A DEEPER INTIMACY, A DARKER SHEDDING
A deeper intimacy, a darker shedding. The night,
the light, the moon, though it’s raining out, the solitude,
the hum of being in a human oasis for the night,
the bestial safety of it, fifty years of trying to keep
the lights on, and now this. What could anybody make of it?
The night is getting naked more like a snake than a mermaid?
I like that. Let people participate in the creative process
so they can see I make the same mistakes they do,
though I doubt for as long as it takes to walk
to the end of the widow walk and back,
nobody ever seriously doubted that. Or they shouldn’t
have. Not for a nanosecond. We’re all lost
if we’re not all wrong together thinking we know
where we are when we say that. Where are we now
if not beside each other huddling in the dark sometimes
like monkeys in the trees of a hundred million years ago
safe for the night somehow. Despite skills.
And the moon large and ancient over the plains
and the burning hills beyond cooling their eyes
in the weirdness of the hallucinogenic air
somehow seeming more clear than it usually does.
As if it just had to break through one more window
and the moon was outside running off somewhere
with Ryokan’s thief. This time he left the window open
for keeps. Things are never going to be the same.
Nothing is. Ever. Never. Forever. At least the warrant for all this is
not by my hand. I didn’t thresh myself. But I can’t
even be too sure about that. I wouldn’t put it past me.
I don’t trust my own deviousness. I’m a clever boy.
A Taj Mahal moment of quiet when the eclipses
go to sleep among the waterlilies on black starmaps
that smell and stain as if they contain the great mysteries
of life in their veins, but they’re quiet about it.
I see the moon on dark sapphire water, and the colour
of time in the mysterious peacock blue that’s letting
just a single one or two stars shine through,
and you don’t know what it is, and it’s the kind
of thing you wouldn’t say anyway to judge
by the way it puts the fingertips of the silence
and solitude to your lips and says, hush, can
you keep a secret? And I say, yes, I believe I can.
And another veil fails away like we’re getting somewhere.
I can see the eternity in the mystery since this space
has been here, and though seldom this clear, it does
happen out of nothing and nowhere, here
and lightyears away. Sharp. Radiant. Breaking. Emergent.
A spear to the heart. You fear this angel. It burns hot.
Sears your soul irreparably with blessing and fear.
I think of it as holy at times. At least as close as it seems
I’m ever going to get. But when I’m real clear,
as it seems I am now, I don’t think of it as anything.
I watch and I watch and I watch and I watch
until the bloom is off the light and then I make
my way through the night as best I can
like a very solitary creature at heart who doesn’t mind
knowing there’s something there so essential
and imperiously beautiful with no intention to be
but you can’t say what it is that haunts you
for a life time looking at this. It escapes you
like the golden fish in the pond at night. Quietly
firewalking their lives out in the waters of life they are
like a candle in a shrine that doesn’t know who it belongs to
but shines anyway, adds its firefly to the stars, and burns on
as if it were born with a million mirrors for eyes
and one, only one, the dark one, where everything abides.