A Peaceful Country; Social Media; Mosquitoes Will Inherit The World
By: Ian Randall Wilson
A Peaceful Country
Now that the report is in the nation in all its nakedness mouths the platitudes. Is this the time to speak of what must be done when butterflies are flying like orange comets in the day? A bird in the hand, well, the birds are chirping, too. From the trees, so much noise it's impossible to sleep. I had hoped to settle into this piece of time, to assemble all the puzzle parts and know what was what. It seems the fox will kill the hens this year and escape once more, the coop a mess of feathers and blood. You may ask why no one stops it. You may ask how the earth turns on its bright axis while those concerned toss salt over the left shoulder for luck, and the rest in hopes the demons will not pursue them. The time has come to change your life-- Have you heard that whopper? Old beliefs, like justice for all, like a hand reaching from the crowd grasps for help and not to steal your purse.
Oh Twitter jeremiad, you have not yet achieved the compulsory competency of the madman on the rock. Your words are misaligned and the nuns who taught you spelling hide their heads in shame. If they could but discipline you with their stiff rulers, beating your knuckles until your hands stop typing and you put away your devices to look up from the screen. How bright the world might be. The sunrise is singing, birds, a chorus of hope. The branches of the old oak wave like store greeters welcoming you home. Peace is there in aisle 9 and harmony in the back row next to faith, on the bottom shelf, which I'm sorry to report is being discontinued next month. Yet the soft green meadow grass calls out for you to lie on it. Be reborn in a puff of cloud. If you'll only rest in the forest cradle beneath the spangled light of the world. The doe in the woods is staring, no one move.
Mosquitoes Will Inherit The World
On the last walk around the last garden, the sun blisters, turning all the formerly temperate into sand. That's a little taste of the times ahead, sweet boy, the future that's more expensive than the weight of earth in gold. Those two degrees of warming was wishful thinking by the counsel of platypodes. We're headed toward five but by that time, they'll be gone, so why bother change-- I mean, won't the superheroes save us like they always do? Meanwhile, I carry my reclaimed recycled repurposed reprocessed shocking pink nylon sack like a circus strongman. I stack my empties in the big blue bin out back for the homeless pick through and carry off what they can sell. To those who will listen, I preach the empty language of word balloons. I tell myself, I am doing something, dumping the used coffee grounds on the mulching bed as an offering to the environmental gods. I tell myself, I am doing something, culling food scraps for the compost heap so the microbes can feast. I cut down on meat and don't run the air-conditioner in the heat. All glory to the penitent of sweat! Mine is but the cheapest sacrifice, no better than paste jewelry. The way people say, "Sorry for your loss" or "he's gone to a better place" or best of all: "Everything happens for a reason." Tell that to the Cryptic Treehunter who will hunt no more in the forests of Brazil. Tell that to Miami, when it drowns. All our gems are forsaken. The obituary for the topsoil has been written. When there are no dogs left, who will listen to the earthworms sing?
Ian Randall Wilson's fiction and and poetry have appeared in a number of literary journals including the North American Review, The Gettysburg Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. A short story collection, Hunger and Other Stories, was published by Hollyridge Press. His first poetry collection, Ruthless Heaven, was published by Finishing Line Press. He has an MFA in Poetry and in Fiction from Warren Wilson College, and is on the fiction faculty at the UCLA Extension. By day he works at Sony Pictures in Los Angeles.