumsy and dumb.

He will crush someone
with his fear,
he will tear us apart
if he panics.

Raise him
gently,
lower him
gently
into a meadow
of cool waters.

Then pass along
the blindfold
so we can be lifted, too.

Raise us
out of the muck
onto a bed of grass,

pass the bright bandana
covering his eyes,
a blanket
of surrender,
a curtain of bliss:

a checkered napkin
taken from a tavern

or a chessboard
seen
from above.



Thanks to Tabatha for finding that, and to Linda for finding this:

"What though our eyes with tears be wet?
The sunrise never failed us yet."

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