Joseph Buehler

Milky Skies

Not that I meant what I said or said what I meant to say or was ill-advised by someone or other or was not advised at all (as old men shuffle by) and not only that, but what if the world suddenly dropped away let’s say yesterday or the day before that and nobody noticed it or if there was a big crack in the world and millions of people, women and men and little children died, fell into the crack, women and men and little babies screaming for their mothers; no, that’s too vivid, too real, and really without foundation. But what if somebody just by accident broke a small old-fashioned wooden globe of the world with everything all wrong: continents that were misshapen and also rivers and oceans and mountains that were geographically incorrect ; anyway he or she dropped it and it hit the wooden floor with a loud crash and it made a big crack in the wooden globe, but nobody actually fell into the crack and died, how about that, huh? Did you ever think about something like that when, for instance, you were crunching down on your hamburger or hot dog? In other words, we’re talking about the physical facts of life as we know and understand them, whether living under a blue or milky sky (and believe me, we have plenty of milky skies around here) and another thing, they tell me it is always hot in the Virgin Islands, you don’t get any seasons there.

Another thing, did you ever travel in a car where you were surrounded by woods on both sides of the road and it didn’t matter whether you were driving the car or you were a passenger in, say, the front seat and you imagined that you saw people, either a man or a woman, out there in the woods as you were passing by? Maybe they were staring back at you or maybe they were just looking straight ahead as they walked. I’ve imagined that kind of thing myself quite a few times and also there was no sound to be heard except maybe the people heard the sound of the wind in the trees, but you, in your closed-in car couldn’t hear that sound, but you could see the effects of it: the trees moving back and forth, back and forth in the breeze.

I’ve also imagined Native Americans who lived maybe two hundred years ago, moving silently through the woods, parallel to the car’s direction. Maybe they were half naked or in tan colored buckskin clothing. They never looked in my direction. Not once. They walked carefully along, trying not to trip, going somewhere, who knows where, just minding their own business.

Joseph Buehler has published poems in Australia, the USA, Canada, the U.K., and Eire, and a poem of his was available in a bookstore in Paris not too long ago in "The Opiate" magazine.
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