And it is He who sends down water from the sky. With it We produce vegetation of all kinds, from which We bring greenery, from which We produce grains in clusters. And palm-trees with hanging clusters, and vineyards, and olives, and pomegranates-similar and dissimilar. Watch their fruits as they grow and ripen. Surely in this are signs for people who believe.
Complex PTSD consists of of six symptom clusters, which also have been described in terms of dissociation of personality. Of course, people who receive this diagnosis often also suffer from other problems as well, and as noted earlier, diagnostic categories may overlap significantly. The symptom clusters are as follows: Alterations in Regulation of Affect ( Emotion ) and Impulses Changes in Relationship with others Somatic Symptoms Changes in Meaning Changes in the perception of Self Changes in Attention and Consciousness
Whenever learners or those beyond learning awaken the mind, for the first time they plant one buddha-nature. Working with the four elements and five clusters, if they practice sincerely they attain enlightenment. Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment. This is because the four elements and five clusters and plants, trees, fences and walls are fellow students; because they are of the same essence, because they are the same mind and the same life, because they are the same body and the same mechanism.
A Corymbus for Autumn How are the veins of thee, Autumn, laden? Umbered juices, And pulpe¨d oozes Pappy out of the cherry-bruises, Froth the veins of thee, wild, wild maiden. With hair that musters In globe¨d clusters, In tumbling clusters, like swarthy grapes, Round thy brow and thine ears o'ershaden; With the burning darkness of eyes like pansies, Like velvet pansies Where through escapes The splendid might of thy conflagrate fancies; With robe gold-tawny not hiding the shapes Of the feet whereunto it falleth down, Thy naked feet unsandalled; With robe gold-tawny that does not veil Feet where the red Is meshed in the brown, Like a rubied sun in a Venice-sail.
All geniuses are peculiarly inclined to solitude, to which they are driven as much by their difference from others as the inner wealth with which they are quipped, since among humans, among diamonds, only the uncommonly great are suited as solitaires: the ordinary ones must be set in clusters to produce any effect.
I believe we can do much more to adapt to the structural changes in the global economy, get high-end manufacturing back here, set up clusters of economic activity where you have, among other things, continuous retraining of people well into their middle years so they never become irrelevant to the current job market.
William J. Clinton
So you used to know everything?" She wrinkled her nose. "Everybody did. I told you. It's nothing special, knowing how things work. And you really do have to give it all up if you want to play." "To play what?" "This," she said. She waved at the house and the sky and the impossible full moon and the skeins and the shawls and clusters of bright stars.
Animals had returned to what was left of the forest... clusters of orange butterflies exploded off the blackish purple piles of bear sign and winked and fluttered magically like leaves without trees. More bears than people traveled the muddy road, leaving tracks straight up and down the middle of it...
When I come to Chicago, I gorge myself. I get off the plane and start with Gene and Jude's for two hot dogs with everything, swing by The Fudge Pot for a taffy apple and a turtle, chocolate clusters at Sarah's Pastries and Candies and steak at Smith and Wollensky. I find time for Gino's pizza within the next 12 hours.
The shouts of triumph become infectious, and I lift my voice to join in, running toward my teammates. Christina holds the flag up high, and everyone clusters around her, grabbing her arm to lift the flag even higher. I can't reach her, so I stand off to the side, grinning. A hand touches my shoulder. "Well done," Four says quietly.
In these countless stars, in their clusters and colors and constellations, in the 'shooting' showers of blazing dust and ice, we have always found beauty. And in this beauty, the overwhelming size of the universe has seemed less ominous, earth's own beauty more incredible. If indeed the numbers and distances of the night sky are so large that they become nearly meaningless, then let us find the meaning under our feet.
Clusters of distant lights was the view of Mankind that he liked the best. The lights had the archaic charm of little fires on a plain, and the frailty about them, if it did not excuse anything, at least explained a lot of Man's stubborn ruthlessness. Mankind had not started the mess that was life, after all. And on the whole, it had been an interesting species to be a part of, the girls especially, as long as you remembered to watch your back.
For people who make up stories for a living, that is the ultimate success: knowing that, when the book closes, when the series ends, the adventure is not over. It goes on without the creator, in the minds of the people who love it. You can't stop the signal. Once it's broadcast, it continues on forever, pulsing past star clusters, lighting up new worlds, collecting new fans, till the end of time itself.
