Creative Nonfiction Poetry

Robert Vivian

The End Of Every Beast  

The end of every beast is a rhyme and a patch of newly uncovered earth, a single strawberry wet with dew in the ever gladdening eye of spring, the rapturous cry of a bird at dawn (Be one upon whom nothing is barren)—the end of every beast is a poem fashioned out of cardboard then lit on fire by a trembling hand the poem burning now so that the words turn to smoke then to spirit and we are carried off on the rough shoulders of a cold northern wind that suddenly turns softer and sighing (Be one upon whom nothing is feigned or foreigned), a mere hint of breeze, hush or whisper down almost to threadbare, a ceremony of drop away emptiness after something good is spoken (Be one in whom a bell chimes down the corridors of forever)—the end of every beast is a bone in the graveyard, no, two bones, no three—the beast becoming a whole orchestra, flutes, wood winds, and clarinets and bone instruments, bone harps, the first lyre of the world (Be one in whom the tendons of yearning never stop stretching) so the beast becoming lyric, becoming moan that turns into words whose syllables are rounded like stones polished by a river and great overflow of feeling in the electromagnetic tugging of earth, like grief that haloes around your head so that we can almost see it (Be one upon whom a shot of vinegar heals all bitterness), no lasting sense unless it is wild and feral sense, an owl gripping a branch in talon fierceness, a red-tailed hawk circling high in the sky—the end of every beast is a mouth full of praise spilling over (Be one upon whom every dawn is sacred, every drop of rain)—the end of every beast is the sap inside very tree, every raiment and colors the flowers show (Be one upon whom every color is a splendiferous hymn), Ecclesiastes coming round once more for there is a time for writing checks and a time for saying Hail Marys all night, a time for putting on dirty overalls and a time for shining one’s shoes with a banana peel, a time for watching old reruns and a time for scattering egg shells in the garden, coffee grounds, torn bits of old love letters, notebooks found in smithereens in the drier, a time for delicately bathing one’s beating heart with the inner glow of a rapt tenderness and a time for dancing to Prince’s Raspberry Beret, a time for placing daisies in a clown’s mouth and a time for toasting the setting sun, a time—pray—to welcome and nurture back the deep rhythm of the seasons and a time for tearing down old brocade, a time for touching and feeling and focusing all your devotion on the one you love who’s fast asleep and so the end of every beast, the end of every bird and flower, the end of every sentence and the end of every life is a few tender sounds left over full of heartache and root rot and apple sauce, the beast now gentle and soothing as a warm April breeze come suddenly out of nowhere to kiss your cheek and forehead and wash over your whole body in new clothes of wind-washed air sheer as gossamer, whispering something like I love you, whispering something like Leave everything behind, All will be good and wonderful again, Just close your eyes and let go.