Consciousness seeks to nurture a deeper truth of being while the world wrestles confusion, tedium and opposing extremes.
From a precipice of reversals
I envisage realities stained by a confusion of tedium
I know only this: I am extant
Belly exposed – gnawed open by hunger for the interior
For a collusion of continuum that sees insides out
I am stable in my rudimentary way, but I reach…
I reach for the magma of understanding
Singeing my extremities
Reducing me to sediment
My core extracted
Gravitational lore exacted
On light of becoming
For me, this poem explores the relationship between language and the balance of power…how we use words to limit and oppress and the potential for something different. How much do we over-rely on words (even in our private thoughts) to the exclusion of a direct sensory experience of our world? If we rely more on our senses to process the world around us, might we begin to see something new? Can we begin to imagine a way of being human that does not encompass a sense of entitlement to power or a deficiency of power for anyone?
When the wind
Takes the power
Of these words
And sweeps them away
Then, power will have elevated
Losing the burden of control –
Of categorizing –
Then, power will be ubiquitous
One thing I love about poetry is that any given poem has a different meaning for every reader. After I first published this poem, comments from readers reflected quite varied interpretations, none of which were similar to what the poem means to me as the writer. That is as it should be. In this case, however, I felt compelled to share the above process note about my own interpretation of “Power”.
I find the centre path
My eyes smouldering with exhaustion
I tell you I am here of my own accord
Then pluck my eyes out and retire
I am no more bound to the maelstrom
No more a rat in the labyrinth proving my worth
I have scattered my pennies
For their rat-tat-tat
On the glistening white floors
And danced to their rhythm
Until my soles bled
My red fortune spattered and spilt
I hand you the hilt
And plunge myself thus to eternity
If I pierce the fabric
We have staged a coup
And I am bound with you
Into the margins
When we open ourselves to the truth and power of nature and light, we are resolved to the same truth and power within ourselves.
A sylvan dream requites our arrival
Permeating gold ablution washes over giants
Reaching us in strands
Vestiges of brilliance painting our skin
We are but miscreants and maladies
An opus dissonant and wistful
Resolved and replete by respiring light
We are sublimating, reintegrating
Syncopated selves dissipating fleet
Into amorphic jubilance rendered
When there is no view to the sea
I am reminded of the complexities and displacements
Shallows that engulf sentient beings
Leaving us stranded
With our monikers
For things we cannot name
Beveled edges bend the view
Until our eyes cannot attain clarity
Nor connect our own continuity to fluidity composed
But we embark on this odyssey
Unframed by expansion
And isn’t that the mandate of the universe?
Its sole prerogative
We are revoking and upending
What we’re meant to be
Mavericks waking cause to breach a higher sea
Has made of me its signature
The water that binds us
Is the blue-black ink
That fastens me
To parchment parched
And crumbling under weight of liquidity
I am the scant scion of noble beasts
Who remember me in their churning frenzy
To feed – as all must do
I am the way through
The conduit to sustenance unending
The mind of creation wending its way
We are peerless
We are the dreamer warring with itself
Killers saddled with irony
Armed with love
A sea raging with determination
Where am I?
In the sea…floating…gracefully
Having left my shore, my home, my beginning –
I am here floating
Counting on the great watery vastness
because nothing else counts
There is no future or past
that can measure against this moment of birth,
this gem of becoming,
this blossoming under the moon
There is no structure made of earth or time
that can define boundaries of love
No words to describe what it means now
What you ask of me is too small
The sea is full of air
the air is full of sea
the cosmos full of rocks and stones
that are full of atoms, full of particles, full of space
Where is there an end or a corner to pin love to
and say, “this is how high,” or, “this is how deep,” or, “this is how long?”
You ask too little of me
I love you more greatly than this
A river of stars finds me dreaming
Inviting space to sculpt stone into waves
Where river and red sea meet
Where so-called laws of physics
Are tossed into depths unknown
And shadows bear witness
To blood and tears fueling the mallet
The chisel strike sparking points of illumination
Into thin air
To be held aloft in a vacuum
And doling out all
In a lucidity of timelessness
That gazes into the density of my abyss
And calls me beloved
“You are a worthless girl,” she says…and she says it again and again until the mirror cracks.
Then she studies the crack. Carefully. As it might well be a gift from beyond. Seeking a hidden message, she leans in and fingers the edges as her eyes scrutinize every jagged corner. She stands back and gazes from a distance. Arms folded. Knuckling fist to mouth…pondering.
“You are a worthless girl,” she whispers, re-examining the careless magic that summoned this unexpected visitor. “What does it mean?”, she wonders silently, eyes fixed on the glassy fissure. All day she is consumed by the question. It follows her through her tasks and obligations. It hovers over her. Slides beneath her. Envelops her.
And the crack in the mirror watches her. When she goes outside, it calls to her. And every time she returns, she studies it again.
She considers, tentatively, “you are not a worthless girl.” Then directly and squarely at the crack in the mirror, she declares, “you are not a worthless girl.”
The mirror does not mend.
But the girl…the girl is now fascinated by the possibility – by all possibility. What could come next?
“You are worth the sun and moon and all the stars in the universe,” she chances quickly.
“You are worth the planets and the ice and the oceans and every bit of life, seen and unseen,” she exclaims.
Nothing breaks, nothing mends. Everything is whole exactly as it is.
“You are worth time and immortality,” she dares. And at this, everything disappears.
She wracks her body this way and that, wanting to see every direction at once. Is it true, the nothingness? What does it mean? “What…is…it…worth?” she utters slowly as her face cracks the smile of consciousness.