As of This Sunday

After updating daily with new work and comments for a month or more, I was not sure I was making enough sense or progress to post so often, so I decided to step back. It was probably a mistake. For one thing, I have no sense of time at all, so I just realized it’s been almost two weeks since I last checked in. Not what I intended! And the story–at last, there clearly is one, not a million fragments colliding–changes more than I realized; I have just been too close to see it.

Many years ago, when I was working on a novel that of course turned out to have a lot of verse passages, I saw a knife carefully poking into someone’s flesh and extracting on the tip of it a small white mass that I took to be a parasitic worm. The same knife, wound, and white object have returned very vividly, and this time, I don’t have to wonder because the visions finally disclosed their end. The verses tell as much as I am able to, and if they are not clear enough, all I can say is, these are mysteries!

My head is swimming with mysteries even now, just for having let my thoughts go there. I hope to be able to write down more of it soon. Here is a very new poem:

28 March 2021

28

That’s Your Sun

I could no longer bear not to look. I was faint

and afraid, but prepared for the worst there could be.

I drew in a very long breath, and a plaint–

a far cry made of song–sought the shore nearest me–

but before it made landfall, its sound-beacon died.

And as I came to, I forgot where I’d been,

stared absently down, and–the cause of the ride

that had been dispossessed of its rider was seen–

in flight–till the far, far horizon came near–

and when I awoke, I still lay in a swoon.

I swore I would try till I saw disappear

why I’d cried and been cried for while under the Moon–

and I did. When I looked down again, there it was,

a tiny white soul in the form of a worm

that shone from the tip of its quivering nose

to the tail upon which it stood upright, a firm

companion between shadow-planes and the haze

of the air in between, though its cries, ever small,

rang round us in dizzying, spiralling ways

so vivid–perhaps I could still catch its call

in the words of a song I once heard in a dream.

It swelled then–I feared it would burst. When a knife

sliced through it, it lay there exposed; if a scream

rises out of my throat when I waken–the life

revealed plainly gasping its wee self away

pulsed fiercely, and put out wet wings and–flew high

as the star I recalled when I first learned to pray

to the place where it came of itself–the blue sky

and the high Moon within and above it, the tip

of the knife, and the worm there exposed–and the sight

I could not reconceive by myself–but one slip

of the blade between layers of flesh gleaming white

as the word you’re about to imagine, my own

and only survivor–and all this is done.

Next time I wake from a faint, I’ll have gone.

Next time you stare at the Moon–that’s your Sun.

About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at rainharp.com
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