Saturday, November 10, 2012

Of Ascents

It's fall, but in the meadow things are rising; a great levity responds to the great gravity.

Things tend toward weightlessness. Dry, stiff, hollow, they bend with the wind and clatter against one another -- not for warmth, for that is no longer possible, but in song

The heart, bled, opens its chambers to ghosts -- disembodied beings who pass through the world unmarked,  elusive as wandering hermits.

Night follows day. The designated words are spoken.

To say that we are anything but homely is a lie. A meal, a hearth, a bed; a book, a lamp, a fond companion. The family cat. Dread and comfort. Unknowing. Gratitude. Despair. This street address, this planet. This galaxy. This universe. These lares and penates. This outer darkness.

And, homely, we adorn our cave walls with our homely thoughts: equations, aphorisms, creeds, histories, algorithms, fictions and musics, myths and laws.

And, meanwhile, milkweed pods do what, in a poem in 1978, I called unsoul in brightness. That's what they seem to do, I suppose. I can't recall what notion I had back then of soul, likely something inchoate and sentimental. Today, in the meadow, they reminded me more thin, colorless, wispy hair stuck through with burdock and cockleburs.

Not everything rises, though. And that which rises eventually falls. Inbreath, outbreath, systole, diastole, day, night, summer, winter, life, death -- somewhere, behind this big organ, a choirboy works the bellows and the ranks of pipes sound. And wheeze, and choke and sigh and sound again.

And here we are, in the baffling midst of it all, with our homely angsts and our homely devotions, wanting nothing more than home, and needing nothing more than being home to one another.

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