Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A Solstice Incantation

The sun has hurled itself far far away;
it will not draw near us soon.

They say the universe is expanding.
Is this then what we are to look out on,
feel sucking at the heat left on our skins
till we are caught up in the dispersal,
struggle against lest hearts be ripped
from us by that receding magnet?

Then I renounce that universe
that zero raised to the power of infinity.
And I would make of my heart a lodestone
not to annul the sun's flight
nor to be sooner torn asunder
but to pull, and feel the pul from, other hearts.

Outward and outward the sun goes.
At night, on a clear clear night
the very singleness of each star
makes the star seem more remote
and I can believe those who say
the universe is expanding.
And a chill steals into me as I wonder:
Will those stars disappear one by one
over the horizon of the galaxy
as if the earth and all its fellow planets
were things to be avoided, things to be left alone?

Alone I stand at the edge of a wood
on the side of a hill on a cold bright day.
I look up at the gray skeletons overhead
and see, here and there, a brown leaf
moving convulsively and hear it cry
in the wind. The wind is cold.
I say a prayer for the leaf;
for where would I go if the wind
dislodged me? Would I become part
of the great dispersal
adrift in an ever-enlarging sea of space?
The far sun shines
but it is a far far sun, a withholding sun.

Is it because of the cold
that I can not feel?
The ground is somewhere beneath my feet.
The snow on the ground is beneath my feet
somewhere. And out there at my finger's tip
is a tree, is a rock, is air, somewhere.
And somewhere
just a little outside my heart
and my bones and my flesh is my skin
And somewhere out there
beyond the tree and the rock and the air
at my finger's tip
is a finger tip I can't quite touch
but it's there.
Is the distance too far
for the message to leap from tip to tip,
the message that travels along the skin
through the bones and the flesh
from the heart to a heart out there

I should make of my heart a lodestone then,
let the flying sun go
(it will be back some day)
and pull my universe together.

I will say this to the somewhere: Let us now
as the sun rides on
down the hill of night
touch one another.
Let our tears flow in one stream,
our songs blend.
Let us speak frank words,
exchange naked hearts,
converse in our close universe,
and looking into one another's faces
smile and say It's you, It's me
after the most ancient and honorable
human way
before there was a Them or a They.
Let us seek as our ancestors sought
some honorable cave wherein to wait
(as if there were still some waiting cave)
the long long winter out
as if we were all the life there is
and all the love.


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