25 December 2017
Down in the Drowning Pool
Draw down through a pair of hands, the Moon down through the pouring rain
that used to make us wait outside, but now it’s found its first-born’s brain,
and deep within it, one long nerve that’s used to its own way from where
it met its future and its fate and there—Your mirror paid your fare;
it found it in the beauty you had asked for and received all night.
Music used your face to make its magic serve the higher light,
but if it tried and failed to warn you—beauty is a hard soft road.
Never paved with gold, nor paved at all, yet it must bear a load
that ages everyone it touches, like fine grave-mould on a bloom
that has the will to open widely, yet will not; this too-dark room
cannot but help the shadows gather, mold climb up the damp dark walls,
and beauty understand the madness resting well within the calls
the hymns all bear within their secret heart of hearts. I hear them sigh:
Voices who would always follow, harmonies that moan and cry
but never once identify their sources or the selves they claim—
Deeply, badly known; frustrated; those who go without a name
because they bear so many not a soul alive could once make sense
of where they came from—We who love our ancestors shall recommence
the song from line one, syllable not sung yet, but about to be—
Eerie once occasioning a soul who’s flown from star to tree
to bring the message home on wings that shiver in the cold, but veer
toward the open window where the children gather every year—
the warmest, kindest pair of hands still waiting, as they always do—
the grey, grey angels waiting here at home to welcome loved ones, you,
and your imagination—child of heaven, light, and pain, and loss,
who’s swifting coming hard and sad of age, the hands held out will cross
with other strange yet softly shining roads that lead from flesh to soul
through endless crossing highways, as you hear the call that calls you whole.
You’ve been and gone and called out for another soul, a friend, to wait
beside you as the sky cries on—as overhead, each turn of fate
has stars to show—for us, below its shadow, and its influence—
It’s all our hands, all four of them, held out, and—How’s a soul make sense?
Down in the drowning pool, the bones all clatter as they reach the face
of sheer light on the blooming surface, clear spring water, Queen Anne’s lace,
and bitter roots, devotions, dried old medicines, and ponds in must—
Deeper down the final veins, the Ocean moves; love lives on trust.