Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Graduates

Good with Words

They are all very good with words.
They can all turn a phrase
Or a blind eye.

Theirs is the maistrie
Of Trivium and Quadrivium,
Of Pavlovian encomiums,
Chekhovian equilibrium.

They all will recall
How to troll and how to
Trawl, post a meme,
Go mainstream, 
Scream and brawl.

They all will recall
What and when and
Where to call
Teammates and ingrates,
Intimates and confederates,
Inveterate shoppers,
Veteran hip-hoppers,
Crude eye-poppers,
Shrewd name-droppers,
Stroppy stroppers,
Sharp show-stoppers.

They all will recollect
Every which way to connect
And when connection’s fun
Is done

How and why to
Say good-bye to
Gollum and his
Solemn hoard
Blessed by water
And the Word;
Dark backstairs,
Bootless cares,
Cakes in layers,
Chocolate squares,
Dour naysayers,
Morganatic mayors,
Dragon slayers,
Lax tax-payers,
Cack-handed players,
Eleventh-hour prayers,

They never will forget
How to knit and
Walk a poodle,
Where to spit
And when to doodle;
When to quit
Toting kit ’n caboodle,
When to remit
Bonafide brass,
How to quit
Smoking grass,
Hauling ass,
Cutting class,
Talking crass.

They are all very good at numbers,
Mixing umbers, counting tumblers,
Hydrating summer's
Mad-dog runners
Gyrating in snowfall
Light as slumber
Of fugitive angel wings

They will never forget
When to sit
Stand and kneel,
How to spin
Fortune’s wheel;
When to extract
Impacted molars,
When to contact
And how react to
Bi bi-polars.

They all will know
How far to go
To seal a bond
With a friend who’s fond.

Just so, every one will know
In the future: fast or slow,
How to formulate bold initiatives
Give out, give it up, give back what gives;
How to parry a social sanction
And carry the weight of an indentured nation;
How to evade the conditions of perdition,
And how not to bother
With the sins of the fathers;
How to heal a miscarriage of justice,
How to make the foreigners trust us;
To marry with documentation proactive,
To bury the dead with rites interactive.

Resolved online to interact they will remember
To redact all follies from digital regard.
They all will recall to password protect memoirs,
To stack fine linens in antique armoires ––
Guardians of the secret (of smell, of touch)
Guardians of sensation, of elation quite as much:
Of memory in the fingertips, of nature’s day school:
Of fabric that’s vanilla-smooth, old cloth that’s silky fine
Refreshed with sprigs of lavender, sachets of mint and thyme:
Old cloth that ripples like water flowing under ground,
Coursing beneath the hands, making no sound.

Take it as soon as you find it; first
Drink in small draughts to calm your thirst;
Then drink deep and drink your fill
Of the dark cold water deep in the cool well:
Only your silence can retrieve it –
For who in the measured world would believe it?
Impression holding memory that eludes detection,
Evades collection and inspection,
Avoids collation, allocation,
Designation, registration;
Memory never to be coded,
Encrypted, scripted,
Up- or downloaded,
Tagged or tracked,
Backed-up or hacked;
Memory embedded in sensation
Too down-to-earth for captivation,
Too integral for integers,
Too mutable for messengers,
Too unassuming for captation,
Too fugitive for digitization;
Somnolent experience
Awaiting awakening,
Latent nascent sunrise
Wrapped in time-release surmise.

Back in the Great World
Where the Cities burn bright
Up and down the country
From morning till night,
Walking, crossing
Striding, pacing,
Occupying, gracing
Stage after stage:
A generation comes of age.

They who shall know
How to enact
Binding pacts,
Negotiate contracts,
Mediate contacts;
React to associates,
Contact initiates;
Remediate successors,
Repudiate confessors;
Take possession,
End a session,
Make an impression,
Joke about secession;
Joke about anatomy,
Wish for autonomy;
Critique astrology,
Study astronomy;
Chasten hypocrisy,
Spread democracy;
Quantify equality,
Qualify meritocracy;
Oppose theocracy,
Impose autocracy;
Disclose iniquity,
Presuppose ubiquity;
Conciliate familiars,
Placate ambassadors;
Excoriate war,
Fund Defense;
Wish for more,
Use common sense,
Gain maturity,
Expand Homeland Security;
Stand and report,
Contrive a retort;
Play a sport,
Pack the court;
Humbug conservatives,
Bundle derivatives;
Capitalize enterprise,
Synthesize paradise;
Design a phone,
Take out a loan;
Protect dissent,
Pay the rent.

Come September
They’ll remember
How to talk to one man
One way
And another,
How to write a résumé
And how to write a cover.

They are literate and numerate,
Considerate and humorous,
Luminous and numinous,
In debt and impecunious.

We have tutored them and taught them,
Over-wrought them and besought them
To drive our cars and read our books,
Patronize our bars and date our looks.
We have fought for them and bought for them
Tickets to the feast.
We have helped them to illuminate
The ways of man and beast,
We have let them practice being human
Twenty years at least.

Observing, unswerving, our works and days,
Resolved to play it as it lays,
They have learned our antique folkways:
Time’s well-trodden golden pathways:
What words should be capitalized,
When to pause with lowered eyes,
How to write a thank you note,
How to keep your boat afloat,
How to write a topic sentence,
How to make a graceful entrance,
How to walk with proper carriage,
How to leave a room or marriage.

Theirs is the kingdom
To rule behind doors
And succor whomever they will.
Theirs the power
Of intervention and detention,
Of intercession and goodwill.
Theirs the glory
Of the neverending story,
The well of notions and emotions,
Oceans of fairytales and timeless sagas
Telling of Fools and Princes, of Firebirds
And Baba Yagas.
Theirs the forever
Of stories bold and clever,
Tales of adventure and surprise,
To widen with wonder a young girl’s eyes.

They every one can strum a lute,
Play a flute or flay a brute.

They are Finished.
They are all very good with words.

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