Stars are good too. I wish I could get some to put in my hair. But I suppose I never can. You would be surprised to find how far off they are, for they do not look it. When they first showed last night I tried to knock some down with a pole, but it didn't reach, which astonished me. Then I tried clods till I was all tired out, but I never got one. I did make some close shots, for I saw the black blot of the clod sail right into thee midst of the golden clusters forty or fifty times, just barely missing them, and if I could've held out a little longer, maybe I could've got one.
It is tempting to call for better leadership, but we probably expect too much from the leaders of the nations. Those nations are too big, the connections not strong enough, the commitment to the future not long enough. It is better to look smaller, to our now-smaller organisations, to local communities and cities, to families and clusters of friends, to small networks of portfolio people with time to give to something bigger than themselves. We have to fashion our own directions in our own places.
Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...
His laws changed all of physics and astronomy. His laws made it possible to calculate the mass of the sun and planets. The way it's done is immensely beautiful. If you know the orbital period of any planet, say, Jupiter or the Earth and you know its distance to the Sun; you can calculate the mass of the Sun. Doesn't this sound like magic? We can carry this one step further - if you know the orbital period of one of Jupiter's bright moons, discovered by Galileo in 1609, and you know the distance between Jupiter and that moon, you can calculate the mass of Jupiter. Therefore, if you know the orbital period of the moon around the Earth (it's 27.32 days), and you know the mean distance between the Earth and the moon (it's about 200, 039 miles), then you can calculate to a high degree of accuracy the mass of the Earth... But Newton's laws reach far beyond our solar system. They dictate and explain the motion of stars, binary stars, star clusters, galaxies and even clusters of galaxies. And Newton's laws deserve credit for the 20th century discovery of what we call dark matter. His laws are beautiful. Breathtakingly simple and incredibly powerful at the same time. They explain so much and the range of phenomena they clarify is mind boggling. By bringing together the physics of motion, of interaction between objects and of planetary movements, Newton brought a new kind of order to astronomical measurements, showing how, what had been a jumble of confused observations made through the centuries were all interconnected.
Space, as you can see, is a complete void, nothing but clear air, without solid objects or the illumination of light. On some of our photographs of space, however, studied close to, even without a magnifying glass or an enlargement lens, you will notice, in the remote background, stars, some solitary, others in shimmering clusters. And in the next set of photographs you will see the alien machine we encountered that sat stubbornly stationary in the way of our unselfgoverned path.
The ocean was back in the pond, and the only knowledge I was left with, as if I had woken from a dream on a summer's day, was that it had not been long ago since I had known everything. I looked at Lettie in the moonlight. "Is that how it is for you? I asked. "Is what how it is for me?" "Do you still know everything, all the time?"... She wrinkled her nose. "Everybody did. I told you. It's nothing special, knowing how things work. And you really do have to give it all up if you want to play." "To play what?" "This, " she said. She waved at the house and the sky and the impossible full moon and the skeins and the shawls and clusters of bright stars.
Of course it's the apparently tranquil periods that deceive us. Though our instruments or our senses or our wits may not be able to see the processes that are leading toward these clusters of events, they're happening. The star, the wheel, the butterfly""all are in a subtle state of unrest, waiting for the moment when some invisible mechanism signals that the time has come. Then the star explodes; the wheel makes poor men rich; the butterfly mates and dies.
A little group of thatched cottages in the middle of the village had an orchard attached; and I remember well the peculiar purity of the blue sky seen through the white clusters of apple blossom in spring. I remember being moonstruck looking at it one morning early on my way to school. It meant something for me; what, I couldn't say. It gave me such an unease at heart, some reaching out towards perfection such as impels men into religion, some sense of the transcendence of things, of the fragility of our hold on life.
A. L. Rowse
In summer we live out of doors, and have only impulses and feelings, which are all for action, and must wait commonly for the stillness and longer nights of autumn and winter before any thought will subside; we are sensible that behind the rustling leaves, and the stacks of grain, and the bare clusters of the grape, there is the field of a wholly new life, which no man has lived; that even this earth was made for more mysterious and nobler inhabitants than men and women. In the hues of October sunsets, we see the portals to other mansions than those which we occupy.
