For Dan Freeman and Heidi Hass
After the storm,
The tempest becomes internal.
Donkeys die but humans survive.
But order returns.
Miracles appear everywhere
In the kindnesses of old friends
Repaying a karmic debt from long ago.
But there are time limitations imposed
By the nature of the miracles themselves.
So that the noblesse oblige,
The etiquette the gods offer
Of being a guest must be observed
To the end so that the beginnings
May be cherished in memory’s future.
The datum and provisional nature
Of collective action reasserts itself
And selfishness is tempered a while.
Old stories are revisited
Of The Man Who Could Work Miracles
And Au Hasard Balthasar by Bresson
In which a genius donkey dies
And the murderer goes unpunished.
But we humans in the so-called real world
Treat each other better than that
When calamity strikes
And an old home becomes
Then great friends open their doors.
This kindness is to be cherished always
As long as breath and body remain.
The good results or old generosities
Cannot be contained
Merely in the old times in which
These friendships were generated.
The elation of return happens now
When needed. That is today’s
And tonight’s miracle.
The gods approve and move
Heaven and Earth in order to make them occur
As if H.G. Wells had written both movies
And returned only one to real life,
The one that matters
In the end.
After Au Hasard Balthasar by Robert Bresson and The Man Who Could Work Miracles by H.G. Wells.