:: :: :: :: terrible dragon: slaying the world one poem at a time :: :: :: ::
Monday, December 28, 2009
What seldom matters we undertake
If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud. ~Emile Zola
Into This World
We pass through rooms only once, sometimes more, noting panes of glass in the walls, doors that might lead us out or back into places we’ve already been. The house of a life is built this way.
Habitation comes one day at a time and rarely are two ever the same. Some days we move with stealth so as not to disrupt rain thrumming out secrets on the roof. Other days, we thrive to drop everything we give over to gravity and worse.
I came into this world as unsure as you did, to find out that seeking a singular path was as foolish as finding it. Now I see stillness is as much a journey as destiny might move what seldom matters we undertake. Arriving at this was expensive, same as you paid for it.
In my vow of nightly silence, I dreamt monks taught me to sing, the mute lily broke the morning like a cannon, spring eggs chimed like hope swathed in straw. When I awoke, I lay speechless and drawn up like a pink prawn left out on a beach.
The house holds all we pass through it. A life keeps the rooms separated by doors and hallways, connected one to the other. Windows let the space both in and out, some balance of possibility achieved at best.
I remind myself to let my voice as I move about, to listen loudly with a great thirst. In this way am I like you and you like me. We come into this world testing, always testing, to see if this thing is still on.
A million sad songs later we don’t know when to stop digging. The vein so rich here where the sky falls again and again, covering everything, covering nothing. Peel and purge is the only way to soften the cave, you think.
From what might be mistaken for ruin emerges a miraculous bird, blue-tongued and luminous as grassblade on a spring day. So it is with weather and misspoken metaphors, broken cycles returning again unto something like triumph, something like devastation.
Walk in it then, lift your face into conflagration and let water do its worst. You have been here before. These are your initials left from the last time and it will be years before they wear away, before others in their terrible mercy arrive from an unflinching future to overwrite them.
Fruit gets cut, meat hangs to dry, prayers leak from the lips, water runs from the eyes. Shall we speak of all that continues when we are gone from here? Circles turn a hawking sky; vultures find their place in the wheel. Rabbits run hedgerow to shadebrush, a small voice the hunter in their radar ears.
These are the days we are dead. No one remembers to miss us anymore. We are laid to rest for the rest of forever and that is the way it is.
Someone we knew rests their eyes on a near distance and we come to mind for a brief moment. But water runs from the tap and there are hands to wash, dishes to be done, meals to plan for mouths more hungry than ours.
Season by season the flowers come, they come and go to where flowers go before they become again. If this were the case for us, if Heavens were possible, reincarnation available, then so very little of this would matter.
Oaks move shadows across the ground, limb by limb, hour by lost hour. Sun burns brevity into the loss of believing that all of this must mean something. So this must be enough. It must be enough or we’re in for a very long life.
It may be already late in the year, the son you’ve not seen for too long packing his bags a day after spending too little time together, the high geese incising teeth from the north raking serrations across the sky above winter grass already laid in for the siege of cold to come. These things may all be so, yet little and so much changes. Sons see the vast acreage of all their fathers leave unplanted. Daughters see what the seasons have yielded, button their coats and go about their way.
This is the epoch of closing windows, sills scraped clean of hardened candle wax, errant streaks buffed and wiped from wavy glass. Mothers soon mingle with chimney smoke to wander out over rooftops and sleeping woods, memory and fire warming where the bones feel. Cinders, for all their sorryless tongues, douse their lamps as conversations incited only some brief shivered evenings ago quell to quietus.
This is how November ends. It is not all bleak and sorrow, however. Something presses from the east, something like a promise that what has passed will arrive to pass again, wick by wick, flock by flock, child by child, November after dying November.
wisdom is worth all we lose to attain it. ~aucassin verdé
i wonder if the artist ever lives his life-—he is so busy recreating it. only as i write do i realize myself. i don't know what that does to life. ~anne sexton
you must acquire the trick of ignoring those who do not like you. in my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid and the envious. the stupid will like you in five years time. the envious, never.~john wilmot, 2nd earl of rochester
art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes. ~kahlil gibran
creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. art is knowing which ones to keep. ~scott adams
those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either. ~golda meir
i said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope
for the wrong thing.
wait without love,
for love would be love
of the wrong thing.
there is yet faith;
but the faith and the love
and the hope are all
in the waiting.
wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought.
so the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.