CHAMBER 24

CHAMBER 24

The Pure and Perfect

Someday the messengers will arrive
with stories of a nocturnal sun
despondent, burning implacably
in the deepest shade of a thousand shadows.
They will tell you of the
serene indifference of God.
They will draw you by the hand
through bruised alleyways
and prove the desperation of man
rejected from the beauty of an unearthly realm.
The news will arrive
as a tribute to the death of oracles.
Sparing words of purpose
the messengers will announce the
cold fury of realism’s cave.

Someday, the messengers will send their thoughts
through books that have no pulse.
You will be accused of weakness
that drowns you in servitude.
A queer rivalry will beset you
and your life will crawl like an awkward beast
that has no home.

And you, my dearest friends,
who are truth — who were all along,
will renew your devotion
to a powerful image in a distant mirror.
You will listen to these stories
and tear at your silent heart
with animal claws that are dulled
by the stone doors of time.
Where the unattested is confirmed
your vestige-soul is stored.
It will strengthen you
and cradle you in the light
of your own vision,
which will be hurled like lightening
through twilight’s dull corridor.

The messengers will cry
at the sound of your rejection.
They will scream: “Do you want to be a
lowly servant and lonely saint?”

Mutants of the light
are always tested with doubts
of a swollen isolation
and the promise of truth’s betrayal.
Listen without hearing.
Judge without pardon.
The grand parasite of falsehood
will prevail if you believe only your beliefs.

Someday, when all is clear to you —
when the winds have lifted all veils
and the golden auberge is the locus
of our souls —
you will be tested no more.
You will have reached destiny’s lodge
and the toilsome replica of God
is jettisoned for the pure and perfect.

A Fire For You

On this, the shortest day of the year,
I have journeyed to the Great Plains
to build a fire for you.

The night air is cold like a cellar
cut from ancient stones.
But I found some wood among the deserted plains
buried under the grasses and dirt,
hidden away like leaves
that had become the soil.
After I cleaned the wood by hand — its dirt beneath
my nails and the fabric of my cloth
I sent a flame
combusted by the mere thought of you.
And the wood became fire.

There were hermit stars that gathered
overhead to keep me company.
Your spirit was there as well
amidst the fire’s flames.
We laughed at the deep meaning of the sky
and its spacious ways.
Marveling at the flat mirror of the plain
that sends so little skyward,
like the hearts of children denied
a certain kind of love.

You played with spirits
when you were young among these fields.
You didn’t know their names then.
I was one.
Even without a name, or body,
I watched your gaze, unrelenting to the things
that beat between the
two mirrors of the sky and plain.

I believe it was here also
that you learned to speak with God.
Not in so many words as you’re now accustomed,
but I’m certain that God listened to your life
and gathered around your fire
for warmth and meaning.
In the deserted plains he found you set apart
from all things missing.

Dear spirit, I have held this vigil for so long,
tending fires whose purpose I have forgotten.
I think warmth was one.
Perhaps light was another.
Perhaps hope was the strongest of these.

If ever I find you around my fire,
built by hands
that know your final skin,
between the sheets of the sky and plain,
I will remember its purpose.
In barren fields
that have long been deserted by the hand of man
I will remember.
In the deepest eye of you
I will remember.
In the longest night of you
I will remember.

On this, the shortest day of the year,
I have journeyed to the Great Plains
to build a fire for you.

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