I PLEAD FOR ANYTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL
I plead for anything more beautiful
anything less lonely than I am tonight.
I plead to the darkness
like the new moon of a black pearl
that surrounds me like the irritant of a grain of sand
as if it could hear me from that far away.
Even among all these asteroids I’ve become
I plead to the collective unconscious
of the whole planet I used to be
to remember when we had weather and blue sky
and a jade green sea
all things ran down into
as if it could take back our tears
like rivers we wept on the mountain tops.
Even in the clamour of all this mental racket
to scare the ghosts away
I listen for the night bird that’s braver than autumn
like a lifeboat with feathers for oars that flies
like a message in a bottle that sings
of how the light still shines in the heart
of the darkest things
like a harvest moon behind a total eclipse
yes it will
because the spirit of what it came to say
and water isn’t indelible.
Though I might feel like a firefly
in the bushido tradition of warrior dragons
even as the light is failing
and all that I’ve seen over a lifetime
of one insight after another
of being here to look at the stars
amounts to no more than the flaring
of a burnt match stick
bowing its head like a monk about to take his leave
of what he tried so hard to believe in
until his failure freed him from attainment
and he understood with brutal clarity
that all achievement is redundant
and we task ourselves for things
we already are in abundance
but lose sight of
the moment we start looking.
Despite having lived through all this
even so even so
I plead for a better mirage
in these deserts of the moon
than the one I’m drinking from tonight
out of the grail of my skull
as if even the passing illusion
of a compassionate life
were enough to green the ailing kingdom
buried in the sands of an hourglass
someone smashed against Devil’s Rock
like a beer bottle on Friday night
trying to get right out of it.
Even though the stone of the world
I lay my head down on every night
for a few hours of troubled sleep
gets harder and harder the more I dream
of a life more forgiveable than this one
where the spiders don’t weave their webs
like trick constellations
in the line of sight
of spotting telescopes
because they’ve taken up astronomy.
Where the angels can’t replace
the broken strings on their harps
with the spinal cords
on the electrical guitars of the demons
because they don’t share the same taste in music
one preferring music that wounds
and the other music that scars
though they’re both listening to the same thing.
Even though I’m still caught up
in this holy war of one with myself
where I’m always the infidel
that’s trying to drive Jerusalem out of me
like a bit of dust that got into my third eye
I’m trying to wash out
it makes me autumnally happy
though it hasn’t come yet
that I’ve held out this long
to be at real peace with myself
instead of a tentative truce
with a paranoid neighbour.
And even though I’m bound to lose
wrestling with life
like the angel in the way
and walk away with a limp
that would put Byron to shame
I’m not going to walk away
from my defeat weaker
than when I first came to it
debilitated by the promise of victory.
When God breaks her word to you
she expects you to get up on your own two feet
and stand upright on your own two legs
like the pillars of a portable temple to yourself
your hair will grow long enough along the way
to pull down one day
like an avalanche down a mountain
that’s had enough of itself
to get out of its own way
to level the playing field
and bend like the light
right over the last event horizon
into the estranged mysteries
of the spirit’s lost and found.
For every demon that jumps from heaven
an angel rises from hell.
On the wheel of birth and death
all opposites are reciprocally engendered.
One breath after another
we die into life.
We’re born out of death.
And even though this moment now
is always in the foreground
of the eternity that’s passing away behind us
into the blue aerial perspective of time
that it shares like a continuum
it has in common with space
like twins in the guest bedroom
at the back of the house
talking to themselves on the same wavelength
only they can understand
long after the lights go out.
Even though this much is so
I still plead like a seance sometimes
for the occasional echo to return like a bird
like the call of Canada geese crossing the moon
like a long caravan in the desert
like an affectionate word from the heart
of a distant lover
whose departure wasn’t irrevocable
even though the long silence
that has followed it ever since is.