WRITING INTO THE VOID
Writing into the void,
trying to outreach my own words
like Canada geese returning in the spring,
witching for new constellations
under a bell of holy water
the colour of my own third eye
that might make me cry again
like someone newly come
to an old adversity
whose history is written on the rocks
that tel the hearts of the glacially numb,
I recall my past like an old superstition
that no longer believes in me,
knowing there’s no more to the present
than just this carrying away into the carrying away
that is in all things and everywhere the same in all its changes
like water in a well that dreams it’s running.
I listen to the nightstream
as if it were a voice
I had almost forgotten
this far from home,
and I want to reach out
and touch the face of God
as intimately as skin,
but I get lost in the labyrinths
of my own fingerprints
looking for traces of myself
at a crime scene
where I can’t tell
if I’m the victim or the perpetrator
or the scream that edged the knife
that killed me into life.
A man among angels
is a kite among birds
with no one at the other end.
Strange words but resonant
with the unseen tuning fork
of the childhood demon
that grew into whatever I am.
Things just keep coming back to me
like eggs in a nest
that made it through the winter
watching the stars like weak magicians
trying to hatch snow,
but whatever I write
I am never the first to speak
and though my eyes are ripe with visions
I am never enlightened by what it is they seek.
When I was at university
sight was a kind of love
but now that I’ve been thoroughly unschooled
by the tutors of the untutored truth
that unbound me like a boat from the sea
to grow into the island I might be
if I flowed along with the waves,
I seem to depend more upon
a kind of mindlessness to direct me
as if this blindness were just another eye of the light
I have learned to go by like a firely
whose darkness is deeper than night.
And I have been the white cane
of the lighthouse on the rock
that tried to walk on water
like a red sky in the morning
that didn’t take its own warning,
and come down like a mountain into a valley
to fill the ditch my aspiration had dug for me.
But life’s a graverobber
that doesn’t respect death
and my corpse began to sprout
and the dead branch bloomed
and I realized that no matter
how many times I died
my rebirth wasn’t elective
and my grave would always be empty.
There is a voice
beyond what I can hear,
a voice within a voice
like a dark mirror behind the light
that whispers to everyone in their own idiom
so intimately that everyone’s voice
fits them like a face
they stop looking at
and begin to listen to.
The clarity of the mirror
is devoid of a self
so you can see
the profundity of the emptiness
when it’s a bell
or a mermaid casting a spell like a tide
over the undulant sea-swell.
In these depths every echo is motherless
and you must listen with your eyes
and see with your ears
if you want to realize
the original picture-music of the nightstream
that runs like a starless grammar
through everything you can and cannot say.
The silence isn’t just a lack of words.
The darkness isn’t diminished
by its abstention from light.
The white mirror reflects the blossom.
The black mirror, the root.
Truth is bound to the stake of its own heresy
as expression is to identity
and you cannot unsay either
from the straightjackets of their affinity
to set your voice free
from the chrysalis
of their themes and dreams,
turn lead into gold
in the vastness of this hermetic womb
until you spread the maps
you inch along to
to dry in the midnight sun
of the illuminated dragonfly
that emerges from a bright eclipse within.
You can circumnavigate every single drop
in this infinite ocean of knowing
as if each were an eye of yours;
you can search for years
for things that would bring a window to tears
and ink new tatoos
on both sides of the moon
that keeps flipping through itself like a journal
with a page torn out
and attune every word to the night
as if every string of the guitar in your throat
were keyed to the light
in waves of insight
that wash over you like a shore.
But even a spark is blazing to the blind
whose seeing has realized
there’s nothing to lose,
nothing to find
in the lost and found of their knowing.
Centered in all directions
a true star doesn’t shine to see where it’s going.