Thursday, December 20, 2007

Geraniums and Newspapers

Do not let the geraniums
that you bought today

wither in their pots,
on the steps
to the front porch.

Only when they have been
bathed by enough water,

only when they have
taught themselves to
strain towards the Sun,

only when they have borne
both affection and neglect,

will their roots expand
until it no longer matters
what they are given to endure.

Then you may perish.
Then you may die.
Then may a chorus of timely good turns
serve as the only insurance you need
to snuff you, and still you,
and settle your ashes
as you get into heaven just the same.

Do not let the newspapers
that you mean to read
yellow on top of your desk.

Only when you cannot be
beguiled by hope and dogged by guilt;

only when you stop hoarding,
and you don't make any distinctions
between crises and opportunities

will you start making decisions.
Forget about "the time being"?

You are saturated by "the time being"!
it soaks you with wave after wave,
while you are waiting for
some soothsayer's monsoon
to snuff you and still you
and settle your ashes -
as you get into heaven just the same.

(Whoever said that the evil of the day is sufficient was speaking to me and for me forever and ever.You will be sure of this on the day you cease to remember me, and I get into heaven just the same.)

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