2 June 2004 | Vol. 4, No. 2

Word Cycle #2: Meditations

There is a quick breath after the accidental cut and before the blood wells up, pain red as a poppy, the body a font unto itself. Thinking too hard on biology, anatomy, the course of history, I am amazed I stand here breathing. Where is the invisible, intricate clasp of my undoing?

I am a poor student of meditation. My body, soft from the academic life, falls too often for the ruse of sleep. Or my mind, nimble acrobat, juvenile juggler, flashes first on this and then on the other: dark India ink in a glass flask, the sound a chisel makes ringing against stone, how far it is to Tierra del Fuego and whether I will have to go there alone.

Weekend on the water: sunrise, the only alarm, and the rattle-jabber of blue jays already bossing the day; the slow murmur of coffee; a trek through trees ghosted with drumming woodpeckers; the river and its constant fluctuation; time becomes something shed or tossed away, extravagant luxury of the vacationer.

Success means pushing through the smoked-glass ego-curtain, shedding the preconceived idea of self and expectation. Set the bar high or low, we all end up tunneling like Darwin's earthworms, toiling to break down and build up this present lifetime.

About the author:

Sandy Longhorn is the author of Blood Almanac (Anhinga 2006), winner of the Anhinga Prize for Poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Free Verse, Indiana Review, New South, Quarterly West, Redactions, West Branch, and elsewhere. She has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council as well.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Sandy Longhorn at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 4, No. 2, where "Word Cycle #2: Meditations" ran on June 2, 2004. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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