Accretions (To My Artist Friends)
The drifting piles – books tucked into clothes
tucked into bags – form like barnacles
on every surface, flat first, then angled
as the drifts below support the tangled
towers rising, reefs or tabernacles
that hold the seeds of purpose undisclosed.
And unlike those who shave their house monk-neat
with nothing loose or showing, bent or frayed,
we welcome chaos, or at least permit
its presence, for the hybrid joys that sift
from silted landscapes crookedly arrayed
or out of layered happenstance accrete.
Like snails with shelters fashioned from the grains
cemented into outward whorls, we bind
the latest treasure on the ones below
sometimes so quickly that we hardly know
we have it. It becomes a second find
years hence, when we dig down to it again.
Our lives are possibility-encrusted;
Yet every scrap could blossom and bear fruit
and make us Curies of the arts creative,
in our detection of the Innovative
within the salvaged dross that we transmute
to works of art that – frankly – won’t get dusted.
Our friends – the ones that we permit to know –
might shake their heads and offer to dispose
of a room or two; our sins they’d shrive.
They scare us, really, with such close-trimmed lives –
Incomprehensible! They really chose
to live with empty floors and things “just so.
They spurn the joys of sifting discards
within their own antique-and-junk bookstore,
they value order over chance creation;
We may never know the satisfaction
of walking straight across uncluttered floors –
but there are gyms for that, and spacious courtyards;
no need for passage to our doors! We’re not
much different from the groves of Nature:
scattered twigs and moldering motley leaves;
from amidst Her compost she retrieves
the artful springtime -- unless you prefer
Sahara, which is smooth and clean – but hot.
No, I will continue to accumulate
old tins and glitter, twigs and odds and ends,
against a time of scarcity, when stores
are shut, so I can bring interior
dreams to life, and join with eager friends
to play, create… and joyfully celebrate
our over-laden lives, our dreams; those crumbs
we need for equilibrium.