Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apoptosis

Long walk down a long incline, long exhaling,
slow long disintegration, and you sit there
curled in your easy chair wondering if you should go on.
Spent all your energy today trying to care either way.
Fingers stroking root to keep you going, fingers
in the cleft of a life, somehow tickling the soul.
Some rhythm, some fuel in the mitochondria that could be
the power that powers the soul, which the body is inside.
A long cloak. A long remembering of winters.
Death and rebirth are all you have to live for.
Still a reawakening, a cold morning cocooned in wool.

Then a bleak cold rainstruck day full of wind and ire.
No impression made on the flow of otherness, though,
since everything seemed to be smooth on errantry.
Dying to live in the same precession as living to die.
On the day of the dead, when the year too dies,
the path turns to leafmold and ash. Flicker of werelight.
You have to die and be reborn to be transformed.
A lot less theoretical than it used to be, this threshold.
The renewal and replacement of nature. Why did the Buddha
die from eating a mushroom? Like all fungi, mushrooms
break down old useless dead things, making way for
new life that is to come in its place. The Buddha died
a natural death.
You can't go on till everything is shed,
shriven, taken from you. The transformed life is emptied,
first. So many days of wander.

Long dream of being unable to either wake or dream.
Some days you just live, inside a disposable bag of separation.
Dying and living, the same. Out back the mold smell
comes from trees in high cold winds. Comes down the chimney,
comes over the threshold, where a new world begins.
Doesn't make a scene, just arrives. The gray and the green,
eternal conflict of growth and dissolution. The gray takes down
what the green has wrought. Elemental Pan, spirit of growth,
of life, Green Man, his twin brother the Brown Man, Gray Man,
cloaked in wet rotten leaves, autumn threshold of decay.
One enters the woods, one leaves the grasslands. Wave
as you pass on. Cells eat each other when it's time to go.

I've died and been reborn. Again and again. This time, skin slotted
by knives, thin hard scars seeming an ecstasy of drowning,
seepage and sainthood in one flesh, this time the healing begins
with dying. The creative destruct, end of the world. Clear out the old,
bring in the new. Have to demolish the living world to make room
for the next to come. Clear out the old dead things. The Goddess said,
Your heart didn't heal right last time, so we'll have to break it again,
and reset it so it heals properly this time.
And struck Her anvil.
It was a true dream. The morning birds pulsed with light.

Oh but this suffering and endurance I've witnessed 40 years of days
in the wilderness is supposed to be for my own good, my healing,
If only it didn't ache so. Rather be in bed with four naked souls
exploring the death of epidural skin cells under massaging fingers,
than spend another day in ascetic cemetery glut. What hospitals
lack in their chapels are those sacred temple prostitutes of gone eras.
Those lovers who give you a reason to want to live, to come back
from the dead, thereby healing you faster, bringing you back to life.
Love and death, the only reasons to go on living.

If we are hollowed out and emptied, it's to make room for spirits
to enter and entwine. It's we who are the vessels. Greenmantle is the shell
that sheds a cloak of leaves that burns in autumn to make new spores
for spring renewal. And so the house that Pan built. You have to be broken,
again and again, to become soft enough for the god to enter you.
A million years to make this black earth soil. Blown to dust in a dry season.
Desert wind that hollows the heart, make mine a pilgrim's cave.
Have to let go of what you thought you knew. Have to empty the teacup
in order to be able to fill it with new tea. Each drop of pure water
into the bucket filled with scum pushes one contaminated water drop out.
Eventually, a million or so drops later, the pure replaces the oilslicked.
It takes no naked skull to know that the god created a mechanism
of making, the power under life. It takes no bridge to stretch the chasm
between the making and the mechanism of the made.

Now we fall down. Now we slow to winter's sleep.
The dead of the dead. That spring will come around the wheel
once more requires a leap of faith. This could be our last winter,
the gods' sleep when wolves eat the moon and the father-god, half-blind
so he could see, loses hold of the runes that hold the worldtree
in its shape, so it all goes to snow and frozen fire. We come from
a dark abyss, we end in a darker void, we call the luminous
interval between those life. When we stare too long into those
silver-edged voids, they tend to stare back. Everything unnecessary
gets stripped away. That can be a great undoing, or a little one.

A thousand sayings, a thousand days. All of it unnecessary fog
over the mind of clover. Too much of mind, now, the overflowing
teacup, let's return to the body's inner fire, blue stars in our flesh,
blue sun on a necklace sparking out hearts, fire inside bones and thighs,
and the long return to life, after long dark, each dawn. Shut up,
now, in the cabin of words, and watch birds flash in the fire of green.
At last it's morning, after nightlong embers have fed the dying.

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