Robert lives in Austin, TX.
© 2008 Robert Elzy Cogswell
Flat, Smooth and Hard
Pavement lounges turgid in parking lots,
immense and hot. At cement apertures
the concrete cuddles up to shoulders of asphalt.
From there the road meanders through the city
to find the places we want to go. A gray
flatness outlines the farmland, voraciously eats
the flora, gels in excruciating plainness,
stable yet always seeking destinations.
All along the ribbon, cracks punctuate
the highway, and within their admission of weakness,
plants arise, too small for tires to touch
yet large enough to raise in the face of progress
a stubborn sign, a fist of tiny flowers
to say that something stronger still survives.
Wag Your Tail
A poorly trained dog, overcome by need,
will always rise on hind legs
to beg your attention,
ignoring the well-being
of whatever couture
you have chosen for the day.
The tail inevitably wags,
a symbol of good will
used for any circumstance
The dog never thinks, I must wag my tail.
The dog sends no command
to that important appendage.
Something in the dog knows.
If I were a molecule in the tail of a dog,
I would do my duty, we always do,
but I would always wonder,
who's in charge?
Tougher the issue of my obedient heart,
drumming, drumming, drumming,
counting carefully the inches
in a human life. No signal from my brain
instructs those atoms on what to do.
They know how to start.
They know how to continue.
And unlike any dog,
they know how to quit.
I only watch, astonished, and ask,
who's in charge?
When a tail stops wagging,
when a heart stops beating,
when the wind stops blowing,
when the vine of metaphor
stops wreathing the tower of meaning,
a mournful song needs to rise
and spread through the meadows -
we passed through all this
without knowing anything.
All work is copyrighted property of Robert Elzy Cogswell.
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