Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011
The Word of Lachesis
The word of Lachesis, maiden daughter of Necessity.
Souls! Creatures of a day! So begins another period
of membership in the race of mortals, whose birth
brings death. No fate shall fall to you by lot:
you shall choose a fate. . . . The responsibility
is his who chooses. God is not responsible.
In Millennium Park the orchestra was rehearsing
in street clothes. The tenor wore levis
and a red golf shirt, the soprano a brown skirt;
the first violinist in a green silk blouse seemed overdressed.
A light rain had fallen, but the musicians were dry
under the canopy of the Frank Gehry pavilion.
A small audience, fifty or so, came and went,
standing—the seats were wet—to listen to a work
by Michael Torke.
This is what people do: their choices accumulate,
until some find themselves at a rehearsal in a park,
others at a table with men in uniform deliberating war.
Exiled from his native Hawaii, Jim Chapson has spent many years among the Lake (Michigan) Poets of Milwaukee. “The Word of Lachesis” is from his most recent book, Scholia (Arlen House, 2011).