17 March 2020

Poem : House-lew

A crow eating a shark.
"Safe as houses" is my favorite phrase.

It is Victorian English. It basically means that your investment or business venture or the thing you are about to do is a solid bet. Because what could be more sound than buying property?

Houses are supposed to be "safe". Many of us across the world are social distancing these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many, houses -- home -- that place, is not "safe". And even if it is. Houses feel less and less secure.

COVID is an acronym: COrona VIrus DIsease. Corona in Latin means garland, wreath, laurel. It is for the shape of the virus -- a circle covered in gem-like crown-like embellishments. It is a thing to be placed on your head. An honor. So safe sounding.

In ancient Greece laurels were presented to athletes, gods, or the dead.

COVID is sideways to corvid. Which are ravens, crows, jays, magpies. The most intelligent of birds. Mystic creatures who represent war, death, divination, news tellers. The Haida of western Canada and Southern Alaska believe the raven created the earth, this home.

The Haida wear masks showing animals transforming into other things. Meaning becoming another meaning.

So if this house has ceased being safe. We must evolve to find a new one.

The poem below is about death. It's on my mind.



In the burntout crumbles of bunker — sounds of fluting — veil cathedral hand to eyes —

If you peek — you will see in glory in fire amen — the thing we all hide
from — locked doors and all that — a ghost in the pantry of the stomach —

It rumbles about with unrolled gem wings — finds north but turns west because
it wants to be the setting sun — we — safe as houses — we — are fine — yes —

In the moment when the heart collapses
perception becomes a slip
falling to the ground
in a bedroom somewhere in Kansas

The ribs release their long-caught bird
cold hungry everything safe then unsafe

It’s a rattle — curling of the body as wood sheets over flame —

In the aftermath — sound a lily makes when opening in the morning — the tube
a missile leaves behind — when going off — to finish what was started —

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