The Orange Rapture
On All Saint's Day, November first,
it's absolutely necessary.
He signals for the starting up of all the station wagons,
begins the roadtrip ritual
of gathering every dying jackolantern;
assembling every scattered and
abandoned orphan pumpkin he can find,
he reunites them, links them all
in a single solid line along the beach.
He and they and everyone then
sit to watch the evening sun
ignite the skies, touch the ocean,
have its quenched illumination pulled from the horizon;
and through it all they listen to
an intoxicating crew of sympathetic cellists who
stay with them,
play their hearts out to the rhythm of applauding waves.
As the encroaching, rising tide
creeps and inches closer in
everyone gathered there is baptized in aluminum
falling light of autumn moon.
Those to whom he chooses to
disclose where this rite will be,
they in turn will secretly
tell only those who can endure,
indulge themselves with tranquil hours
of silent ceremony.
Thus, this assembly forms out there
where water, earth, light and air
celebrate a joined festivity.
The breathtaking nature of
this most peculiar spectacle
always grips the congregation:
Facing sunset lies this stretching,
haunting streak of countless, staring pumpkin heads,
and behind them seated in the sand
their human guards;
these escorting chaperones,
as mothers usher home this weaker, dying,
lonesome herd of fallen heroes;
and lastly, stationed in the back,
as captains guarding, guiding this sacred conflagration,
sit the cellists, navigating space and time.
What few know, is what compels him
to create this annual
assemblage of art and life and death way out here,
without leaving single trace of its occurrence.
Yet, there is a glorious, significant, spiritual design
contained within this curious, profound commemoration;
a clearly woven layeredness of transparent liturgy,
a tangible grasp for hard redemption,
a slow leak flow of holy ecstasy
whisper-blown upon the shore,
and through all this, he waits, until
he observes the gradual,
raptured rescue of every orange, wrinkling soul
as liquid fingers gently grasp, lift and roll them
down the pristine night-wet slope,
slip them from salvation's dirt,
cause their tumbling off into
the deep and dark and light of heaven.
Copyright (c) 2008 Gary Brown