The Last Dance of the Crane


As man closes his door behind him,

the cricket and cicada sing their song,

the owl and frog break their fast,

the firefly and moth dance their ballet,

and around the world the sun breaks another day.


As the tomcat courts his new delight,

and the hound bays his poem throughout the night,

the rat rummages for his molded crumb.

Man is dead - his church bell dumb.


He sits inside before a box

made of plastic and glass and wire.

For hours he sits and worships this,

and only of late does he tire.

He drops his glass into the sink

then up to his bed he must go,

for itís night, and itís late, and he has to prepare

for that thing called work, donít you know?


He covers his head and is deadÖ

for hours he lays there like that.

But in the meanwhile, the sun starts to smile,

and in his window, it is said,

on mornings when the sun is just so,

there can be seen haunting reflections

of things as they were long ago.


In this scene, by a crystalline stream,

with the sun shining bright off the dew,

a family of fowl descend through the air like a dream.

They alight on the bank, tuck their wings,

and refresh themselves in the brook,

then dabble about the rocks and reeds

catching fish and frogs with their beaks.


One naps knee-deep and on one leg;

under wing is placed his head.

The other two dance most splendidly

in the spring, in the sun, by the stream.

Ends scene I of this act.
The curtains now come to a close.

They will reopen, and they will reveal

a scene, as compared, much opposed,

for the air is putrid, and the sun must struggle

to illuminate the mire down below.


There are no trees, nor jewels of dewdrops,

nor reeds to dabble about.

Nor are there frogs and fish to catch,

nor crystalline water to flow.

There are three corpses in the muck

where once there was a stream

with a family of cranes enjoying the things

that we now only see in these dreams.


Thus happiness ends - tomorrow begins.

The script has murdered the cast,

and the crew has nothing to do

but close their doors, turn their locks,

and worship their goddamned box.

There are no more plays.The stage is decayed.

The curtains now hang in shreds.

Weíve only the memory of the great performance

of the play The Last Dance of the Crane,

which ghostly appears every few years

in the glass of a windowpane.


August 16, 1992


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