ISN’T IT A WONDER
Isn’t it a wonder that surpasseth understanding
that we’re here as we are
this very moment
to wonder at all
and curious the way the whole affair
seems to take its tail in its mouth
and try to eat itself all the way up to
and including the head
like the last morsel on the moonplate
or the mind trying to discern itself
like a star apart from mind?
The eclipse eats the moon.
The snake swallows the egg.
A dragon sprouts wings.
And I’m not talking about these things
as if there’s a way things happen
because I know if you go looking too intensely
for the way things happen
you’ll miss the happenings.
You’ll live a shadow life.
You’ll put your thinking before the living
and cling to the morning grass
like hungry ghosts
afraid to invert the hourglass
and pour out of themselves like water
by living before they think
by trusting the mountain
doesn’t lie to the sea
and it doesn’t take much effort to be
this constant flowing over into yourself
as if even the clocks
that scared the pyramids
weren’t time enough
not to be swept away.
It takes a happy fool
to see beauty in the snow
when there’s mud in the looking glass
and blood on the ice,
and all the stars
are stern with distance
and he’s a shadow alone with his breath
and there are cracks in the diamonds
he couldn’t detect
under the cataracts of thin ice
he keeps breaking through like a mirror
to get the real low-down on his own reflection
when he washes it off like paint.
And you would need to be
as unbrave as an enlightened man
to try and understand
why we keep amusing our own delusions
with bad imitations of the real
that don’t express the way we truly feel
when there is no star, no light, no stage
and no one in the darkness listening.
Sometimes a doodle in the margins of life,
sometimes scribbled like a bloodstream
on the edge of a knife
that leaves a fingerprint on the moon
I can’t identify.
And sometimes my third eye
is the loneliest colour of night
and even the stars lose themselves
in the darkness that overwhelms me
after the lightning-strike
of an intrusive insight.
I am numbed by the terrible clarity
that rips through the heartwood
like a scalpel of light
through a diamond
and the wound is an abyss
I can’t stitch together again
with the myths of old constellations
that are swept up like sparks in the ashes
of my phoenix brain
isolated in the cosmic furnace
of a pain so cold it burns
like a spear of ice through a heart
not god enough to thaw it.