In my tender days
each new movie, book, or play,
every new acquaintance
was a jungle of possibility,
into which I dropped
dangling from my parachute
which floated ever downward on puffs of innocent joy.
I have long since landed.
Last night a friend, also planted on terra firma,
asked me, “What turns you on nowadays?”
The word which flashed into my mind was
Ouch! That won’t do.
There must be something.
Money? I have more than enough.
Winning? It’s nine PM. I’m tired, even of winning.
What else? Been there, done that.
Then I remembered the picnic in Claremont months ago
where high school graduates and college freshmen mingled,
those I had helped in some way to enter colleges and universities—
Wesleyan, Yale, Harvey Mudd, Brown.
When I visit the community of these disparate
child/men, child/women, speaking different languages,
with so much yet to come—
Yes, their passion turns me on.
—from Rattle #22, Winter 2004