Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pilgrims/Passage

An older poem of mine, written probably in 1982 or 1984, about nomadics, and the spirit of a journey. It may not be one of my best poems, but as I am traveling right now, it seems appropriate to the moment. Looking back, I realize I've written a lot of nomadics poems over the years. I see that this restless urge in me, to travel, goes back further than I remembered. The most vivid image, to me now, is the "breadth of sea between two volcanic islands."



Pilgrims/Passage

everywhere there are doors,
the impulse within us (warring
    with its opposite)
    to take passage,
to pass through many kinds of entrances:
    the mountain pass, the river gorge,
    the cave mouth to the underworld,
    the natural and the manmade doors,
and each passage through the apertures,
doors filled with air and light,
leaves a physical imprint on us,
    a mark on the blood,
and kicks us into motion
(warring with the desire to not move,
    to find false security in denying the passage,
    in the urge to stay at home)
and, in motion, moving across
the elemental landscape of the world,
look for something—who knows what—
that perhaps was left behind.
every door is a passageway,
a way in, a way out,
an impulse to take flight,
to find the door into summer,
perhaps a mountain pass cleft out of old stone,
perhaps a breadth of sea between
    two volcanic islands,
    billowing in the ocean sunlight,
the gates of dawn,
the door into light,
the Gates of the Archangel,
the Door of Fire.

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