Sunday, January 31, 2021

hidden behind the leaves


parasitic, they seem, said the abbot, hands behind back, rising forward and up, up on his toes, then down to his heels and up again, to rise above the hoi polloi ... how nebulous, how fragile these webs that join us to family and friends, offered the professor, and more tenuous still to those just passing; rather something less than parasitic, i think, i do ... and later, master ko, sitting still and silent on his lumpy futon, a vacant storage shed now home, one pine shelf with tin cup, and mia's gift, dawg coming and going, aren't we all parasitic, getting our rice and pickles at some other's expense, yes, maybe so, but too pejorative, that, too judgmental ... slight shake of head, then, donne's poem, no man insular, each man's death ... did shakespeare know him? and chinese fellow, lao dan, 2000 years before that, too many names, too many labels, too much this and that, splitting hairs into them and us, us and them, how nebulous, how fragile these contentious distinctions

hoi polloi: a Greek expression which literally means the people, but has taken on a negative connotation referring to the so-called unwashed masses
Lao Dan (or Lao Tze): purported author of Tao Te Ching


He hunts not fish, but as an officer,
Stays in his court, as his own net, and there
All suitors of all sorts themselves enthral;
So on his back lies this whale wantoning,
And in his gulf-like throat, sucks everything
That passeth near.
        John Donne (1572 - 1631)
        (Shakespeare 1564 - 1616)

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