Howard J. Kogan



God's Regrets

Oh God, I bet you're sorry you ever started it all,
you who are omnipotent, the master of the universe;
what were you thinking? Isn't this world a bit of a curse?

I can understand the rest of creation, the stars
are lovely, the sun and moon are inspirations,
that would satisfy most God's aspirations.

Yet I understand, you have a need to shine
and your divine genius comes clearly through
with the orchids, the bats and the kangaroo.

But there's a part of the plan I can't understand,
what did you need with man? The mountains are impressive,
the ocean is seasoned just right, the seasons are very expressive

and who but you would have thought of day and night?
I hate to be a bore and keep on repeating, but just once more;
can you tell me what you were thinking? What are people for?

God responds, "You've got it all backwards; I'm mankind's creation;
and may I add; it's a hell of a job being a figment of your imagination."


Fireflies

JBS Haldane the early 20th Century British geneticist and naturalist was
reportedly asked by a theologian, "What could be inferred about the mind
of the Creator from the works of His Creation?" His response was: "The
creator has an inordinate fondness for beetles." (There were over
400,000 known species of beetles in the world, which was half of all the
insects known at the time.) The Firefly is a beetle.

It is the season of warm rain
a shower has just ended
there are hundreds of us
in a field of tall grasses.
People think the scene
is like a city at night
seen from the heavens.
But what do people know?

This is a carnival of light and love
it is for this evening we were born.
We are the fireflies, the end
to which evolution has always tended -
the most wondrous form of nature's
favorite and largest family.

We are the winged hipsters
the cool light angels of love
flashing our bioluminescence
to lovers who fly to us
as they always have
through the dark night
eager for love.


Zamboni

I am lying in a hospital bed surrounded by the concerned.
I can remember being in the garden, when my head exploded.
I cannot move or speak. My living will comes to mind.

It is a Chinese menu of pain, misery and insult.
I had checked the no extra-ordinary measures from column "A".
And the full pu-pu platter of pain medication from column "B".

No one wants to suffer or be a burden or worse - a vegetable.
Yet now I feel oddly certain -things are going to be okay.
Did someone say, "Vegetable"?

They can be deceiving. Cauliflowers despite appearances
Are dopes. Broccoli is smarter. Broccoli rabe is a genius.
Beets have it over potatoes on most standardized tests.

Carrots are practically mute and can't really be tested.
When one of those New Age types talks about the wisdom
Of the carrot, let me tell you - it's pure speculation.

Tomatoes and sweet corn are so narcissistic I don't even like
To mention them. And the greens - the envy of the greens -
Kale wants to be spinach -spinach wants to be lettuce -

Lettuce wants to be something sexy and Italian.
No, the ones I like, the ones I might aspire to, are
The alliums; an Ailsa Craig onion or perhaps a shallot...

Wait a minute - where is everyone going? Are they
Turning off the monitors? Pulling the plug?
I am drifting into twilight. I am surrounded by lights - flashing

lights - they're everywhere. I am a Zamboni, one of a squadron
Of Zambonis snuffling across the ice, smoothing and polishing
the earth as if it were a jewel - something I hadn't noticed before.


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