Monday, May 02, 2005

The Arduous Lessons of Transfiguration

The day is long,
long enough to make
madmen of us all,
all this sound and vision,
relational, sympathetic
hallucinations flash
before us as mirages
to the long-traveler
upon the desert's
unforgiving hardpan,

Before forgetfulness,

long,

though,

after
monotony had ceased
forgiving, we still
possessed that seed of
madness, that spectrum
of meaningless sound,
devoid of a single flash
of mercy, wailing like
shattered pot metal and
cymbal-like.

There comes to dusty
places where no road
can be built—a fugue, a
purgatory of everlasting
un-being, a reality built
not upon thought and
sensation but on
vague remembrance and
uncertain wandering
within the shadowed
realm where everything
is real, false and meaningless
as it may seem.

Seemings, fleeting and
castrated of definition,
dance as the darkness of
desert nights dance, semblances
unfelt by their makers and
created only out of the
tremors of our long fever,
within wishing points of
reality but still somehow
soul-bound to wilderness,
resisting roads back or
any effort in the blessed
direction of understanding.

Our eyes, scoured so long
by dust and taught the
arduous lessons of
transfiguration, somehow
come to focus, looking
that one last time over
our shoulders at the way
we've come.

And we've come not so
many steps, all tolled,
but only staggered in
circularity unfocused,
hoping to be sanctified
without the miraculous
preamble, hoping to be
taught the lessons that
have been buried in the
earth and forgotten so
long our vision would
hardly dare recognition
if they reared up whole
and gleaming before us.

And now our old terrors
turn to beauty, our discord
to congress, our distortion
to cleaner tones as we
become something other,
remade out of the endless
walking upon the cinders
of what was,

For ashes are but the
roadbed for these new
beings we find under
us, these new feet that
stretch to touch the ground,
not so dirty as other
leavings, not so ill suited
for new growth and the
sounds of that rewound
journey from death to life,
and the gorgeous opportunity
to rediscover the terrors of
trying, of understanding the
difficult concept of now.

3 comments:

Bill said...

You said: "the gorgeous opportunity
to rediscover the terrors of trying, of understanding the difficult concept of now"

That my friend, to me, is in fact the essence of this life. The sweet precious fleeting moment that is the 'now'... bounded by the memories of the past and the insecurity of the future.

We can sit nowhere but the 'now', the choice is only to embrace that which is before, and behind us... or live in some fantasy place like 'Someday Isle' or 'WouldaCouldShoulda Land'

Perfect.. I was moved, yet again

Firehawk said...

Bill,

It's no easy thing to grasp the opportunities around you every day. I know that I, like so many dreamers, tend to let things slip through my fingers, but I try and make the days worthwhile when I can.

I was listening to Keith Jarrett's great "Koln Concert" as I wrote this one, so I imagine that there was some inspiration going on.

Again, thanks for the compliments, and thanks for coming over. I can honestly say that the idea of affecting even one other person's day is a fair wind to my sails.

Stranger Ken said...

I think Bill's comment is just about right. The reference in the final stanza to ashes and new beings seems to me to be very much to do with the idea of the constant daily challenge of finding and re-finding ourselves anew in the moment, which is all we have and which is both wonderful and nightmarish at the same time. There is,also, as far as I can judge, a real sense of breakdown and disintegration in your poems, partly arising from the subject matter and partly from the terrific tension within the language you use.

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