the greatest gift


it was back then, when i flew from out the nest
that i started the journey.
across town.
across memory.
across lives.
across the vast universe of my own selves.

lost and found again
and maybe lost once more.
found and killed love.
thrice.
it is persistent.

i scaled peaks i hadn’t even known were there.
raised a city
and the dead.
and myself.

was given golden keys
and shown the doors
that they unlocked.
and stepped through,
though i promised never to say
what was on the other side.
i haven’t.

made peace, and war, and all that makes man weep
and laugh, as well.
heard the angels sing
and felt the heat
as they swung their flaming swords.
i saw the pagan nymphs and satyrs dance.
i was pleased; there is no denying that.

and finally was torn, limb from limb
by my own hand
seeking thereby to find
what had long been promised.
what had long been promised.
i already knew it wasn’t there.

from tree to forest ground to tree again,
and now to the very tip
of its topmost branch
wavering on a leaf,
wind threatening to spill me back to the mossy floor,
i want back the gift i gave you
that long ago time
that final wisdom and certainty
i sacrificed so that i could be here.

give it back.
it is time i fly again.

29 Jan 2011, Los Angeles
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Kali


Ah, that bitterest of moments, when you realize all the deepest secrets shared no longer matter. To Her for Whom This Would Once Have Held Great Meaning.


Kali
2010

You knew death from your mother
Before you knew life from her;
Yes, I remember that.

Red she is, and white.
And clad in black,
She is yet beautiful.

You no longer wear
Your necklace of skulls,
But it is there, nonetheless.

Ah, Kali! Is it not enough that I,
Yama of the red scimitar,
May never forgive you, nor be forgiven,
And yet,
Will never deny you?

We sit then, in our bodies
Of this day,
Our thoughts reaching
Across this gulf we made.
And know we death and love,
Promise, denial, and
What we misinterpret as betrayal.

Yes, I remember that.

Shiva and Agni themselves may weep
What tears of destruction and fire they have.
But Kali cares not,
For she devours herself too,
And calls it her nature.

Perhaps it is so.

But a part of me waits here,
At the Pavilion at world’s end,
Beyond the celestial city,
In the room named Despair.
And even this has no effect upon me,
For it is not in my nature.

Death and Truth forever circle one another,
And between them there is all of life,
For neither one is ever fully attained.
I wonder if you remember that.

I wonder if you remember.

 

September 2010, Los Angeles