Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hidden in the Harvest

Hidden in the Harvest

To Susan Stone

Not a globe of fire climbing out of night to rage
But a brush tip spreading strokes of golden wash
Across the frameless canvas of the sky and fields
Till nothing lacks a coat of lustrous light.
And there is no horizon.

A drop of paint takes wing from the palette in a swirl,
Its flight another voice in the chorus of song
That is also a vision of myriad sparkling forms
And poetry written in strong resounding bounding lines
(Though words at their best are but seeds scattered in the wind
That just may, in their season, take root, shoot forth, and bloom,
With fruit whose sweetness depends on the tongue).
And art is a natural wonder.

The crops extend into a shimmering plain,
Prolific artists lined in even swaying rows,
Collaborating, blending colors in the stirring breeze,
And signaling that all may gather for the show;
In swift responses, weaving in between, the beat
Of furry paws, of hooves, of tiny insect feet
Reveals the first arrivals for another day.
And earth is alive with the movement.

Then next the men and women, holding children’s hands,
Come beaming bright with smiles and blinking eyes
Still heavy in the morning’s rising mist of dew
To dip their limbs in the light as it streams,
The building heat its energetic, ever-vibrant pulse
And sign of its health at the height of its life—
Kinetic and conductive and contagious, shared
Among the many bathing in its brilliant depths.
And still the golden bounty of the fields rears up,
Enough that every eye and every heart is filled;
And still the haloed heads of grain are raised aloft:

For there is a light surfaces can reflect
While it waxes to noon and then steadily wanes,
And there is a light barriers cannot bar
Shining in shining out in a loving exchange.

Image credit: Lev Kamenev, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain image.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

By Candlelight

By Candlelight

A candle burns within a dark abyss
And pushes back the awful, shadowed space;
It gives a warmth that soon gives birth to life,
And lights the way for life to grow and thrive.

Then soon a host of other little lights
Arise and strengthen the wan candle’s glow;
Like stars they sit and shine and seem as gods
Who watch and spill their joyful tears below.

The lighted bubble seems without an edge,
Without horizons or bounding line
To any eyes that gaze from here within
While blinded by the light they get and give.

They see the beauty and the pain of life,
Which sow the seeds that sprout in forms of art,
Or see the workings of the world occur
And fashion laws to understand and rule.

But always outside of the candle’s glow,
The dark abides, outside of light and life,
Beyond the language and the laws and arts
Of fleeting flames that flicker, fade, and die.

Image credit: NCCo, from Wikimedia Commons, under a GNU Free Documentation License.

Friday, September 17, 2010

An nihil ate

An nihil ate

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold..."
- W. B. Yeats, "The Second Coming" 

"One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathurstra

The last man is riding
On the back of a beast
Slinking, slouching
Toward the center point
That cannot hold,
That is slipping outward
To the razor's edge.

And this madman rides
Upon this mad, mad beast
With a lion's grin
And a glint in his eye
And a pool of drool on his chin.
The reins are flying,
Since he let them go
Not caring to steer
Or to utter commands
To a deaf, rabid beast
That cannot hear
And does not care
But is creeping towards home
As it crumbles away.

When they come to the edge,
Both rider and beast,
Of the world they have trodden
And pounded down into dust,
They look into the void
At the eddies of stars
That are swirling, ecstatic,
Long freed and unfixed,
For the body of God
Is dismembered and torn,
And his mind is unhinged
Like a wobbling gyre.

But the fool and his beast,
In the light of a sun
That has risen in darkness,
Sending light through the void,
Start to dance on the dust
Of planets and stars,
Start to sing and to howl
As they leap on the bones
Of the gods and the priests
Who have died on their thrones
When confronting the chaos
Standing just outside their gates.

As these fallen lords rave
And feast upon themselves,
The fool and his beast
Step out into the void,
Fall in through the central
Singularity's door
And dance on the chaotic
Vortex of things
Plunging into themselves
Like a sparkling primrose
Closing inward at the dawn.

As the fiery stars fall,
And the corpses of gods
Blow away on the breezes
That whip through the void,
The fool and his beast
At last reach their home,
The abandoned home of God
That was built upon air
Out of crystalline sand,
Ad together with a mighty puff,
They blow it down into a heap
And lie upon it, like a bed, to sleep.

Image credit: Hlamo, from Wikimedia Commons, as a public domain image.