Henry David Thoreau
We got half the doggone MIT college of engineering here, and nobody who can fix a doggone /television/?" Dr. Joseph Abernathy glared accusingly at the clusters of young people scattered around his living room. That's /electrical/ engineering, Pop," his son told him loftily. "We're all mechanical engineers. Ask a mechanical engineer to fix your color TV, that's like asking an Ob-Gyn to look at the sore on your di-ow!" Oh, sorry," said his father, peering blandly over gold-rimmed glasses. "That your foot, Lenny?
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; / And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: / And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand.
Elle got up and walked over to the window. She put her hands up on the clear glass and surveyed the vast gardens below. Fiorins stood in clusters outside the castle-like structure. They whispered. Some simply stood and looked up at her. One Fiorin put his hand over his heart. And then another and another followed his lead. Soon, Fiorins flew from all corners of Fiori. They stood with their hands over their hearts, looking up at her., They were smiling. She felt her hear grow warm. This was what love felt like. This was the inspiration that every child on Earth deserved.
Peggy M. McAloon
And again it snowed, and again the sun came out. In the mornings on the way to the station Franklin counted the new snowmen that had sprung up mysteriously overnight or the old ones that had been stricken with disease and lay cracked apart-a head here, a broken body and three lumps of coal there-and one day he looked up from a piece of snow-colored rice paper and knew he was done. It was as simple as that: you bent over your work night after night, and one day you were done. Snow still lay in dirty streaks on the ground but clusters of yellow-green flowers hung from the sugar maples.
It was an amazing garden like nothing Will had ever seen. Everything was covered in snow and glittering ice, the winding paths, the clusters of trees and what looked like mazes. And here and there blue fountains splashed and a river meandered between them, though the water didn't look like water at all but like a stream of sapphires. And strangest of all was how see-through everything looked, trees showing through trees, the river showing through heaps of snow. It was all like a daydream, half imagination, half reality. But Will knew that it was real.
Look, cell phone geolocation data shows very few clustering anomalies for this hour and climate. And that's holding up pretty much across all major metro areas. It's gone down six percentage points since news of the Karachi workshop hit the Web, and it's trending downward. If people are protesting, they aren't doing it in the streets.' He circled his finger over a few clusters of dots. 'Some potential protest knots in Portland and Austin, but defiance-related tag cloud groupings in social media put us within the three-sigma rule-meaning roughly sixty-eight percent of the values lie within one standard deviation of the mean.
I sought her eye, desirous to read there the intelligence which I could not discern in her face or hear in her conversation; it was merry, rather small; by turns I saw vivacity, vanity, coquetry, look out through its irid, but I watched in vain for a glimpse of soul. I am no Oriental; white necks, carmine lips and cheeks, clusters of bright curls, do not suffice for me without that Promethean spark which will live after the roses and lilies are faded, the burnished hair grown grey. In sunshine, in prosperity, the flowers are very well; but how many wet days are there in life-November seasons of disaster, when a man's hearth and home would be cold indeed, without the clear, cheering gleam of intellect.
Then, O King! the God, so saying, Stood, to Pritha's Son displaying All the splendour, wonder, dread Of His vast Almighty-head. Out of countless eyes beholding, Out of countless mouths commanding, Countless mystic forms enfolding In one Form: supremely standing Countless radiant glories wearing, Countless heavenly weapons bearing, Crowned with garlands of star-clusters, Robed in garb of woven lustres, Breathing from His perfect Presence Breaths of every subtle essence Of all heavenly odours; shedding Blinding brilliance; overspreading- Boundless, beautiful- all spaces With His all-regarding faces; So He showed! If there should rise Suddenly within the skies Sunburst of a thousand suns Flooding earth with beams undeemed-of, Then might be that Holy One's Majesty and radiance dreamed of!
