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Mar 27th
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Poetry Corner

AE_POETRY1Editor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature poet Ron Slate’s first book of poems, “The Incentive of the Maggot,” (Houghton Mifflin 2005), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle poetry prize. His second book from Houghton, “The Great Wave,” was published this year. Slate maintains a literary book review, "On the Seawall," at  ronslate.com. He lives in Milton, Mass.

Arcadia

A horn blaring and the gut-smash of metal –

I heard the crash and swiveled
on my stool in the Arcadia.

Two drivers met in the street,
chastened and faultless.

Pieces of chrome and glass --

so much care taken not to step
in the spreading puddle of antifreeze.

As children we played in the parking lot
of the hospital, hearing the siren
long before an ambulance arrived.

A policeman said “you kids go home.”

As teens we worked as orderlies,
suddenly we could be trusted to look,
but I soon preferred to avert my eyes.

Notorious intersection,
too costly to redesign.

The insipid righteousness of pedestrians.

Cited, a shaken man,
protesting his innocence --

he took the stool beside me, awaiting the tow,

AE_POETRY2beneath the bleached print of the Parthenon
and a giant gyro hovering above it
poised to punish or nourish Athens.

You’re my witness, he said,
you saw what happened.

But I didn’t see anything,
I heard the sound of what occurred,
and then I turned to look.

 

Lion of God

Some remember me from those days,
not by that name, given to me,
but by the breach between name and boy.

At ten I pronounced the unspeakable
name of God, my teacher rose from his chair,
dragged me by the scruff, then shook me

in his teeth. Speaking the word to make
a pleasing sound, I neglected
to consider the significance,


committing a grave offense.
Thus I was transformed by terror,
my classmates looking on,


and in the space between name and child
arose fear, respect, contempt,
wonder, loss of faith, awe of the eternal.


I took my seat and read on, wary now
of meaning but loving the lilt, relying now on rhythm
so that time may never be interrupted again.

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Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

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