ETERNITY IN A WING FLASH OF TIME
Eternity in a wing flash of time, touch
people’s hearts as if there were a housewell
in every drop of rain, in every tear
frozen on the moon, a sea of tranquillity,
an elixir for a thousand ills, in every eye
more sky than a bird could ever fly out of
or a star see to the end of. Silence
should leave its fingerprint on the lips
of a rose, no, not should, but sometimes does
when one word by itself would make
a racket even the dead couldn’t blend with
like the white noise of languorous bees
on a purple afternoon when the trees
are steeping in sunlight. Full measure
and the world beside. Let it slide
from your hand like a ring you dropped
into the theatrical hat of a street musician.
Immensify your deepest intimacies
with metaphors that identify with everything
like a bridge with its reflection
in the mindstream that even when the stillness
of the moon is upon it like a swan
in Renaissance luxury, or the face
of someone blind lips could read
by the light of their eyes, flows
as if there were no abiding place
for time or life, love or art to rest in.
No ventriloquist of suffering, shriek
in your own voice, cry with your own eyes,
and if heaven mends what hell slashed open
like a loveletter meant for someone else,
don’t shrug it off as if one wound fits all,
or eat your agony as if it would do anyone else
any good to digest what can only nourish you
like milkweed suckles Monarchs, or spit it out
as if you had an antagonistic mouth
with intolerant taste-buds. Let it kill you
beautifully like a matador gored by a rose,
a scarf of blood in the eyeless sand as a sign
from a dark lady she was a nocturnal mirage.
And whether it was a tragedy or a black farce
conduct yourself accordingly like a new moon
on a widow walk devoted to waiting for someone
who’s never coming back. Uphold the integrity
of the emptiness within you like a deathbed
you’re never going to dream in again.
It’s the canvas, not the master, that’s the recipient
of beauty and the truth’s not much of a consolation
for the lost delight you laboured so arduously for,
but don’t indict the medium because the message
wasn’t for you. Life is not a reward. Death
isn’t a punishment. Whatever you’ve been convicted of.
The mind is an artist. Able to paint the worlds.
With love. In starmud. In eyes you boil
like the phlegm of snails for their purpureal irises,
or the lustre of old brass moondogs gingering the clouds.