It is difficult to overstate the importance of understanding mirror neurons and their function. They may well be central to social learning, imitation, and the cultural transmission of skills and attitudes-perhaps even of the pressed-together sound clusters we call words. By hyperdeveloping the mirror-neuron system, evolution in effect turned culture into the new genome. Armed with culture, humans could adapt to hostile new environments and figure out how to exploit formerly inaccessible or poisonous food sources in just one or two generations-instead of the hundreds or thousands of generations such adaptations would have taken to accomplish through genetic evolution. Thus culture became a significant new source of evolutionary pressure, which helped select brains that had even better mirror-neuron systems and the imitative learning associated with them. The result was one of the many self-amplifying snowball effects that culminated in Homo sapiens, the ape that looked into its own mind and saw the whole cosmos reflected inside.
Presently a soprano voice of richness and depth floated from the open windows of the parlor, resonating over the darkening greenery. All at once it was as if the entire scene before them was awakened by that voice, infused with unexpected life: the western sky, streaked with bands of pale gold and purple; the two houses, standing gray and disconsolate against that sky; the clusters of trees casting deep black shadows here and there across the ground. The same voice that brought everything suddenly to life also drew them into another, much deeper world-a world that was normally hidden, a world that stretched out into eternity. Yusuke, who had at first looked on with a sense of distance as everyone else sat listening, their faces intent on the music, found himself being gradually drawn in as well, forgetting the moment and the place, lending his ear during that unworldly stretch of time as if entranced. No one spoke. The singing could not have lasted ten minutes, but when it ended he found the darkness all at once grew deeper.
Now driving in a wild frieze of headlong horses with eyes walled and teeth cropped and naked riders with clusters of arrows clenched in their jaws and their shields winking in the dust and pu the far side of the ruined ranks in a piping of boneflutes and dropping down off the sides of their mounts with one heel hung in the withers strap and their short bows flexing beneath the outstretched necks of the ponies until they had circled the company and cut their ranks in two and then rising up again like funhouse figures, some with nightmare faces painted on their breasts, riding down the unhorsed Saxons and spearing and clubbing them and leaping from their mounts with knives and running about on the ground with a peculiar bandylegged trot like creatures driven to alien forms of locomotion and stripping the clothes from the dead and seizing them up by the hair and passing their blades about the skulls of the living and the dead alike and snatching aloft the bloody wigs and hacking and chopping at the naked bodies, ripping off limbs, head, gutting the strange white torsos and holding up great handfuls of viscera, genitals, some of the savages so slathered up with gore they might have rolled in it like dogs and some who fell upon the dying and sodomized them with loud cries to their fellows.
We now know the basic rules governing the universe, together with the gravitational interrelationships of its gross components, as shown in the theory of relativity worked out between 1905 and 1916. We also know the basic rules governing the subatomic particles and their interrelationships, since these are very neatly described by the quantum theory worked out between 1900 and 1930. What's more, we have found that the galaxies and clusters of galaxies are the basic units of the physical universe, as discovered between 1920 and 1930... The young specialist in English Lit, having quoted me, went on to lecture me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern 'knowledge' is that it is wrong... My answer to him was, when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together. The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that 'right' and 'wrong' are absolute; that everything that isn't perfectly and completely right is totally and equally wrong. However, I don't think that's so. It seems to me that right and wrong are fuzzy concepts, and I will devote this essay to an explanation of why I think so. When my friend the English literature expert tells me that in every century scientists think they have worked out the universe and are always wrong, what I want to know is how wrong are they? Are they always wrong to the same degree?
The rock I'd seen in my life looked dull because in all ignorance I'd never thought to knock it open. People have cracked ordinary New England pegmatite - big, coarse granite - and laid bare clusters of red garnets, or topaz crystals, chrysoberyl, spodumene, emerald. They held in their hands crystals that had hung in a hole in the dark for a billion years unseen. I was all for it. I would lay about me right and left with a hammer, and bash the landscape to bits. I would crack the earth's crust like a pie±ata and spread to the light the vivid prizes in chunks within. Rock collecting was opening the mountains. It was like diving through my own interior blank blackness to remember the startling pieces of a dream: there was a blue lake, a witch, a lighthouse, a yellow path. It was like poking about in a grimy alley and finding an old, old coin. Nothing was at it seemed. The earth was like a shut eye. Mother's not dead, dear - she's only sleeping. Pry open the thin lid and find a crystalline intelligence inside, a rayed and sidereal beauty. Crystals grew inside rock like arithmetical flowers. They lengthened and spread, adding plane to plane in awed and perfect obedience to an absolute geometry that even the stones - maybe only the stones - understood.
