Wisdom

Confusions on the Path to Parity of Mind (Part Two)

Wisdom is in the geese flying north in late October evening
above the asphalt-shingled jails of geometry
where the prisoners below,
thumbs screwed, sinews twitching
in the clicks
of buttoned alphabets and numbers,
flare synapses
in screened cages of dark plastic.

Wisdom is in the golden maple unleafing
above the fool in the yard
with his rake and plastic bag
enforcing order like a guard.

Wisdom is in the river in the forest nearby
where the poet, eyes closed to the truth of water,
still at his desk,
stubbornly tortures a word from his mind with his will
and the cozening tip of a plastic quill.

…that night he went to bed, finished a book,
kissed his love
closed his eyes
and found his last prayer done and gone
and in its stead a curse
against the mind

god damn the constructs, god damn the mind
which creates god and glue and order and time
god damn the thing which separates
beginning and end and the time between
 
god damn loss and god damn gain
god damn lonely flesh thrashing in pain
and the manic hundred years
of solitude
seeking heaven’s lost lane end
 in a phantom interlude
and all the canons of literature which catalog the pain
of human desecrations and the merely profane.

Then suddenly the fundament turned upside down
no longer girded by the ancient fret beneath,
no longer the sorting rearrangements
inserted
– click –
into neat cubicles of orderly belief.

awake in the dark he beheld
the matrix of order collapsed,
fallen from proof to hypothesis to naught,
and the ancient thing come up from darkness
fretting for itself.

What will I do? What will I do?
If all the order I constructed is of no use?
How will I know
what is right and wrong,
when day is ended,
when night has come?

What will I pray to, what will guide me,
how will I know what to flee and follow?
What will I gather, what will I eschew?
What will I espouse?
What will I do?

he observed
awake
and then,
drifting away,
went back to sleep.

In the morning he got up
seeing only
again
the world within the edifice of fragments filed in mind
under headings and bearings and charts through the wild.

On the front porch that morning
the old man with his coffee,
remembering the geese and the forest and the river
the prisoner, the guard, the self blinded poet,
and everything doing what everything does,
returned to his words and failed to sing
the truth of water,
the wisdom of being.

Later, in love’s passing casual embrace,
in a gentle kiss,
he knew for certain.
The only moment god blesses is this.

and he beheld

the geese and the forest and the river,
the prisoner, the guard, the self blinded poet,
everything doing what everything does
singing
the truth of water
the wisdom of being

god blesses the constructs, god blesses the mind
which creates god and glue and order and time
god blesses the thing which separates
beginning and end and the time between
 
god blesses loss and god blesses gain
god blesses lonely flesh thrashing in pain
and the manic hundred years of solitude
seeking heaven’s lost lane end in phantom interlude

and all the canons of literature which catalog the pain
of human desecration and the merely profane

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