OCCASIONALLY A VAPOUR OF SADNESS
Occasionally a vapour of sadness
Occasionally a vapour of sadness
condenses into the eye of a tear with a star in it
and the great consolation of the compassionate
is that they see more beauty in a wounded world
than they do the savagery of the suffering that caused it.
They don’t so much exorcise the thick fog
of the ghosts they wander in like empty lifeboats
so much as alloy it to themselves like a star
in search of its own shining. They make deeper ripples
in the darkness of the night than the shallower wavelengths
of apprentice insight, and worlds within worlds
are enlightened by the ingathering of lost harvests
so every ray of the light is someone’s direction of prayer.
The older I get, the more experience ripens into an apple.
A planet in a sunset red shifting toward the sweet end
of the spectrum. There’s still a green star at my core
with half a dozen magic seed moons like eyes of dice
hoping they might root in some kind of continuance
of my starmud and wake up shining in a dark place,
and even oblivion seems a lot kinder than it used to,
and more beautiful those cold, cold nights the moonlight
flashed like a blade of frost across my jugular
in a sword dance of love with my clumsy heart.
But even when I consider the windfall ahead
when the dead go overboard like a burial
at sea in the unsounded depths of their own awareness,
I’m beginning to understand the compassionate nature of space
as more of a receptive embrace of everything I became
trying not to be, and everything I am of what I can
and cannot be, than an impersonal reservoir of my ruin.
Or as someone who understands what I mean might say,
pouring Aquarian tea out into a cracked cup
mended with the gold scar of the last crescent moon,
as above so below, starmaps in the firmament,
water-lilies in the wetlands. At least, I hope so.
Autumn burns like a solar flare in the rain
and occasionally a vapour of sadness
is summoned like a ghost to the medium
of a pilot light of the imagination and even after death
something retains a more flammable impression of life
than the mere forms of the smouldering of smoke
or why post angels with flaming swords
at the gates of Eden if the snake is already out of the bag
like a skin it shed a sky too small to swallow the moon?
Moths and candles, even in hell, birds of a feather
flock together, and neither a true phoenix, nor
a real dragon are born every spring from a shell.
And I’ve heard of flowers that bloom
longer than light years in fire that only
the wisest of children among us know how to exhume.
What’s time to a waterclock if not the mother
of an infinite womb making sure
from one generation flowing into
the empty bucket of the next like
the bloodstream of a body through
the ventricles of a heart, it’s never too late for life
to amaze you with how inseparable you and life are
from the start, not like the reflection of the moon
on dark water, but deeper than that,
like secret jewels dissolved in a solution of light
that taste like star sapphires crystalizing out of the night,
so you can’t help but go where life goes
as it must follow you like the Pleiades from tree to tree
like the water sylphs of the mindstream
they animate into the lyrical dream grammar
of a poet who doesn’t care who’s leading who where
on a long firewalk alone in autumn among the stars.