It Has Taken A Long Time

Waiting for the water taxi at 34th Street -- 3:10pm August 23, 2o14 (that's not me in the photo) East River looking south to Williamsburg Bridge on my way to Connie's loft -- photo by Mark Weber

Waiting for the water taxi at 34th Street — 3:10pm August 23, 2o14 (that’s not me in the photo) East River looking south to Williamsburg Bridge on my way to Connie’s loft — photo by Mark Weber

IT HAS TAKEN A LONG TIME

It has taken a long time
to get things right,
dangling here
between heaven & earth

and even so
there are certain things I must have known
…………………at one point
even as I don’t remember knowing them

O little marionette
nothing surprises you anymore,
does it?

Strange to feel so young in mind
even as the strings on your arms & legs
become brittle, aging, age-old like water both
ancient and newly fresh

You drink this water, but
it goes straight through you . . . .

Tumbling, O marionette
curiosity has always
carried the day: suspended on strings
clackety clack down the street

Those same strings that have become
entangled so many times over the years,
detours, trapdoors, wrong turns,
interrogated and tripped up
pulled over

How often you are confounded, not
by inconsistencies, but purely
mystified more like dumb-founded
stopped in your rickety tracks
you learn quick
how to swing one arm in circles
dancing a crumpled jig
before judges and surveyors
spiraling downwards, criss-crossed

All such little things
that take up so much time —- frittering

in a world where Buddhist monks have websites,
those paragons of renunciation
having succumbed to the vortex

It’d sure be nice to do nothing today
but there’s always these strings . . . .

O little marionette
you want to get out of here,
don’t you?

Mark Weber | July 2o15

5 Comments

  1. To me, the most poignantly beautiful poem from my favorite poet. Thank you.

  2. Love it!

    Your words are intersecting with my life and current thoughts.

  3. I agree, Bill – the most poignantly beautiful. Less a complaint than the total surrender Life expects us to offer after this many birthdays…

  4. All them damn strings are fraying, probably better than me praying, until they break and the old marionette tumbles, falls away, while the source of it all finds another marionette to string up. Sort of a western deal maybe out here in our dusty mountains, gettin’ what we deserve for rustling up too much fun – more than a puppet deserves.
    Mark, I think you hit a home run with this poem, at least for us out here approaching our last jerk of the string.

  5. Carol Tristano

    July 30, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Yes, beautiful and poignant poem! I say to you O little marionette –

    The moment is so powerful!
    It matches eternity…
    To achieve this balance-
    One must stay relaxed!
    It gives you joy!
    The note is intrinsic…
    Like the moment!

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