The evening was a string of miserable minutes strung together in tiny clusters. Three minutes for a man shot through the shoulder; Ellis put first a finger in the entry wound and then another in the exit and when his fingers touched, he decided the man was only lightly injured and didn't need a surgeon. Three minutes to set a broken wrist and splint it with a strip of cowhide and a piece of wood from a sycamore tree. Two minutes to tourniquet a leg, then extract a piece of wire deep in the meat of it. A minute to peek under a pink, saturated bandage several inches below a slender belly button; he saw thin, red water leaking from a hole and smelled urine, knew the ball had breached the bladder. It would either heal or it wouldn't, but nothing to do about it so he set the soul aside, a case not to be operated upon. He turned a man's head looking for the source of a trickle of blood and had ten terrible minutes trying to stop torrential bleeding from under his clavicle; frantic moments during which he could get neither a finger nor a clamp around the pulsating source. All bleeding stops eventually though, and the case did not violate the rule. He took two minutes to settle his own breathing, then four minutes sewing a torn scalp, and half a minute saying a prayer over a fat, cigar-shaped dead man. After awhile, he had the impression he wasn't seeing men, but parts-an exploded chest, a blood swolled thigh, a busted jaw with its teeth spat to the wind or swallowed. It was more than a man could take and a lot less than there was to be seen.
You are God. You want to make a forest, something to hold the soil, lock up energy, and give off oxygen. Wouldn't it be simpler just to rough in a slab of chemicals, a green acre of goo? You are a man, a retired railroad worker who makes replicas as a hobby. You decide to make a replica of one tree, the longleaf pine your great-grandfather planted- just a replica- it doesn't have to work. How are you going to do it? How long do you think you might live, how good is your glue? For one thing, you are going to have to dig a hole and stick your replica trunk halfway to China if you want the thing to stand up. Because you will have to work fairly big; if your replica is too small, you'll be unable to handle the slender, three-sided needles, affix them in clusters of three in fascicles, and attach those laden fascicles to flexible twigs. The twigs themselves must be covered by 'many silvery-white, fringed, long-spreading scales.' Are your pine cones' scales 'thin, flat, rounded at the apex?' When you loose the lashed copper wire trussing the limbs to the trunk, the whole tree collapses like an umbrella. You are a sculptor. You climb a great ladder; you pour grease all over a growing longleaf pine. Next, you build a hollow cylinder around the entire pine... and pour wet plaster over and inside the pine. Now open the walls, split the plaster, saw down the tree, remove it, discard, and your intricate sculpture is ready: this is the shape of part of the air. You are a chloroplast moving in water heaved one hundred feet above ground. Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen in a ring around magnesium... you are evolution; you have only begun to make trees. You are god- are you tired? Finished?
I compared what was really known about the stars with the account of creation as told in Genesis. I found that the writer of the inspired book had no knowledge of astronomy - that he was as ignorant as a Choctaw chief - as an Eskimo driver of dogs. Does any one imagine that the author of Genesis knew anything about the sun - its size? that he was acquainted with Sirius, the North Star, with Capella, or that he knew anything of the clusters of stars so far away that their light, now visiting our eyes, has been traveling for two million years? If he had known these facts would he have said that Jehovah worked nearly six days to make this world, and only a part of the afternoon of the fourth day to make the sun and moon and all the stars? Yet millions of people insist that the writer of Genesis was inspired by the Creator of all worlds. Now, intelligent men, who are not frightened, whose brains have not been paralyzed by fear, know that the sacred story of creation was written by an ignorant savage. The story is inconsistent with all known facts, and every star shining in the heavens testifies that its author was an uninspired barbarian. I admit that this unknown writer was sincere, that he wrote what he believed to be true - that he did the best he could. He did not claim to be inspired - did not pretend that the story had been told to him by Jehovah. He simply stated the "facts" as he understood them. After I had learned a little about the stars I concluded that this writer, this "inspired" scribe, had been misled by myth and legend, and that he knew no more about creation than the average theologian of my day. In other words, that he knew absolutely nothing. And here, allow me to say that the ministers who are answering me are turning their guns in the wrong direction. These reverend gentlemen should attack the astronomers. They should malign and vilify Kepler, Copernicus, Newton, Herschel and Laplace. These men were the real destroyers of the sacred story. Then, after having disposed of them, they can wage a war against the stars, and against Jehovah himself for having furnished evidence against the truthfulness of his book.
