Lines in the land of trash for tumbleweed

by @michaelvitaly

There’s a plastic bag flying over Trinity Cemetery.  Just west of the moon, and amid a stretch of cirrus clouds.  Just across from Orion in the western sky it caught my eye on my way home.

Just like a flag, it whips in the wind – a wind that’s now turned cold at long last after a day too unseasonably warm, and with this I’m reminded of winter once more.

Stuck on the tiniest branch of a bare young oak, like a stubborn youngster playing “astronaut,” against all odds, it’s determined to fly among the stars amidst all the naysayers of gravity and realism.  Still it slaps against the vicious air determined to be free.

Like a single semaphore that’s lost all its color there’s no telling what it means, like an unmarked grave without a single flower there’s no telling who it’s for, like every blade of grass, like all of us I guess, the clues are overwhelming when you take the time to really look.  Though I can’t quite understand what it says to me. But like that little astronaut out for “just five more minutes,” I stay and stare passed wrought iron and concrete, passed the dull grey silhouettes along the ground and I pray for the souls long forgotten and those newly departed to let me in on what they know.  Am I to fly? Am I to wait? Am I to run? Am I to go?

I wait for it to drop, to fly off, for an answer or a clue or anything really, I suppose.

And then suddenly the moon grows for me,
Just a sliver a few days ago,
And tonight I saw the moment,
When she became more full,
For that’s what she does,
Consumes the sleeping sun
While he’s off across the world.
So she brightens for me,
And in the once-black sky cirrus clouds glow.
The sky seems filled with feathers now,
Or like ivy laced up high poised to grab and dash any hopes of escape into the ether.

Sure as the moon will grow,
And sure as she will fall,
There lies deep within us all the yearn to heed the call.
To cherish the moments in between those of exalted grandeur,
Those moments of grey
And in between.
The quotidian. The intricate.
The distinct.
Till then this astronaut be grounded,
This soul of mine still tied to this hard earth,
Till then that I do see, let me hang upon this bow.

I thought the bag was long gone, for I wrote these lines a couple moons ago, but last night there was a plastic bag flying over Trinity Cemetery.  On that same branch, just west of the moon, and amid a stretch of heavy clouds.  I couldn’t see Orion last night on my way home but I’m hoping it was still there.

Just like a flag photographed, it seemed to hang limply in spite of the wind that whipped up Amsterdam.  A wind now turned cold at long last after a day too unseasonably warm, and with this I’m reminded of winter once more, perhaps it’s here to stay.

Stuck on the tiniest branch of that bare young oak, I walked by this time without stopping at all.  Let the astronaut play, and let the flag lay, but let me not look to the sky once more and bask in irresponsibility.  As I did pass that place I once stood against the wrought iron fence in gentle wonder, the wind caught up to the bag and now it slaps against the vicious air determined to be free.  Perhaps calling to me, but I’m across 155th before I can make out what it has to say.

Like a single semaphore,
like an unmarked grave,
like every blade of grass,
like all of us along the ground
and those that fly above,
restless, dead, long forgotten,
or those that call to you,
Call to me now,
Take me away
I will go and I will listen,
I wait no more for signs to drop.

For what do restless souls have that other souls do lack?
A constant searching yearning learning
and a beating in the chest
so hard and loud
the trains don’t dare interrupt.
But blind at times and uneasy at others
I’m a stranger here that doesn’t quite belong.
I see the world so differently it pains me sometimes quick
to know the beauty of it all to see it loud and true,
and yet be overwhelmed and powerless
to capture and hold on.

Like a bag upon a tree
Flying high, but stuck
Like a bag caught in a tree
Full of air, but empty.

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