Friday, September 03, 2004

Poetics of Trancendental Intervention

Sometimes lectio divina is helped along by divine intervention, or some kind of literary intercession maybe. Like Wednesday night for example. I took a walk along the river and was struck by the noise of crickets. Their chirping was louder than ever I remembered, as if that 17-year cicada outburst in the south had been echoed by a similar explosion of crickets here in Massachusetts. As I walked in that early evening September light that drips with summer’s decline I heard those insects as Thoreau described them: the axle of the world turning into autumn.

When I returned home, no poem was coming though. So I decided instead to begin my nightly reading of the Journals for my Thoreau blog. And honest to goodness, if I’m lying I’m dying, I read this sentence in one of the first passages I examined: “Why was there never a poem on the cricket?”

Yikes! I knew then and there I had to write one: good, bad, or indifferent. For after all, I had no satisfactory answer for Henry.
The Crickets of September (The Chirping RNC Blues)
Why was there never a poem on the cricket?
HD Thoreau’s Journal: 3-Sep-1851


September bends to wicked cricket light,
that mood-enhanced enchanted balancing
of secrecy and song that overwhelms
the goldenrod and tips the scales once more
to whiles of black and white. An equinox
is twenty days away. Election day
is just around the cornerstone of banks
and corporations. Houston I think we have
a problem. Aristocracies of dark
petroleum are chirping in New York.
Those privileged insomniacs will chirp
cheap influence until the dawn’s delight
and Jesus Christ himself has chirped again
to rid this world of summer, smoke, and sin
Of course during the act of praying this poem other outside influences made themselves known. But that is the whole point of this active lectio after all.

2 comments:

tif said...

i remember getting up in the night just before falling asleep awhile ago, and just HAVING to write down this line,

'Have you ever tried to count the syllables of a crickets song?'

i love this poem of yours. i read it two times in a row :)

Greg said...

I like it! Simple sentence; great poem