Ode To Scrambled Eggs

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, 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, Montezuma, Atahualpa!
Zumbi, Giordano Bruno, Anne Hutchinson!
Hans Hut, Balthasar Hubmaier, Melchior Hofmann!
Charles I, James II! Siraj ud-Daulah! Louis XVI!
Pugachev, Mozart, Tupac Amaru, Pontiac!
Mary Wollstonecraft, Marie Antoinette, Robespierre!
Tiradentes, Alexander Hamilton, Shelley, Tecumseh!
Tenskwatawa! Napoleon! Hidalgo, Morelos! Osceola! Poe!
Policarpa Saravarrieta, Gertrudis Bocanegra!
Dred Scott, John Brown, Lincoln, Maximilian of Mexico!
Hong Xiuquan! Marx! Sofya Perovskaya, Jim Fisk, Custer!
Crazy Horse, Rimbaud, Muhammad Ahmed al-Mahdi!
Fischer, Spies, Engel, Lingg, Parsons, Lobengula!
Parnell, Dreyfus, Czolgosz, McKinley! Samori Ture!
Agyeman Prempeh! Behazin, Cetshwayo! Archduke Ferdinand!
Gavrilo Princip! Jaurès! Kerensky! Sun Yatsen!
Kotuku Shusui! Madero, Zapata, Villa!
Siyyid Alí-Muhammad Shírází, Mírzá Husayn-Alí Núrí!
Kaiser Wilhelm, Czar Nicolai, Liebknecht, Luxemburg!
Woodrow Wilson, Debs, Sacco, Vanzetti, Garvey!
Lorca, Capone, Vallejo, Trotsky, Insull, Amelia Earhart!
Bukharin, Hotsumi Ozaki, Sandino, Bonhoeffer, Aung San!
Mussolini, Hitler, Wang Shiwei, Jiang Jieshi, Konoe Fumimaro!
Turing, Gaitán, Laszlo Rajk, the Rosenbergs, Farouk, Faisal!
Naguib, Mosaddeq, Nagy, Jackson Pollock, Chon Tae-il!
Charlie Parker, Lumumba, Nkrumah, Howard Hughes!
Gary Powers! Batista! Hoffa! Medgar Evers! Hemingway!
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner! The Kennedys! Lee Oswald!
Abdel-Karim Kassem, Marilyn Monroe, Lenny Bruce!
Tania, Che Guevara, Malcolm X, Martin King!
Fred Hampton! Lyndon Johnson! John Lennon!
Salvador Allende! Nixon! Letelier! The Gandhis!
The Bhuttos! Janani Luwum! Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi!
Nirmal Da, Oscar Romero, Bamaca, Ceaucescu!
Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel!
Torrijos! Noriega! Sadat, Rabin! Marcos! Gorbachev!
Samuel Doe, Yeltsin, Zia-ul-Haq, Escobar, Savimbi!
Rafik Hariri! Najibullah! Saro-Wiwa! Boudiaf!
Farag Foda, Habyarimana, Zarqawi, Saddam Hussein!
Anna Politkovskaya! Neda Agha Soltan! Jolidabey Angulo!
Park Yong-Ha! Tufail Ahmed Mattoo! Anees Ganai!
Muhammad Bouazizi! Salman Taseer! Chokri Belaid!
Xulhaz Mannan, Rezaul Karim Siddique, Nazimuddin Samad!
Javier Valdez, Miriam Rodríguez Martínez!
Daniel Berrigan, prophet & prisoner
who set fire to draft cards, threw blood on hydrogen bombs
persisted protesting training of Latin American death squads
& who sent me a $50 bill someone gave him for his birthday!

The unknown soldier!
The unknown salesman!
The unknown mother!
The unknown house-wife!
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.

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Previously posted @ Heavy Bear (USA)

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Picture: Tycho supernova, NASA

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metanoia composure series

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One Response to “Ode To Scrambled Eggs”

  1. Donald O'Donovan Says:

    Well spoken. Loved the “roll call!”

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