AND IN THAT MOMENT THE STARS COME DOWN TO EARTH
And in that moment the stars come down to earth
and light up the lanterns of your cells
you’ll finally see that constellation of your self
so many of us have been born under
shining like eyes in your blood, your bones,
your tongue, your skin glowing with starmaps
like the holy books of the fireflies. You’ll
light up this whole night sea of sentience
with a vernal firestorm of essential insights
like the full moon conducting a seance
among the corals, a fertility rite of enlightenment
in which you repeatedly give birth to the universe
moment by moment, cosmic eggs in a halo of comets.
To love the earth in all its mutable variations
is to love the music of your own revelation
playing like a genius in a beauty pageant
with the spontaneous brilliance of billions
of miraculously catastrophic forms of life
with an appetite for adding flames to the fire
like leaves and petals and wings to a wildflower
until the elaborated order of things is a loveletter
chaos wrote in its own beautifully cursive hand.
Above everyone’s manger there’s a star
that becomes incarnate in humans
who go looking for themselves like three wise men,
or the trifecta of three wise women in their craft,
Alnitam, Alnilam, and Mintaka in the belt of Orion,
and Sirius updating the calendars of the Dogon
lower down in the southeast such that even those
lost in the deepest black holes a prophetic dreamer’s
ever been cast into, can’t help adding their light
to the darkness by following their own star
back to themselves, to find the light they’ve been given
to go by, was like the mind, like the lantern in their hand,
like the lostness they ever despaired of finding their way out of,
the illumination of their true destination all along.
The mountain was climbing the guide back up
the stairwells of its own elemental genome to the stars
like a child that can’t wait to slide down the bannisters again
or a sparrow hawk riding its own gleeful thermals
like the first star to appear in the sky like the eye
in the moodring of the peacock blue-green of the sunset.
Every time a species is effaced from the smile of the earth,
our own bodies are desecrated by the act
and in every one of our cells, lockets of the galaxies,
where the firmament places its highest hopes
close to our hearts, a star goes extinct, a candle goes out
that’s been burning for millions of years,
and the windows pull down the blinds like eyes in mourning.
The world is more collaboratively communal
than it is solitarily universal. First rule of thumb
in creating life out of its own cauldron, organize,
like starlings rising out of a birch grove.
First law of the heart in cherishing and sustaining it,
is to respect yourself enough to look after it
as if it were the changeling daughter of the new moon
placed in your care by the dark matrix of a passing eclipse
that let’s you in on the family secret the stars
have known all along, that every conception
of your heart and mind is blood of your blood,
flesh of your flesh, bone of your bone. And in your genes
the sacred syllables, relics and runes of your own fossil.
Add your life like lyrics to the cacophonous symphony
of the jungle music you hear going all around you
day and night, the ancient exhilaration of life
sword dancing with the stars to the dangerous riffs
of a predatory lead guitar hunting solo in the shadows
of a game of snakes and ladders that can see like dice in the dark.
Hone your instincts like the blade of the crescent moon
on the stone of your heart in a biochemical state of grace,
and don’t neglect to let your spirit break
like the new dawn of a lobster out of your body armour
or a dragonfly escaping into one sky after another
through the window casement the first night of its moulting.
Compassion is the visionary collagen of life
and imagination is its agent. Its metaphors
graft the trees and the sponges into lungs.
Can you hear the generations of nightbirds
in every single vowel of your voice? Do you know
they don’t sing just for themselves, but in the lament
and longing of their songs, you can hear the faint traces
of the lumbering bells of the dinosaurs bellowing
like the eidolons of carboniferous foghorns in the mist
off the coasts of consciousness? Sometimes
when I hear the bush wolves howling in the hills
I catch a note or two of a pack of killer whales
going deep to recover the black voice box of tetrapods
who preferred dancing in water to walking on land.
Compassion is the recognition of your identity in everything.
You wound the earth, an arrowhead sings in your rib cage.
Can you hear the demure laughter of the willows
walking like geishas along the shores of your mindstream
undoing the ribbons of the stars and waterlilies
to let them fall free from their hair to pale in the moonrise,
the memory of old lovers mingling in the living light
like the ghosts of the waterbirds returning to their shoals and inlets
like the bridge of a song, a waterclock of stars
between one stanza and the next life keeps coming back to
like the refrain of a melody line of the sea
it just couldn’t get out of its head like the reflection
of trillions of stars writing irradiant treble clefs
of the original sheet music in constellations high over head
like a five string quintet for the hymeneal cosmologists
while archaeologists achieve illumination
in the golden ratios of the life and death spirals
of the fossilized bass clefs of the equally alluring
mystery of the vocally earthbound children of the starmud
singing their hearts out like a choir off key as if
they grew by losing their balance against
a background of cosmic harmony so sweetly
that if rain could speak of what it’s like to fall upon
the fruits and flowers of the earth, it would sound very much
like the laughter and weeping of the ungrammatical stars?