THE LAUGHING BONE‎ > ‎WORD‎ > ‎POETRY‎ > ‎

Aint the Bone Thats Shakin



One of the first signs of a saint will be that other people 
do not know what to make of him.

- Merton



It was one time that there be
Long white sandy beach and Big Blue Sky.
And it was in this time that there be
Two Monks sittin squat in that sand
Lookin and a watchin hard
At a might peculiar thing.
Now I tells you, those Two Monks
They couldnt hardly even takes
Their eyeballs off of it.

So what was this eyeball catchin thing?
Well, you knows how every night
When the Ocean is all a dreamin
And tossin an turnin all bout?
An I expect you knows how times be that
You be walkin down the beach
After a stormy night and there be floatin
Some kinda strange piece of Dreamwood?
A lil piece of the Ocean's dream be that.

So it was this particular mornin
When those Two Monks come a walkin
And a mutterin their prayers long the beach
That they there spy a piece of Dreamwood
Almost look like Lil shipwreck thing.
And if you cans imagine that,
Then you can see that there was
A Big Ole Bone stickin up out of it.

Yessum, that Big Ole Bone was standing
Straight up and white as a babys butt.
Somethin to see, it surely was.
And, like said, those Two Monks
Was absolutely mystified by that.
Now might be that you is wonderin
Who put that Big Ole Bone in there like that?
But that sort of thinkin wont never
Do you no good, notall, no mam.
The story says that it had just and simple
Washed up there from somewheres
Out of the Oceans dreamin.
And thats enough of that.

Now the First Monk,
He had been lookin at the Big Ole Bone
For some time now and
He most certainly notice
A powerful curious thing that Bone was doin.v See, way he saw it, that Big Ole Bone
Was shakin round somethin fierce.
And the way he saw it,
This was a might beautiful thing.
But, you know, as he sat there seein the shakin,
He start gettin the feelin
That may be his Brother Monk didnt see the same.
His brother monk seem to be lookin different way.
That ole boy seem to be lookin
At nothin but the Big Blue Sky.
So that First Monk goes:
Look at that there Shakin Bone shakin,
Aint that a most Holy Thin to sees?
For a long time that Second Monk
Didnt say no thing atall.
And not for one split second
Did that Second Monk takes his eyeballs
Off the Big Blue Sky.
But then, just about the time the First Monk
Had plum near almost forgot his question,
That Second Monk up and say:
Aint the Big Ole Bone thats shakin, Brother,
What be shakin here is the Big Blue Sky.
Now that First Monk, he werent no fool,
But Goddamned if he would sit there
And let his Brother Monk tell him
What was shakin where, uhn uhn, nope.
So he just say back, easy as pie:
No, Brother, not Sky, Bone.
And course that Second Monk,
He be the same and he say back:
Fraid not Bone, Brother,
Most surely, Sky.

And then it just go from bad to worse
And those Two Monks was a yellin
And a jumpin all round the beach
And there was much Boneshakin,
Skyshakin sounds being made.
And as my mama used to say:
The fur was flyin, yessir.

About this time here,
Who do you expect come walkin
Right out of the Jungle
But the Holy Fool.
And as be his usual way,
He didnt has a stitch of clothes on.
And those two stop their monkin right quick
When they see the Holy Fool comin their way.
They hadnt ever seen nothin
Look like the Holy Fool
And they watch all wide eye
As he come walkin up like cool breeze,
Not even noticin those two fellows.

Yep, he just go right past them
And over to that Dreamwood
And pluck that Big Ole Bone right up
And tie it up in his hair
Go with all those other Bones
He had braided up in there.
Then, he just stand there
Lookin every which way except
The way where those Two Monks be.
It just be the Holy Fool wakin up again
To another goddamn beautiful day,
And he stretched there little
And scatched his belly round.
Finally, after he had done his lookin
Over there and over here,
He looks over those Two Monks
And smiles big smile.
Course, being Monks, they smile right back.
Holy Fool then walks up real close to them
And with his two hands
Reach out and pat those Monk's heads,
Kind of how you might pet some sort a critter.
He did this till those Two Monks
Start getting some worry 
And looks over at each other.

Then the Holy Fool stop his pattin
And give them good lookin over.
Then he say that First Monk:
Aint the Bone thats shakin.
Then he say to that Second Monk:
Aint the Sky thats shakin.
And he say loud to both of them:
ITS YOUR MIND THATS SHAKIN.
Those Two Monks look quick at each other
And theys mouths pop right open wide.
And with that, the Holy Fool start shakin
And floppin and swingin and singin
His whole body round and laughin
So damn hard that the Two Monks
Got all fraid and tore off licketty spit
Back into the Jungle.



1993