|Ithuriel's Spears, Fiesta Flowers, Fiddleneck|
The day had come to say goodbye,
the rooms gathering their endings,
eyelids closed near worn-out paths,
my body a discordant, ravaged hive.
When I closed my eyes, buildings
emptied themselves of me, decades
of webs cleared in a moment. Free,
I found a path near a looming tree.
Leaving my knife on the shore, I
stepped on slippery, unstable stones
and plunged into a river. Pulled toward
its strongest current, I knew no lifeguard
nor doctor could save me, so I drifted,
still as a Buddha, free of thought, toward
slow currents in the crust of oblivion,
toward threads of the soil, tangled
|Fiesta Flowers, Chinese Purple Houses|
in light, in a flowing tapestry
of petals and tongues and wings,
my body tumbling and rising
to a simple mantra of creation:
Let go, let go, only know the sun—
In the void a great tree sighing
that I was climbing, like a child,
away from toil and destinations,
a tree with watery roots and branches
in a sky of water, a sea with stampeding
herds and creatures glowing in blackness,
each following their own paths.
Immobile, in a sunken bank
without currency, I could see
treasures that no one else
could see, a golden pentacle,
an equal-armed cross, a lemniscate,
a golden plate and chalice on a pure,
white tablecloth. In a deeper cavern,
I glimpsed the sun at midnight.
In the deepest recesses, I drained
all darkness in myself away
and peered into—then out of—
a diamond, the jewel in the lotus.
I wanted to show all eternal children
these wonders that cannot be touched,
but I was anchored, alone in the sea.
In the last vision, far below mouths
opening and closing on the flowing
surface of the water, I could see
threads everywhere dissolving.
Not knowing if I was disintegrating
or approaching unity in a blazing light
of negative existence, I opened
my eyes, still breathing,
my hands together, my legs stiff,
returning to an incurable illness
in a failing body, knowing light
in the earth, light in each cell, lightin the deepest roots of the mind.