Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Chani Zwibel At The Abandoned Shrine of Cosmic Punchlines and Saint Catherines Ready For Shadowed Miracles


Holes folded over on the map
 for the pathways back to this abandoned shrine.
Pushing the paper boat back out into the pond,
hoping the November wind won’t bring it around again. 
The weight of sadness always dwells like a specter,
 like a little black shadow crouching in the basement.
 A cat down there should catch this mouse.
 Thoughts having a drunken party in my head won’t shut up.
They’re talking and walking Pomeranians
 and shouting randomly
even though it’s rainy and dark
 and like 10:30 at night.
 “Go home, drunks!”
 I want to scream but never do.
Why I came down to the basement in the first place:
 to use the Pittsburgh Potty in the back corner,
 and try to calm the inner vision sensing these ghosts.
One memory of panic
 will rip through the tranquility
of a cold fall’s morning sleep.
I want the back yard,
the tangled jagger bushes
 all the way up the hill.
Give me the mythic long hall in the forest.
I shall suffer no more these fools. 
The children of the forest honor the domain of the crone.
 You can find many deer in cemeteries
and sometimes antlers they’ve dropped. 
There’s many old home plots up on these hills,
full of leaning marble slabs,
etched names rubbed smooth
by centuries of wind and rain.
In the end, none of our hurt feelings matter.
 None of our attachments matter.
The love we share with others,
 families and lovers and friends and dreams and wishes
all have been hooks to tether us to this ball of dirt.
When asked why prayers for peace on earth
have not been answered by God, I think:
maybe this whole time they've just been praying for pieces on earth.
Or peace on earth does exist,
but we are too wrapped up in our attachments to accept it
I can’t always find peace within my own heart,
let alone the heart of the world. 
Guess that’s the trick of it,
the punchline of the cosmic joke:
Peace in my heart is
peace in your heart
 and peace in the world’s heart.


 Shadows creeping up the wall,
 Shadows sneaking into
 your conversations.
Pierced and rolled
on a wheel of spikes,
Saint Catherines,
we bleed.
Rain soaks the scorched
 soil of a forest razed. 
Voices say “believe”.
Other voices say “lie”.
It is all the same.
 So are you and me. 
Horses graze in the high
 mountain meadows.
 Grief sits heavy,
a gruesome gargoyle
carved in stone
 on the parapet of my heart.
 Everyone you’ve ever
 known or loved
 will sleep in the dust,
as will you.
 These few mad,
frenzied years,
 a moment only. 
Breathe in.
Don’t watch the shadows. 


Big bundle of love,
 Student Loan Debt,
 you are our BABY!
Some of our friends
 never went to college.
They got married
 (or didn’t get married)
And had BABIES!
But we went
and got some English Degrees.
They cost a lot of MONEY!

Chani Zwibel is a graduate of Agnes Scott College, a poet, wife and dog-mom who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but now dwells in Marietta, Georgia. She enjoys writing poetry after nature walks and daydreaming.  

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