Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Far Side of All These Mountains

Yes,

I have come down
from these frost-
riven mountains
and told these things
to the people of the
valley,

Listened to the way
fools and mad old
men are listened to,
somewhere between
laughter and fear,
somewhere between
dismissal and dismay,

and then, shunned,
moving off with the
stiff legs of those
who are chastised
by those less than,
kicked in sensitive
places as dusk goes
foul over the dirty
villages,

I have scaled again
these peaks and looked
nightward into the past
and told secrets to chill
quiet.

Yes,

I have come down these
forgotten trails with my
unasked-for payload now
these many years, but
there is no good to come
from trying to wrench
the blindness out of them,
they have ate and drank
and breathed of it for
too many sad generations
to relinquish its stiff tonic
now or regard kindly
any fool who stoops so
low as to point out that
crutch of lies they lean
upon.

Yes,

What have I said?

What point to say it
once more, all authority
leached away from the
words like rock walls
long overcome by water,
like cars derelict too long
for repair, only now fit
for target practice and
shade makers for scorpions?

What, then, despite all things,
despite despondence and
regret for wasting breath upon
the doomed for years stretching
back uncounted?

“There are beginnings and endings,
for all these tangible elements of
this collective whole, all the constituents
of this thing we call here, now, this moment,
in the room, in the town, in the state and
nation and world and galaxy and universe—

And one is bound to find them.
Time runs out and light
is gone at the end of days. Energy runs
out and is gone at the end of a life. Luck
runs out and the hawk takes the rabbit in
his blood, screaming his small scream
against it all. In a game of no reprieve,
we spend all our time and dim
intellect wishing for wonders that have
never existed, banking on the love of
unseen powers unprovable. As I said
in other eons, even solar emperors
fade, calling out that low and luminant
death sound across the galactic generations
of dusk. You, we, all our conceptions
of should and must be--these are no sterner
than that.”

6 comments:

Bill said...

"we spend all our time and dim intellect wishing for wonders that have never existed"

You've touched on another of the 'universal' human tendencies we seem to talk about here...

There's nothing inherently wrong in the wishing... it just that so often folks let that 'wish' become their life...

Another nice piece my friend.

Stranger Ken said...

There's something of the Old Testament prophet about your tone of voice here. You wouldn't, by any chance, be a fan of T. S. Eliot, would you? "The Waste Land", for example?

Firehawk said...

Bill,

Wishing, just like anything else, must be taken in context. Over-wishing is like rummaging around too long for a cassette tape underneath the passenger seat and running into a ditch.

Glad you were able to find something universal in this one. Again, thanks for coming around and saying nice things.

Ken,

I'm a big T.S. Eliot fan, yes. The Waste Lands, The Hollow Men...yeah, he's an influence. Acutally, I'd been reading Dylan Thomas earlier that day, so that may have had some effect on the language.

Anyway, thanks for coming back, even though I've been nearly absent lately, hardly posting and rarely commenting.

Mushster said...

I agree with Ken about the feel of it. That's the image that instantly crept into my head as I started reading.

Nice one :)

Firehawk said...

Mush,

Well, I've always been more drawn to stories about terrible, swift retribution, wandering blind in the desert, and whole cities smited by holy fire than some of the tamer bits. Must be too many action movies when I was small.

Glad to have you over.

Stranger Ken said...

No apology necessary, Firehawk. I've always appreciated the trouble you take to read my poems and write such perceptive comments. After all, none of us lives by blogging alone, do we? There are times when the phrase "Get a life!" rings through even my dull, elderly brain!

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