The Boy and the Bubble

This poem issues from reflections on Ecclesiastes, that incomparable book.

Life is a locked door,
And there is no key.
I cannot make the crooked corridors straighten,
I am in them, wandering who knows where.
Who knows anything?

Fleeting and futile, a boy blowing bubbles,
Chasing down a giant one,
He means to keep.

What a vapid dance, this life,
With drunk-clumsy partners, who all seem to see,
Clearer than me.
The futile, exhausting, grasping for air,
The heaving chests of endless treasure seeking,
The long, lonely hours of toil to boil away,
Like a pan of water on high heat.
Turning to steam.

The corners of our eyes, a paradise of lies.
The playground of fools lies in dark,
Just beyond the surveyor’s mark.
Always just beyond.
And then further.

The sight of the eyes, yes!
And less of the roaming,
Less of the echoing hollow,
The lost, gnawing appetite of man.
Which can never apprehend its lack.

But sweet,
Is the sleep of the honest, working man.
The wild, colliding nights, with once-young wife.
The bread before my eyes,
By way of many hands and lands,
Local food, of earth and traced to heaven.
The down-sliding wine, a red ribbon of life,
Invigorating, celebrating cup.

And joy! Commend it again,
Say to your friends, “Follow your heart.”
Dark days are hovering, best do your loving,
And working and drinking today.

Fear God, let this fear invite you,
His commands, into lands heading homeward.
Let the fear of God crown you,
And cover your head.
Let it hover above you and settle down on you.
And settle you down.
Into joy and gratitude.

The boy chasing bubbles laughs.
This is life.
And he is your master.


photo by clive reedman


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