A tweet is an instant 140-character message
that flies around the world. Its echo
inside the four walls of one room
is quite accidental, while whistling
ricochets around it like a cue ball
banking but with no pocket to capture
and stop its anti-music vibration.
Spontaneous outburst of joy,
it’s a sure sign that no one
is listening. The expectation
of isolation is complete. Who
would tweet their stupidity
when whistling is possible?
Or prayer! Here’s another choice
of solitary expression, though it could
be tweeted or done in a group.
I’ve been known to draw my prayers—
for the duration of making art,
you understand, not for the skill of it
as my crude stick figures and unblended
color pencil scratches attest.
Some need priests for prayer and others
need candles, mandalas or cantors.
Those that use a computer to talk
to world-round audiences
shouldn’t be surprised when
answers come in bombs or laughter.
Let’s talk instead.
Let’s talk before we whistle or tweet
or sing or pray and before we scatter,
before we forget conversation is what
two or more people do after listening.
They use questions to draw each other out,
to dig deeper into the softer flesh behind
the public slogans and rehearsed speeches
that get us by, that substitute for closeness.
Imagine looking across a crowded room
and seeing many whose masks had
lifted for an instant, to smile, to respond
honestly to a sincere and direct question,
as if it mattered, as if humans mattered—
even the strangers who share a room.
Ok, so this is a bit of an anti-DT rant. His tweet
cheering on the Women's March was so laughable,
it scared me. And there still may be bombs, but
that may be a different topic altogether.
My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2018 Susan L. Chast