WHAT A SHADOW
What a shadow walks in the aftermath of realization;
I don’t want to know what I know,
I don’t want to sing what I sing
to the harp of the sagging powerlines
and the burnt guitars of naked trees.
I don’t want a music that shatters like glass,
the broken coal of a menagerie of black strawberry hearts
reeking of sulfurous roses.
And there’s a sword in the rain
with blood on it
dispersing like an explanation.
And it’s hard to tell the true from the crazy
in this infinite solitude of awareness
that sways me like a bell or a willow
between one extreme and the other,
a kind of walking through arboreal mythogems,
Druidic tree alphabets, whistling in the dark.
Tender, eerie, and promising
the light that saturates the air after a storm,
the infernal glow of dark fire-gods
who left their footprints on water like islands,
like the sad elements that constitute creation
on a wet autumn evening
riddled with lightning and rainbows
and the turbulent monumentalism of the sunset
moving its inimitable aeon across the west.
I am merely a longing wrapped in flesh,
a wisdom in search of the ignorance
to know what to ask for,
the pearl feeling its sand-nature,
its close affinity with time,
a lonely bird in the enfolding dusk,
wonder conceding its flower
to the darkness and silence of the mysterious abyss.
And I wonder no less now than when I was young
except that I am no longer panicked into the cruel ecstasy
of needing to know; a kinder agony, a more expansive serenity
gentles my absorption into the void
and reconciles the unattainable to my seeking.
No stars tonight.
No planet gleaming through
this turmoil of chameleonic cloud,
but I remember the echo of the rainbow
as the humbler sister of the two
and the more intriguing for her reticence,
the deeper well less apt to flaunt its waters,
the darker mirror,
a fountain of primordial metaphors,
homing crows returning like an ancient language
to the black dream groves of illiterate origins.
I prop the fire escape door open
with a child’s classroom chair
to marvel at the beauty and profundity
of all that I don’t know
and realize how little of anything is me,
and what a petal of breath my life is
even if I were to exhaust
all the seas of the rising moon like inkwells
to assert my significant insignificance,
the protean nothingness
of the immutable transformations
that accommodate themselves
in this embodied fiction of me.
Here insert the blade of a translucent ecstasy
that proves that of all my senses
my eyes suffer the most
because those who see and see the deepest
suffer the most, must
suffer the loss of their seeing
in the unfathomable depths of the darkness
and must become the sword to survive it,
not the slayer or the slain,
but the agony of an unanswerable joy
that keeps killing our dreams into life.