When I fell
I came belly to belly
with gravity's captain.
I lay curled, crying
unable to rise, waiting for
your lipless apparition to come for me
to spin me up from the earth,
light on the snow of molting swans
but nothing came.
I was bound in
distorted hours, a prisoner canary
crammed into a cricket's cage,
whose solitude has not improved her song
whose circle of bamboo
bars catches fire
whose moonless screams
won't spread her charring wings.
I wept the rasp
of my beggar's chant;
for something more,
something without tears
that lives behind the moment
when all the universe was fragrant
with life's confusion, but
Only the root born
of dissolution pierced my spine
with its sharp shoots, as it pierces
each bloody battlefield
only the dead
have seen the end of war.
Disclaimer: The final couplet is not mine, but a rendering of a quote often attributed to Plato, as in a speech by General Douglas MacArthur in May, 1962, but is actually by George Santayana, from his Soliloquies in England (1924)
posted for Kerry's January word list
Image of cricket cage via internet, author unknown, manipulated. Fair Use