Just this morning it happened: June’s plague.
Squirrels by the dozen descended from nearby trees
choice yellow mangoes left violated, bitten on the vine.
Mosquitoes similarly stung a feast on my ankles
and beside me, turned my dog’s butternut flank red.
I drank a cup of coffee followed by a glass of water.
And I remembered a woman who sits zazen with us
All she does is tell us about how her husband left:
how she wants to die and then kill him–unaware
of her irony. I wonder: am I any different?
The ants that march by me in single file
each one carrying a crumb from last night,
the coffee that wakes me, the blood I let
to mosquitoes swarmed at my ankles,
the squirrels’ mango...
I would also be St. Kevin, and ignore what keeps us from working with him, from emulating his example. I would work to a loss of self–a no-self–only gesture. Not for reward but to strive for the thing itself. To become the thing itself. To tree.
ST. KEVIN AND THE BLACKBIRD
And then there was St Kevin and the blackbird.
The saint is kneeling, arms stretched out, inside
His cell, but the cell is narrow, so
One turned-up palm is out the window, stiff
As a crossbeam, when a blackbird lands
and Lays in it and settles down to nest.
Kevin feels the warm eggs, the small breast, the tucked
Neat head and claws and, finding himself linked
Into the network of eternal life,
front cover, In the Shadow of Bois Hugo: The 8th Lincolns at the Battle of Loos by Nigel Atter, Peter Simkins (Foreword)
Atter’s book covers the story of a battalion going first into action in the Battle of Loos, France in 1915. The Lincoln’s (Lincolnshire County’s) 8 Battalion is an example of what was even then being called Kitchener’s Army. This was the first nationwide enlisting effort in Britain, personified by Lord Kitchener in his personal appeal for more men, in reaction to the fact that the original BEF was all but gone by 1914’s end. There was a critical shortage of manpower on the British front facing the German trenches from Ypres snaking southwards to Artois.
He played in Sara Werner’s The Things They Left Behind as Cleve Ferrell. SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do? Chaz Mena: Chaz is a Freedoms’ Foundation Award winner (2014) for his PBS teleplay, Yo Solo…
Played to sold-out audiences. It was a pleasure to work with my dear friend, Michael McKeever’s on his new play. The trailer below produced by Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Coral Gables, FL.
We all have to learn the comfort of being ourselves – and not someone else. It is much harder than it looks and the problem never really goes away. I might notice in my laugh someone else’s laugh; and a turn of phrase – which whilst not appropriate – was picked up from a memorable encounter.