Ode To Scrambled Eggs

by Eric Chaet

You would have been roosters or hens
confined to a small cage
or running around some yard.

Feathers, spine, a beak, eyes like mine
that see night & day
stars, blue sky, grains of soil & corn
wire mesh, trucks, collisions, intentional & otherwise
with & of other chickens, hawks, ants
woman’s hand or man’s
a voice like mine, too, appetite & thirst, urge to move
to reproduce, brood, nurture, maybe—or strut & crow.

You would have been like me, aspirations of smaller ambit
probably less memory, less scheming, less philosophical
but troubled only briefly, letting what happens go, fatalistic.

Scrambled eggs,
you’re like the elders of my family I resisted emulating—
what they’d hoped for & attempted scrambled by circumstances
stronger than their ability, finally, to cope with.

You’re like Abel, Akhenaten, Samson, Goliath, Hector!
Achilles, Archimedes, Alcibiades, Alexander the Great!
Marius, Spartacus, Crassus, Pompey, Boudica!
Vercingetorix, Julius Caesar, Antony, Cleopatra!
John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul, The Gracchi!
Umar, Uthman, Ali, An Lushan, Mansur al-Hallaj!
Peter of Bruys, Richard the Lionhearted, Wallace!
Hamza Malmati Maqtul, Joan of Arc, Rienzi, Huss!
Villon, Etienne Marcel, Montezuma, Atahualpa, Zumi!
Servetus, Giordano Bruno, Anne Hutchinson, Charles I!
Hans Hut, Balthasar Hubmaier, Melchior Hofmann!
James II, Oldenbarnevelt, Siraj ud-Daulah, De Witt!
Damiens, Nader Shah, Louis XVI, Pugachev, Mozart!
Tupac Amaru, Pontiac, Agha Mohammad Khan, Taksin!
Rejtan, Mary Wollstonecraft, Marie Antoinette!
Robespierre, Tiradentes, Hamilton, Shelley, Hidalgo!
Pemulwuy! Tecumseh! Tenskwatawa! Napoleon! Morelos!
Osceola, Nat Turner, Policarpa Saravarrieta, the Bab!
Black Hawk, Poe, Midgegooroo, Yagan, Dred Scott!
Gertrudis Bocanegra, John Brown, Lincoln, Bogle!
White Bear, Custer, Rimbaud, Maximilian of Mexico!
Tewodros, Fisk, Marx, Sofya Perovskaya, Hong Xiuquan!
Goodyear, Crazy Horse, Lobengula, Parnell, Dreyfuss!
Rizal, Riel! Fischer, Spies, Engel, Lingg, Parsons!
Aleksandr Ulianov, Debs, Samori Ture, Jaures!
Muhammad Ahmed al-Mahdi, Kerensky, Agyeman Prempeh!
Sun Yatsen! Cetshwayo! McKinley! Archduke Ferdinand!
Zapata! Gavrilo Princip! Madero! Behazin!
Kotuku Shusui, Villa, Liebknecht, Charlemagne Peralte!
Luxemburg, Garvey, Zeledon, Siyyid Alí-Muhammad Shírází!
Mírzá Husayn-Alí Núrí, Kaiser Wilhelm, Czar Nicolai!
Woodrow Wilson, Lorca, Pierre Sully, Gregorio Ferrera!
Capone, Vallejo, Sacco, Vanzetti, Trotsky, Insull!
Amelia Earhart, Bukharin, Anne Frank, Sandino, Aung San!
Hotsumi Ozaki, W.H. Carothers, Bonhoeffer, Mussolini!
Hitler, Wang Shiwei, Jiang Jieshi, Durant, Turing!
Konoe Fumimaro, Philo Farnsworth, Gaitán, Farouk!
Witold Pilecki, Laszlo Rajk, The Rosenbergs, Faisal!
Arbenz, Naguib, Mosaddeq, Nagy, Chon Tae-il!
Jackson Pollock, Charlie Parker, Edwin H. Armstrong!
Lumumba, Nkrumah, Howard Hughes, Gary Powers!
Medgar Evers! Hemingway! Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner!
The Kennedys! Oswald! Hoffa! Abdel-Karim Kassem!
Guevara, Tania, Marilyn Monroe, Lenny Bruce, Diem!
Martin King! Malcolm X! Fred Hampton! Nixon!
John Lennon! Lyndon Johnson! Juhayman al-Otaybi!
Letelier! Allende! The Gandhis! The Bhuttos!
Bruce & Eugenia Ransier Johnson, Sergio Herrera!
Bamaca! Benigno Aquino! Chamorro! Janani Luwum!
Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Nirmal Da, Oscar Romero!
Popieluszko, Ceaucescu! Torrijos, Noriega, Sadat!
Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel!
Rabin! Marcos! Gorbachev, Samuel Doe, Yeltsin!
Zia-ul-Haq, Escobar, Savimbi! Rafik Hariri! Najibullah!
Saro-Wiwa! Boudiaf! Gerardi Conedera! Farag Foda!
Habyarimana! Zarqawi! Saddam Hussein! Colosio Murrieta!
Anna Politkovskaya! Neda Agha Soltan! Jolidabey Angulo!
Park Yong-Ha! Tufail Ahmed Mattoo! Anees Ganai!
刘晓波 (Liu Xiaobo), Jo Cox, Muhammad Bouazizi!
Salman Taseer, Xulhaz Mannan! Rezaul Karim Siddique!
Chokri Belaid! Nazimuddin Samad! Javier Valdez!
Berta Cáceres! Arnav Gupta! Alan Garcia!
Kuciak! Trayvon Martin! Marielle Franco! Khashoggi!
Miriam Rodríguez Martínez! Daphne Caruana Galizia!
Hilary Clinton, Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela!
Theresa May, Abrar Fahad, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!

