2017 05 02
Carl trudges slow up hill of crumbling rock,
heart aching with the yellow tufts of grass
that struggle to sprout through sharp jagged shards,
and gasps for breath on windless slope that gleams
in billowing rays of sunlight that beat
from smooth crystal sky to pierce his wet eyes.
Sharp pain pierces his side so he slips down
on one knee, clutching his side, and groans
with dead tree that lurches brittle from dust,
then lies on his back and closes his eyes
to float on windless waves of desolate hope.
Down into bottomless abyss of fear
Carl twirls on wingless dizzy height of gloom
toward flashing light that pulses from deep heart
of lightless sun which swallows him in mist
of sparkling seeds thrusting roots at hard cold
to crack adamantine death through white blaze.
Feeling as if he floats on wingless air,
Carl opens eye and sees his body flat
on jagged stones beneath dead twisted tree,
frail body of dry skin taut over bones
of brittle wood splintered by rays of light
that shoots ten thousand arrows through his core.
White kitten slips from shadow of red rock,
and creeps on cautious paws while swishing tail
toward body of that nameless man who lies
fragile as cracked serpent egg in white dust,
and nudges his cheek with small wet pink nose,
then licks his eyelids with empathic tongue.
Strange beams of purple light emanate wide
from singularity of timeless love
in spiraling waves of desire to hear
sweet voice of girls singing in temple choir,
and pulsing rays of truth from splashing drops
of glittering rain coagulate in eyes
of young kitten who climbs onto his chest
and curls her limbs in ball of sizzling fur
to become the throbbing beat of his heart.
Ten thousand years, beyond all bounds of space,
the kitten lies purring on his frail chest,
and all aching sorrow of bitter loss
dissolves like snow in gleaming rays of sunlight
so memory of his wife in bed with Peter,
clutching his back and gasping with delight,
vanishes in the bottomless abyss
and leaves him floating on wings of the hawk.
Two wolves appear from shadow at sunset
and sudden beating of his heart awakens
startled kitten who arches her small back
and hisses as she bares claws and sharp teeth,
but snarling wolves advance slow and crouch low.
Diving down into frail body of flesh,
Carl snaps awake and cradles in one hand
the fragile kitten hissing at the wolves,
then whips long silver sword from leather scabbard
and swings it swift to behead larger wolf,
so the other wolf turns and flees away.
Sitting on red stone under twisted tree,
Carl gazes into the large sky-blue eyes
of the white kitten, and purrs with delight
as she licks his cheek with pink raspy tongue,
then buries his nose in long fluffy fur
and sighs with pleasure at warmth of her body.
Perching small white kitten on his right shoulder,
Carl continues climbing hill of dry death,
step by step ascending desolate despair
of jagged rocks toward peak where thirteen trees
grow in wide circle around tall gray tower
that glimmers like smoke of hungry desire
against infinite sky of scarlet flames.
Long brass key that glitters on leather strap
hangs cold against his chest in twilight glow
as he slips it over his head and grins
when kitten bats the key with gentle paw,
then unlocks polished oak door that swings open
with creak of jealous rage stabbing his heart.
Pausing on desolate hill, Carl gazes back
at enormous world of low rolling hills
and shining river that flows toward deep sea,
which fades away into blankness of night,
then grins and shakes his head at broken trust,
and shuts the door to hide from world of pain.
Striking flint stone, Carl sparks warm fire in hearth,
then sits at wood desk where quills and ink pots
wait amid piles of scrolls and stacks of books,
and pours wine in crystal grail while white kitten
explores his desk full of bottles and jewels.
"How strange that I seemed to leave my frail body
and float in the air, looking at myself,
as if my soul slipped from confining bonds
of this haggard bag of bones that I am,
and almost escaped sorrows of this world
to soar upward toward crystal shell of stars.
Yet when I fall asleep my mind blanks dark,
and I remember nothing during hours
of nothingness, till I begin to dream
that I walk forever on mountain trails,
before I snap awake and become me.
I think instead of my soul slipping free
of this body, which sustains pulsing glow
of my conscious soul, my mind creates vision
of my body where I lay under tree
twisted by jealousy of angry hate,
and generated image of my body
so I seemed to see myself in waking dream.
My father taught me our souls are eternal,
generated by stars in realm of heaven,
then beam down to inhabit this frail body,
but I cannot remember anything
before I first woke at hour of my birth
when my father lay me on the plump breast
of my mother where I suckled sweet milk.
I remember nothing before I was born,
and all the dead disappear from this world,
so I think the conscious flame of my soul
is generated by flesh of my body
like flame only burns from substance of wood,
so bright flame of my soul will dissipate
after it burns my body to wrinkled age,
and leaves nothing but dry husk of gray dust.
My father sparked egg in womb of my mother
which she molded into body of me,
like the potter molds the jar from wet clay.
Yet now I explore the world of landscapes
where people play roles in drama of power
to find peaceful garden of paradise
where I can dwell safe from ambitions men
who fight each other to play role of king.
I was born, and now struggle to survive
and play the role people expect of me,
then death will crush me into nothingness,
and I will cease to exist for all time
that will continue after I am gone.
I will no longer play appointed roles,
rather I will sit in this tower of wind
and write verse to depict nature of life.
I sat all night contemplating this world
and now my eyes are lit by flash of dawn."
Carl lies down on thick rug of gray wolf fur
and snuggles the white kitten on his chest
who purrs as he breathes while he falls asleep,
spiraling down in bottomless abyss.