Robert G. Ingersoll
The last time I saw Collin was in 1917, at the foot of Mort-Homme. Before the great slaughter, Collin'd been an avid angler. On that day, he was standing at the hole, watching maggots swarm among blow flies on two boys that we couldn't retrieve for burial without putting our own lives at risk. And there, at the loop hole, he thought of his bamboo rods, his flies and the new reel he hadn't even tried out yet. Collin was imaging himself on the riverbank, wine cooling in the current his stash of worms in a little metal box and a maggot on his hook, writhing like... Holy shit. Were the corpses getting to him? Collin. The poor guy didn't even have time to sort out his thoughts. In that split second, he was turned into a slab of bloody meat. A white hot hook drilled right through him and churned through his guts, which spilled out of a hole in his belly. He was cleared out of the first aid station. The major did triage. Stomach wounds weren't worth the trouble. There were all going to die anyway, and besides, he wasn't equipped to deal with them. Behind the aid station, next to a pile of wood crosses, there was a heap of body parts and shapeless, oozing human debris laid out on stretchers, stirred only be passing rats and clusters of large white maggots. But on their last run, the stretcher bearers carried him out after all... Old Collin was still alive. From the aid station to the ambulance and from the ambulance to the hospital, all he could remember was his fall into that pit, with maggots swarming over the open wound he had become from head to toe... Come to think of it, where was his head? And what about his feet? In the ambulance, the bumps were so awful and the pain so intense that it would have been a relief to pass out. But he didn't. He was still alive, writhing on his hook. They carved up old Collin good. They fixed him as best they could, but his hands and legs were gone. So much for fishing. Later, they pinned a medal on him, right there in that putrid recovery room. And later still, they explained to him about gangrene and bandages packed with larvae that feed on death tissue. He owed them his life. From one amputation and operation to the next - thirty-eight in all - the docs finally got him 'back on his feet'. But by then, the war was long over.
And under the cicadas, deeper down that the longest taproot, between and beneath the rounded black rocks and slanting slabs of sandstone in the earth, ground water is creeping. Ground water seeps and slides, across and down, across and down, leaking from here to there, minutely at a rate of a mile a year. What a tug of waters goes on! There are flings and pulls in every direction at every moment. The world is a wild wrestle under the grass; earth shall be moved. What else is going on right this minute while ground water creeps under my feet? The galaxy is careening in a slow, muffled widening. If a million solar systems are born every hour, then surely hundreds burst into being as I shift my weight to the other elbow. The sun's surface is now exploding; other stars implode and vanish, heavy and black, out of sight. Meteorites are arcing to earth invisibly all day long. On the planet, the winds are blowing: the polar easterlies, the westerlies, the northeast and southeast trades. Somewhere, someone under full sail is becalmed, in the horse latitudes, in the doldrums; in the northland, a trapper is maddened, crazed, by the eerie scent of the chinook, the sweater, a wind that can melt two feet of snow in a day. The pampero blows, and the tramontane, and the Boro, sirocco, levanter, mistral. Lick a finger; feel the now. Spring is seeping north, towards me and away from me, at sixteen miles a day. Along estuary banks of tidal rivers all over the world, snails in black clusters like currants are gliding up and down the stems of reed and sedge, migrating every moment with the dip and swing of tides. Behind me, Tinker Mountain is eroding one thousandth of an inch a year. The sharks I saw are roving up and down the coast. If the sharks cease roving, if they still their twist and rest for a moment, they die. They need new water pushed into their gills; they need dance. Somewhere east of me, on another continent, it is sunset, and starlings in breathtaking bands are winding high in the sky to their evening roost. The mantis egg cases are tied to the mock-orange hedge; within each case, within each egg, cells elongate, narrow, and split; cells bubble and curve inward, align, harden or hollow or stretch. And where are you now?
