Wednesday, 7 October 2009


WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS? I stop as you would--to marvel--surely the biggest shoe tree in the world! I'm moved to poetry:
A spectacle in the midst of great spaciousness,
Sixty miles from anywhere,
But I choose for the moment to make it the center of my universe,
the focus of my attention.
what, really, is it and what, if anything, does it mean?
A shrine perhaps? I do not worship!
That is for fearful toadies who misunderstand our situation.
But I'm struck with the question---draw near in wonder--
A whopper of a shoe tree;
A challenge to small and slender arms tossing lace-tied shoes toward lofty limbs.

Up there, however, dangle myriads,
flung no doubt by stronger arms--football players perhaps
Or fathers determined to hang one for their children.
Thousands have stood where I stand, marveled as I marvel,
Curious, perhaps, as I am curious---
Then go their way---a long road ahead--Austin or Fallon in their sights.
But I will not go! I am seized by the puzzle:
What can this mean? Who? When? Why?----Well anyway Why?
I resolve to seek an answer like Buddha did:
I will sit under this tree--and I will not rise--till an answer comes!
I sit---time and cars pass---I sit----I sit;
My monkey mind jumps and squirms then calms---I sit--and wait!
AND THEN---quick as lightening, clear as thunder --The answer comes!
It commands my eyes like fireworks;
Like a kneeling puppy-- invites to play.
But there is more--I'm sure of it---I continue to sit.
Pictures come---a memory reel unwinds;
I see dollar bills, signed and stapled to a barroom ceiling.
I see names and designs made with rocks along the roadway.
I see driftwood sculptures along San Francisco Bay;
I see decorated Medicine trees in Montana
Still the reel unwinds: I see pioneer names chipped into a rock;
Indian symbols of goats, snakes,men;
I see hand prints on Uluru rock in Australia,
And every name and symbol says: LOOK AT THIS!
And every blank space beside it says: WHAT SAY YOU?
So every dangling shoe says ---look at this!
And every empty limb says: "waiting for you"!--"gimme a shoe"!
Still the reel unwinds: I see a child-like notion
in the mind of the very first shoe thrower--likely 50 years ago--
A roadbuilder, camped here, whimsically disposing of his worn out boots;
They dangle, they delight the crew--
bestow a moment of fame and invite---a second pair--- a third.
Like a snowball the idea rolls forward till a thousand shoe birds
sway in the wind.
THERE IS MORE---I remain seated:
Here, thought ingressed into matter;
Idea birthed into action.
A tiny spark lit a great fire;
Here, stands a clue to human purpose:
Nothing became something;
Eternity stepped through a stargate into time---
to amaze, amuse, connect, and remind me:
I rise-give thanks--drive on.
Shoe birds that fell? or failed?

And lest you need to be told what this is---

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