Soliloquy: Noun (so-lil-o-quy)
1: a speech you make to yourself
2: a dramatic speech intended to give the illusion of unspoken reflections.
3: An act of speaking to one's thoughts when by oneself regardless of anyone listening.
The word soliloquy just suddenly appeared, popped into my mind. I was unsure as to its spelling or its meaning or even how to pronounce it. I telephoned my daughter and asked her if there was such a word and how to spell it and its meaning. My daughter promptly found the word and its definition and told me how to pronounce it. Really! I have discussed this numerous times in previous posts and attribute the experience to my poetry sprite.(my fictional muse)My daughter says its from my reading all my life and I am just recalling something subliminal.
This year I traversed the northern reaches of the state of Maine and just outside a little town called Upton, I came upon a cow moose lying dead upon the shoulder of the road. I stopped and turned my auto around and returned to the carcass. The female had met her fate the night before or early that morning because she had not yet bloated and her eyes were not the milky white that denotes long hours in this state.
I was curious because I had never viewed a moose up close so I got out of my auto and viewed her carcass in an ambivalent manner as to a natural occurrence of a road kill. I had viewed many a whitetail laid waste beside a busy roadway and thus was unrequited in my emotions concerning this creature. I took pictures and proceeded upon my way.
The image of the dead cow moose reminded me of a poem I had read concerning a whitetail doe who had met with a similar fate. I only remembered the first and last lines which were “a vault thwarted or halted” and the last verse which said “I leave you my velocity and my fawn” It is with this knowledge and inspiration that I will try to compose something of my own regarding this as it persistently tugs at me imploringly asking that I do something.
I find this meddlesome at times especially since my poetry sprite has apparently abandoned me and gone elsewhere. I used to be confounded by it(the sprite) and all this prose rattling around in my head and awakening me in the middle of the night with pure and exact rhyming prose. I still read poetry and I just finished deciphering T.S. Eliot's "The Four Corners" which was a laborious read but thought provoking. I dislike the use of pompously big words to impress. I know a few of them as I am the "Wordsmith" in my blog but decline to use them as I have been reminded by my daughter. I don't want to be considered an academically pompous ass. By the way I am a backwoods hick(red neck) and pseudo cowboy and I am definitely a blue collar,spit-in-your-eye, conservative both fiscally and morally. I carry a gun, go to church and I pray. I am not an academic!
I composed a quick outline of a poem but it seems I no longer have the ability to find the words or thought to make it rhyme and I became frustrated with its measure. I have an inkling of what I want to say so I will revert to this contemporary approach.
Todate it's been a couple of months since I started this blog post. I have been poring over the prose trying to say what I want to say plus making it rhyme and use correct measure.
High upon an alpine glen
Where Upton's township doth end
Where cloven hooves do often dare
I chanced upon a carnage rare
A moose foundling laid waste
Amidst autumn's glorious haste
Beneath pillowed skies of blue
Its tender eyes an ashen hue
Why came you to this horrid end?
Your vision my heart doth rend
Brushstrokes with tints of sorrow
Paint me a mournful tomorrow
Like shadows across the road
Your image burdens my soul
I am glad death saved you pain
In my mind's imagination I see the cow moose grazing at the roadside on this splendid autumn night. It's a clear night and she can see well because she has the eyes for it. I have heard a moose's eyes do not reflect light like a whitetail thus making them harder to detect by drivers.Why was this moose at the roadside? Because there is grass there. The roads are mowed and there is always new grass emerging and the roadsides receive sunlight unlike the darkness of the spruce forest. I imagine the night as clear with both moonlight and starlight and the crispness of an autumn night.
I suppose I have set the scene as they say and now I will reflect on fate. Some refer to fate as karma but I digress because I believe in neither. It rains on poor people, rich people and cows equally. Nature is not particular as to class or status.
What is life? A knowable thing?
Certainly not an elemental thing!
Certainly nothing to grasp
Is it God's touch perhaps?
