They will build their own civilizations, their own memories to know and to delight. And then that too will all come tumbling down in ruins of their own. Followed by another and then another. All coming to ruin before this universe yields to another. Take heart in the now, I tell you. The present, the quickly yielding present, is all we ever have in this world of ours.
The Secret To The Love
There was this Frenchman, a man of many loves, greater than Casanova, greater than Byron even, who had seen the sun come and go many times in his life and when, at last, it came time to put his lovemaking to an end due to an illness he confided to a nurse, also French, in the American hospital where they were due to operate all the women he had bedded, and all the men too, he told her every detail and every secret position and when they finally wheeled him away to take out the ball of works he said, “You will remember, my dear, won't you?” “Always,” she said. And she loved and bedded and kept those loves to the end of her days and when she reached her death it was said that she died with a wicked smile on her face. For she remembered her comrade straight to love's final embrace.
“I have no time for that which has no soul,” Bukowski proudly proclaimed. He fought the good fight.
He drank the good drink. Then he died. Some damn good soul throughout it all.
Moments Like This
“You're like a bad penny,” the old aunt said. “You keep coming back.”
“But you love me for it, don't you?” I said with a grin.
“Damn right I do!” she said and threw her arms around me, hugging me.
It's moments like this that make it all worthwhile.
What Is It Now?
And what is love, I ask you? Love is a butterfly at the first sign of spring. Love is a bare bottomed boy or girl (does it really matter which?) walking down the road of life. Love is a young girl's laugh. Love is now.
One Night At The Lounge
So I walked into the lounge and the man of the hour asked me, "What'll it be? Boys or girls?"
"Neither, really," I said.
"Really, Sir?" he said. "We offer the finest selection from all nations."
"No," I said. "I'd just like a drink."
"A drink then?" he said. "Will it be scotch, bourbon, absinthe..."
"No, I just want a Coke," I said in return.
"Coke?" He asked. "Will that be powder or crack?"
"No," I said wearily. "I just want a Coca-Cola." I paused. "A soda, you know?"
"As you will," the man said to me. "We offer the very best."
I settled back in my seat and drank my soda. Somehow, I could tell it was going to be one long night.
Emily Dickinson, recluse of the latter 1800s, knew all too well what a hard time the rich and famous gave one another. Knew, too, how this old world will just eat you alive if you let it. So she wrote her poems within the quiet solitude of her bedroom there in shady Amherst and only showed them to a handful of trusted associates here and there. And when her sister Lavinia asked Emily afterwards upon Emily's deathbed what she wanted done with them. “Burn them,” Emily replied. But, of course, Lavinia saw the lie in Emily's eyes and had the whole of Emily's poems bound and printed off to the masses. Fame found Emily Dickinson then and Emily smiled from beyond the grave. She had, after all, escaped the world at last.
The Ancient Dead
And then I think of those pharaohs of long ago Egypt. Fact is, the pharaohs didn't go alone to the grave. They took their entire entourage with them. Everything from minor officials to servants to the mangiest cat and dog. All without exception buried alive within the pharaoh's chambers. Whether they went willingly to their fate isn't known but still I can hear their cry across the ages..."...buried alive...buried alive..." and then no more...
A Lucky Man
But amid the confusion and all the disappointment of my life I must not forget my good fortune. These are science fiction times, no less, in which wayfarers circle the earth in far-off space and newfound wonders are found in both a microscope and an atom smasher underground in Switzerland.These are indeed newfangled times in which giants walk the planet from Pope Francis to Thich Nhat Hanh to the merchants for peace who aid the dying migrants out in the deserts and seas of the world. Overall, I count myself a lucky man to be alive in the present time.