Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Second Soul of November

"Resistance" by David Noah,
Winterville, Georgia

Athens, Georgia
November 18, 2011

       Call me Aquarius
unlike Ishmael
set to sea
by soul’s November
damp and drizzle
cold November
grim about the mouth
chased into the arms of Ahab
        ever striving,
        ever driving
raging to the fading light
in endless existential angst
aspiring to redeeming greatness
spurning fear and hope alike
embracing √úbermensch inside

        which elevates
        contentious ways
        defines the dark
        in dismal days
        descends again
        the well of cold
        which holds the dread  
        November soul

well goodness gracious that
November, bless its existential
heart, so Sturm und Drang, so
not my drama. Mine the mellow
Southern season mixing mild
with bracing days, when
woodlands open up and welcome
winter’s heart of tan and brown.  
There’s peace in piercing shafts
of sunlight slowly warming forest
floor where solemn anoles fade
in silence, green to tan in golden
sun, a grace in shy suburban does
when flushed from front yard
flower gardens, gracile statues
snapped to life and soaring lightly
merge with early evening shadows
cast by rising Hunter’s Moon.

November’s second soul is sweetness
wrapped in dwindling light and life,
a treasure passed unrecognized
by those who set themselves
to sea

        and haunted
        ever onward
        driven, seeking
        never finding
        ever scanning
        endless oceans
        over here, ya
        piece a’ me?

Though some still think to call
it glory – deeply woven hero
story – manning up is in our guts,
in coded genes we cannot break,
but fallen human spirit grows
new harmonies will soon take hold
November’s grace will seep inside
and ground the mind of greatness

        So never mind
        the date precisely
        when my fate shall
        breach beside me,
        when the white whale
        comes for me, I’ll draw
        upon that second soul
        to harness what I have
        in store to bless the beast
        that looms before me,
        bless the beast that lurks
        inside, to look with love
        on ice cold eyes, to look
        my last on open skies,
        to fill my lungs with light
      and dive.

Tryptophanic Sugar Buzz Blues

Athens, Georgia
November 30, 2011

I don’t bake turkey
      Thanksgiving Day.
Don’ bake no turkey
      Thanksgiving Day.
But sis-in-law cooks Butterball
an’ ain’t no shame to give a call
when all I hafta do is pray.

The feast is spread,
      it’s laid before me.
A mighty spread
      awaits before me.
just who to thank, you make the call –
the cook gave labor, bird gave all,
the voice inside cries bless the fowl.

I said a prayer,
        and then I toasted.
Cried out that prayer,
        then blessed and toasted
Fifteen pounds of turkey roasted
brown and juicy, packed with stuffin’
made from crumbed corn bread muffin
whipped potatoes mounded creamy
drippin’ pools of giblet gravy,
bowls of butter beans with ham
hot casseroles of squash and yams 
Ready now, we’re set, we’re willin’
Lordy mercy make us able:
eat our fill and leave the table.

      And it’s –
      First big helpin’, belly bulgin’
            Twenty pounds of pieces scattered
            all across the turkey platter.
      Second helpin’, belly bloatin’
            Thirty pounds of tryptophene
            still lyin’ round about the scene.  
      Final scrapin’, belly breakin’
            Forty pounds of scraps remainin’
            call the dogs, my stomach’s achin’.
      My oh my, this grown man cry
            ‘cause here come’ sweet potato pie
            an’ pumpkin, pecan, apple crumb,
            in whip’ cream bliss just let me lie.

Tonight I’ll toss
      in bed and dream.
Oh Lord I’ll turn
      and squirm and scream:
The Lady of the Gravy lake
is bakin’ spells I cannot shake  
while mired within my sugar swampland
turkey zombies slowly stalkin’
candied yams approach gyratin’
devil’d eggs incarnate Satan
wafting ghastly sulphur haze
and through the stuporifous daze
mad bargain shoppers pepper spray
their fevered way into the scene.

This ain’t no ordinary thing,
Thanksgiving night I got again
the sugar crusted, diet busted
sweet tea sweatin’, midnight frettin’,
stomach churnin’, belly turnin’
blood congealin’, colon squealin’
bowel blastin’, pyroclastic
nostril flarin’, zombie scarin’
Tryptophanic sugar buzz

(Now don’t be lettin’ this happen
to you!)