Millions of slaves, millions slaughtered in wars for others’ greed
or because someone didn’t dare admit miscalculating!
Millions raped, millions tortured!
Pyramids of skulls built to intimidate those in invaders’ paths!
The Rape of Nanking! The Holocaust! Desolate battlefields! Hiroshima!
Refugee camps, reservations, ghettos, neighborhoods like mazes—
from which millions never find a way to emerge & develop!
Families & communities unable to emerge from grievances & feuds!
Generations ruled by the most brutal & base among them!
Injustice for a million years in the midst of glory!

The unknown soldier!
The unknown salesman!
The unknown mother!
The unknown infant!
The unknown house-wife!
The unknown teen,
desperately or chronically poor, or rich—
in a so-called developed or underdeveloped country!

The unknown accountant!
The unknown cultivator!
The unknown husbandman!
The unknown tool-maker!
The unknown assembler!
The unknown installer!
The unknown maintainer!
The unknown loan officer!
The unknown waitress!
The unknown prisoner!
The unknown insurance processor!
The unknown student!
The unknown assistant!
The unknown ashamed of an ailment’s symptoms!
The unknown without the price of membership!
The unknown who refuses to pander to
editors’, executives’, investors’, voters’, or consumers’
programmed prejudices, greed, fears, egotistic delusions!

Victims of every war, famine, misunderstanding
plague, rivals’ undermining, assault, mob fury, scapegoating
assassination, bad programming, misinformed
resentful, without capital or backup—
you’re like my neighbors, generation, nation—you’re like me.

Oh, some of us live longer, emerge from egg or womb
delight in early impressions & in our mastery of, say, walking
& talking, maybe our art-work posted on a refrigerator
by encouraging parents or teachers, might be elected senators
or accumulate billions of dollars, pounds of gold, barrels of oil
maybe command industrial-strength invasions, occupations
or bands of resisters to invasions, occupations
or take advantage of such conflicts to trade at inflated prices
committed, maybe, to some noble or malthusian enterprise
maybe dropping to one side like carcasses
of raccoons or squirrels along the road
or mice in traps, or swatted flies
or persisting, overcoming one obstacle after another
seeing the big, then bigger picture—or running around some yard.

Scrambled just the same—each a kind of team
opposed by not just another team coming from the opposite direction
& dedicated to blocking our attempts to score—
but opposed by, say, 40,000 teams coming from all directions
each trying to score, & prevent our scoring—
most goals even of different natures than our goals
few understanding what we’re trying to achieve—
we so necessarily concentrating, unable to conceive their goals—
even our understanding of our own purposes & tactics
often scrambled by the necessity of dealing with urgent entropy
gravity, accidents, traditions, tantrums
dangerous inclinations to disrupt disproportionately powerful bullies
others’ wise & foolish forays, gambits, campaigns, policies
our competitors subsidized, laws biased for & against
speeches sincere & realistic or unrealistic, or cynical.

Addicted to products or services giant corporations provide—
prices & terms changing, barrage of sales & counter claims
sly or unthinking, intimate or impersonal betrayals
capital seeking profitable transactions, ecological havoc
indignant protests, planned & unplanned obsolescence
illness & despair of those we care about, our own griefs
constitutions, bibles, seasons, effects of hormones, viruses, age.

Tidal waves of change
that began a hundred, thousand, million, billion years ago—
or are just starting
our efforts a zealous part, or against which we exert our efforts—
or which we don’t even realize encompass us—
til all we’re trying to do is disrupted, then done—
& we’re released:
& what we’ve done, mixed with all that has become of us & it
has its great or slim yet inexorable effect—oh, scrambled eggs.


Previously posted @ Heavy Bear (USA)


Picture: Tycho supernova, NASA



metanoia composure series

One Response to “Ode To Scrambled Eggs”

  1. Donald O'Donovan Says:

    Well spoken. Loved the “roll call!”

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