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Oct 21st
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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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Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

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