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On the Way Down

Oneonta Gorge (C) Aashish Vaidya

Oneonta Gorge
(C) Aashish Vaidya

Bradbury: “jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
Tell the GPS to get lost.  Meander, wander and perform hijinks on the way down.

Through the off-track gorge, wade waist deep in snow melts over felled timber and rocks
Before the falls, witness on black basalt, how green fern, moss and epiphyte lichen clings on the way down.

Before cool cats can play jazz or improvise ragas, there are arrhythmic fluttering and off-tune warbling,
Before the reign of melodies and symphonies, cacophony rules and sings on the way down.

Before the meditative fields of color and light, before the Chapel in Houston and hanging palimpsests
Marcus must have splayed at Lincoln High, imperfect Patones on aquarelles and made mundane canvas coatings, on the way down.

Juxtaposed words may actually flow like “wine upon lips”, and Magnum Opus may emerge, someday
Someday a masterpiece may not be a ‘Mirage’.  For now, suffice with  mediocre musings and wordings on the way down.


Jumping off point for this ghazal was the Ray Bradbury quote.  If there intertubes got it correct than the longer quote reads like this:

If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or,”I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down. 

The small snippet in the maqta (last couplet) is from Virginia Woolf – “Language is wine upon the lips.”

The reference to Lincoln High alumnus Marcus can be found here.  And the info on the gorge referenced can be found here.

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