The Aether, an infinite celestial abode
Stardust on which the elements rode
We are sired by a fiery fire
Forged and cleansed in a nova's fire
"There is no great and no small to the soul that maketh all"
Fragment by Ralph Waldo Emerson
I equate nature as God and nature as God's plan or blueprint. I am an observer and pragmatic. Being of any particular faith does not prevent you from getting cancer or any disease.Your faith doesn't prevent arthritis or psoriasis or stay your execution or death by old age. I believe faith is hope and if you hope and pray and have a positive outlook then that makes you recover or effects your outlook on life. Did God kill this moose? Does God precipitate the death of a soldier? Is an accidental death by a car accident attributable to God? No!
Why didn't this moose just ease into the cover of the nearby forest or flee upon first sight of the lights? That is the question because she definitely had a flight instinct as all animals do. This question I cannot answer, I was not the moose. All animals have three triggers that will put them to flight: sight, smell, or hearing. The animal needs two of the three to initiate flight. The moose saw the lights approaching but didn't react until she heard the engine. An animal might smell you but will need to see or hear you before it sneaks off. Why did this animal die? It was female so more than likely she had a calf that I didn't see.
Will it survive without its mother. Again, nature, it's autumn and the calf is probably old enough to survive on its own. We all hope it will, but without a mother to learn from, its chances are lessened.There is a cold ,snow laden winter approaching with lots of predators Why am I concerned or even reflecting on the event? I have been to war in Vietnam and I have been a hunter. I used to be jaded when it came to death but the older I get it seems the more tender and sensitive I become. Old Age- Go figure!
Ebony darkness. starry cosmic runes
Discerned by an uncaring moon
Stars twinkle, lustrous eyes see
Hoarfrost blanketing the scree
Mother's milk, a shawl lain across
The bosom of the cosmos
A Godly celestial plain
No sounds but an idle crickets chirp
A nuzzling nose and cuddly burp
The frosty air is keen and still
As the Lights blindly wield!
Like pulsars pulsating fright
Disrupting this idyllic night
The lights paralyze until I hear
A disrupting drone very near
Where is my calf? I snort a warning
The dark forest is close and calling
Darkness upon darkness
No breath! My heart seized!
The chill ascends, ribs broken!
Sinew and tendon torn
I now lay dead upon dead sand
Roadside gravel my funeral bed
From my soul a soundless wail
Down "a black ribbon of death"
I am life, God's creation!
My calf who peers from nearby
Heart wrenching! "Every poem is an epitaph" unknown author
The written word causes me to feel or have empathy for the moose but ordinarily we would just drive by a carcass and give it no more thought.Why am I writing about a dead moose? Because I am compelled to do so for some inexplicable reason.
"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common". Ralph Waldo Emerson
I did some research on poetry concerning road kills and found little. I did find one line that I liked as being descriptive and pertaining to this event. It is a line or fragment from a poem by Carey Lenehan and it denotes our highways as;
"like a ribbon of black death"
This enables my imagination to contemplate the millions of miles of black ribbony roads and highways traversing our countryside upon which our vehicles commit vehicular manslaughter on every creature that unfortunately gets in our way.
I have driven the big rigs and was taught to not swerve or drop a wheel to avoid an animal. If you are pulling a 100,000 pound load in traffic and Fluffy runs out in front of you then "take Fluffy out! It better to do that than have a multi vehicle accident or human injuries.
I surmise this cow moose served her purpose: "To know even one life has breathed because you have lived,This is to have succeeded"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This moose performed her sole function for which she was created, she was born and was nurtured by her mother and produced an offspring to carry on the species, "The Circle of life" She occupied a niche in nature, she cropped the bushes and trees, she fertilized and spread seeds, she possibly pleased a human eye that viewed her and her calf. She lived and breathed, she was life!
"By descending to the common we touch the sublime" William Wordsworth
My conclusion is my sigh! Poetry exists for the sake of the recollection of a feeling. My feeling is a sigh
"Till our small share of hardy paining sighs: for sighs will ever trouble human breath. Creep hushed into the tranquil breast of death".Fragment by William Wadsworth
Truely! Life goes on!