YOU CAN LOOK OUT OVER YOUR LIFE
You can look out over your life like the sea
even in a dewdrop, just like the moon
in a single drop of water, in a tear,
in every bead of a broken rosary,
and you still really won’t know
what you’re looking at
from above and below
when you turn to go
and the light leaks out of that jewel
and the stars evaporate like mist in the morning.
The most intimate example of myself is me
so I lean back sometimes
and array the years like the wingspan
of the wheeling word
that hones its eyes like diamonds
and scans the abysmal realms that surround it
for any tree to land in
but it seems I was born before gravity
and what is most profound
when it is lived wholly
often makes the greatest fool of me.
What strikes me more and more frequently
as I grow older though
is how in the space of one breath
the clarity of the mystery
can reveal itself
like a feature on the face of God
and the next
the mystery of the clarity is us.
And the only lifeboats of hope
that are still afloat
on this starless nightslick of a sea
are my eyes like fish in the depths
and stars in the watchful skies.
But I haven’t looked for salvation in the seeing
and I’ve always been too much of a shapeshifter
to linger over constellations like plans
for the reform of my being.
Besides, enlightenment and delusion
might concede a slight difference
in the enticement of lures
but they both fish with the same hook
and the crescent moon is left dangling
in her own dead seas
like a queen that got bumped by a rook.
What have I learned?
I had to become a very sophisticated savage
to survive these visionary ordeals
that brain me like an ambush
when I stick to any path that isn’t my own walking.
And when you stop to listen to the toads along the way
it’s important not to let them talk you out of yourself
or take what they say too seriously.
Like the choir in a church I’m passing
late in the night
like a different fate
I walk by curiously.