My name is Yoda Forche. I am a Zen poet. You may know my mother, or my father, but I disclaim any knowledge of either. I was born in a catapult, hurled out into a streaming sea of comets and commentary.

In the solar system, century and subdivision into which I was born, there were certain standards and expectations that either I met, did not meet or exceeded.  There was an unreliable time-space continuum blending, folding and intertwining just then, which is now or then, and so the narrative thrust and linear architecture of my begetting and being was bent, a bit.

I was bent, a bit, from birth. This might have been foretold, or discussed after the party and the destruction of the asteroid on which I was conceived. The name of the asteroid was Astereth, Astarte, a good feminist constellation and I was born like the little prince standing upright, arms outstretched, on  a tiny bit of matter held together by gravity, all alone. Once borne, I was strapped into a device not unlike a slingshot and sent on my way. So much faster than back in the day, or so I understand from my casual reading of the history of my type.

The history of my type is quite a bit slower than my own personal history, as you know by now. You will by now have caught up with me, a few human centuries after the fact, and you will call me Saint Yoda, patron saint of the shooting stars. This makes me laugh in the way that champagne bubbles make small children laugh, just enough tickle to wiggle the nose, not enough to hurt me or you, and for that I am so grateful.

Gravity is a theory, like evolution. Gratitude also is a theory, but not one that has been much discussed in the context of science and that seems like an oversight to me. I am flying on the soft green cloud that carried me after I was hurtled away. Looking down, it seems to me that I see the gratitude tree, and it is green with wide leaves and yellow fruit, and might be mistaken for a banana if it weren’t for its effect.

The effect of the gratitude fruit is first to make the mouth open, like a small bird waiting. Then the mouth closes and the heart makes the skin on the sternum march slowly, steadily, and the belly makes a warm rumbling that is a bit like the song a silk worm makes.

The sun rising and falling on the gratitude tree makes some differences in color and flavor but the essential effect is the same. The sternum makes a thum thump, the belly makes a smooth silky rumble, the mouth opens and closes, and the wind that washes over the tree night and day keeps gratitude fresh and new.

This is the story told me after I was shot out and away into the big open. It wasn’t told in those exact words, not exactly, but that is how I will translate them for you now, like a nursery rhyme or a song.


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May 2010
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