Good Friday 2010





In a bright blink of an eye

a kestrel rested its wing

in mid flight hunting mice;

A man spilling milk

Thought he saw a drop pause midair

Before it disappeared below the dirt floor.



Nothing mattered anymore;

Meaning seeped past reason;

All morning, no one wanted to leave his bed;

The world felt nothing

as if the sky had rested on the earth too long

And was asleep, each speck of dew

Numb pinpricks that held no pain.



In the first hours,

New leaves that were not there

Revealed themselves in the light

That dappled past the apple branches.

The wet ground smelled of coffee;

A man walking to market knew

That it would be sweet

If he touched it to his lips;

The old bones in the yard

Did not move in the wind,

But they shone a bit brighter

In the morning sun.



Lamech, the sixth grandson of Adam,

grieving the death of his child,

hung his corpse from a tree to dry.


The vermin and corvids came,

stripped the flesh, wind and sand

polished the bones


rattling them like chimes;

Lamech came every day to listen

to the chatter of death,


and heard music he felt compelled

to remake, which is how he came

to carve the oud


in the shape of his swaying son

reminding him of life and the song

the wind sings through branches and bones.



When water broke through,

Flooding the Wangjialing mine

In China’s northern Shanxi Province,


All feared the 153 miners

Trapped in the black waters

Would drown or die breathing poison gas


Trapped in the shaft along with them.

But they hung on, one

Quite literally, attaching his belt


To the mine wall to stay above

The rising coal waters

For three days until a he saw


Lazing by, a mining cart;

He swam to it and was carried

To 113 others, standing on one platform


For one week, stripping bark

Off the pine supports, eating the fibers

Until rescuers in rafts


Descended into the tunnel

To take them to the surface

Where thousands had kept unending vigil.


One rescuer told the press, weeping:

“I have not slept for several days.

Our efforts have not been in vain.”

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