And the Sun

Beyond my three fingers, held out to see how remote, how far away was the range, the freedom of my senses, the strength and breadth of my grasp, my comprehension, I saw nothing but one, two, three fingers. But I’ve seen it all before. The green, the yellow fields, the blue (Oh so light, so heavenly) darkening into the mountains, breaking with the sky, and the sun. But I’ve seen it all before, before, before, so long ago. Now, around me, an interment of my embrace on the world, on life, a hole in the ground, a trap, a prison, a reticent cage, concealing all but the silent noise, the invisible vision, the unfelt unction, reaches out to the horizon, out to the apheleon of my mind, and there I see one, two, three fingers. For years, it seems, for the duration, my life was war. And the long war was lost. Fighting for life, from birth to death, from light to darkness, the revolutionary spirit ended in death. Now, there is none of it left. The pride, the distinction, the nobility of life is divested from the corporeal. Now, the dead, the self-patriotism of the noble, the battle cries, the panorama of war (I’ve seen it all before, before) fill the tomb of a darkened but conscious soul. There used to be something that was the breath, that brought the world alive, that was the flame, that was a strength keeping the war alive, broadening my vision, my emotion, that made me see a million things that can never now be seen, that now is dead. That same light is dead, now. Out, beyond, beyond my three fingers, beyond this interment, I know there is a world to be fought for. I’ve fought for it all before. The fight within myself, the stirring of emotions, the stimulation of vision, the animation of noise, and the contrast with myself; As I’ve seen the land: the plain reaching, yellow and green, the mountains, free, green covered hills, undulating, rivers, flowing, lakes, reflecting, blue distance, stretching over the land; As I’ve seen the life: birds flying high in the sky, a solitary rabbit looking over its back, then disappearing in tall grass, a doe with her fawn on a lawn, a bee busy with a posy, green grasshoppers chewing, black and white cows, mooing, birds in a tree and crickets in a corner, chirping, a squirrel, frisky, its tail, bushy, in brush; fields of flowers, birch trees with yellow leaves falling on the ground, wet grass over brown earth, dandelions lying, evergreens, and the trees, reaching into the sky; the completeness, a myriad of life, growing, covering the land; As I’ve seen the weather: the birth of a cloud, thunder, loud, an ocean in the air, rain, falling; aethereal commotion, sea-waves in the air, clouds—their frothy tops, wind, blowing, a tide upon the land; the sun, shining, the hand of God, touching, yet so far away; and dew, teardrops of the night; the eternal changing; As I’ve realized the beauty, the freshness, the kindness, the purity, the radiance of nature, of creation. From dusk to dawn, is an eternity, is the force restricting comprehension, is the loss of all I’ve seen, is the interment of my embrace on the world. But then the old renews. Then, slowly, gently, the breath, the sun, impells the darkness to move, and a strength spreads over the land. The dead is gone. Its turn returns. Finally I can see, and more than I could ever hold is revealed again to me, enduring within my soul.

March 1970