EVEN THE TINIEST WILDFLOWER IN THE WOOD
Even the tiniest wildflower in the wood
tangled in the shadows of the grass,
smaller than an insect, a lonely diminutive yellow,
five sounding flukes of pygmy whales for petals,
is a starmap to the whole universe
shining back at itself, the invisible made manifest,
by swimming against the current of the light.
It’s just as much the obstructions in life
that show you the way, the lost key, chance, hope,
the door you’re only allowed to live on one side of,
the tree root of the willow in the garden
you’re chopping at like the tentacle of an octopus
with a double-bladed axe that reminds you of the moon
as it is the lanterns of the random fireflies
that light your way through the woods
like a chaos of lamp posts and guiding angels.
Maybe you could stand the tentacles straight up
like the towers of the hollyhocks and larkspur
and let them blend in with the rest of the garden?
But that’s a little too wily and wise for me to propose.
And the way you frustrate yourself like whitewater
in a torrent of apple-bloom from the spring run-off
is as long a mile of the journey as the last three lightyears
of flowing freely around the angel in your way
with a gravitational third eye that bends you its way
like Jacob’s hip and Vulcan’s limp, and you’re
mythically inflated enough to begin to suspect
you’re a symbolically crippled sacrificial king or queen
of the Waxing Year. Even the Boy Scouts have forgotten
how to tie themselves into labyrinthine knots
the way you do when you’re not weaving snakepits
into flying carpets like M-theories out of
the stringy wavelengths of guitar-shaped black holes.
Poetic dismemberments are more a way of the one
returning to the many like a river plunging off a precipice
into millions of gleaming eyes, each a window
in a palace of water with a star for a candle inside,
than body parts planted like the ashes of your sister
in a rose garden that blooms for that purpose alone,
though their visions seem heavy and sad
as the bells of abysmal solitudes that have passed
like an era of individuals into the transmorphic anonymity
of a Meta-Conservation of Data Principle
that archives every iris and pixel of your digital fingerprints,
if you were born a poet, you’ll always be that stranger
sitting beside you in the shadows around a fire
telling ghost stories with narrative themes of cedar smoke.
Dynastic Dionysiac plenipotentiaries of the wild grape vines.
Maenads. Muses. Valkyries bobbing for prophetic skulls
in the Aegean like apples off the coast of Lesbos.
Everybody sings along with Sappho after upstaging
their Orphic voice coach. It’s the natural order of things.
Full moons of the mistletoe and dusty blue planets
with wine-dark seas. Barring the F chords on your
lyres and turtle-shells, capos like starlings on the staves
of the hydrolines strung out like a power grid
of bird nets and dreamcatchers in the palm of your hand.
You want to glimpse the quick of it, don’t drive yourself crazy
trying to understand. Just dance to the rush of the river
over the rocks like castanets. Love disastrously, with no regrets.