Ron Slate

The Dangers of Contemplation
August 21, 2020 Slate Ron

The Dangers of Contemplation
Follow the seagull aloft
in arcs above the ballpark.
The mind can go that high and far.
The mind can hover surreptitiously
staring into the open skull of the stadium
and pick out something small drifting there
and call it the enigma
in miniature. Popcorn kernel. Bottle cap.
Or a scattering of peanut shells.
So many spectators are stained with condiments,
singing for spacious skies believing we see more
than the gull can see.
Inevitably, one of two things occurs:
A. Vertigo as you look down
on the gull drifting like a dust mote miles below.
Or even worse, B. Confusion everlasting.
A baseball manager once said:
If you make a pitcher do something
he doesn’t want to do, no telling
how his arm will react.
The inner life, sealed.
The outer life, concealed.
The smell of the breath of the gull
is swirling above the pitcher’s mound.
The soul is the breath? The cry?
Then, the soul is what tumbles
from the gull’s anus onto a windshield
in the parking lot just as a broken-bat single
plops into short left.
The mind can go this far.
The ace’s arm aspires to infinite angles
but three good pitches are sufficient.
Six relievers smell adversity in their pen.
The gull flies blindly in our sleep.
The spiritual life must not go too deep.

Ron Slate is the editor and publisher of On The Seawall: A Community Gallery of New Writing and Commentary at His poetry collections are The Incentive of the Maggot and The Great Wave.