The bast, dispersing in shreds in the sunset whispered "Time has begun." The son, Adam, stripped naked, descended into the Old Testament of his native land and arrayed himself in bast; a wreath of roadside field grass he placed upon his brow, a staff, not a switch, he pulled from the ground, flourishing the birch branch like a sacred palm. On the road he stood like a guard. The dust-gray road ran into the sunset. And a crow perched there, perched and croaked, there where the celestial fire consumed the earth. There were blind men along the dust-gray road running into the twilight. Antique, crooken, they trailed along, lonely and sinister silhouettes, holding to one another and to their leader's cane. They were raising dust. One was beard-less, he kept squinting. Another, a little old man with a protruding lip, was whispering and praying. A third, covered with red hair, frowned. Their backs were bent, their heads bowed low, their arms extended to the staff. Strange it was to see this mute procession in the terrible twilight. They made their way immutable, primordial, blind. Oh, if only they could open their eyes, oh if only they were not blind! Russian Land, awake! And Adam, rude image of the returned king, lowered the birch branch to their white pupils. And on them he laid his hands, as, groaning and moaning they seated themselves in the dust and with trembling hands pushed chunks of black bread into their mouths. Their faces were ashen and menacing, lit with the pale light of deadly clouds. Lightning blazed, their blinded faces blazed. Oh, if only they opened their eyes, oh, if only they saw the light! Adam, Adam, you stand illumined by lightnings. Now you lay the gentle branch upon their faces. Adam, Adam, say, see, see! And he restores their sight. But the blind men turning their ashen faces and opening their white eyes did not see. And the wind whispered "Thou art behind the hill." From the clouds a fiery veil began to shimmer and died out. A little birch murmured, beseeching, and fell asleep. The dusk dispersed at the horizon and a bloody stump of the sunset stuck up. And spotted with brilliant coals glowing red, the bast streamed out from the sunset like a striped cloak. On the waxen image of Adam the field grass wreaths sighed fearfully giving a soft whistle and the green dewy clusters sprinkled forth fiery tears on the blind faces of the blind. He knew what he was doing, he was restoring their sight. ("Adam")
Despite an icy northeast wind huffing across the bay I sneak out after dark, after my mother falls asleep clutching her leather Bible, and I hike up the rutted road to the frosted meadow to stand in mist, my shoes in muck, and toss my echo against the moss-covered fieldstone corners of the burned-out church where Sunday nights in summer for years Father Thomas, that mad handsome priest, would gather us girls in the basement to dye the rose cotton linen cut-outs that the deacon's daughter, a thin beauty with short white hair and long trim nails, would stitch by hand each folded edge then steam-iron flat so full of starch, stiffening fabric petals, which we silly Sunday school girls curled with quick sharp pulls of a scissor blade, forming clusters of curved petals the younger children assembled with Krazy glue and fuzzy green wire, sometimes adding tissue paper leaves, all of us gladly laboring like factory workers rather than have to color with crayon stubs the robe of Christ again, Christ with his empty hands inviting us to dine, Christ with a shepherd's staff signaling to another flock of puffy lambs, or naked Christ with a drooping head crowned with blackened thorns, and Lord how we laughed later when we went door to door in groups, visiting the old parishioners, the sick and bittersweet, all the near dead, and we dropped our bikes on the perfect lawns of dull neighbors, agnostics we suspected, hawking our handmade linen roses for a donation, bragging how each petal was hand-cut from a pattern drawn by Father Thomas himself, that mad handsome priest, who personally told the Monsignor to go fornicate himself, saying he was a disgruntled altar boy calling home from a phone booth outside a pub in North Dublin, while I sat half-dressed, sniffing incense, giddy and drunk with sacrament wine stains on my panties, whispering my oath of unholy love while wiggling uncomfortably on the mad priest's lap, but God he was beautiful with a fine chiseled chin and perfect teeth and a smile that would melt the Madonna, and God he was kind with a slow gentle touch, never harsh or too quick, and Christ how that crafty devil could draw, imitate a rose petal in perfect outline, his sharp pencil slanted just so, the tip barely touching so that he could sketch and drink, and cough without jerking, without ruining the work, or tearing the tissue paper, thin as a membrane, which like a clean skin arrived fresh each Saturday delivered by the dry cleaners, tucked into the crisp black vestment, wrapped around shirt cardboard, pinned to protect the high collar.