Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Stone And A Breath

     Here are two more prose poems from a series of 30 I'm currently writing. Each turns out to be another discovery. Beyond the title, I never know how one will start or how it will end. Even simple words like "stone" and "breath" have multiple meanings, connotations, associations, interconnections. All these in turn converge with what's going on in my heart and mind and life at that moment of creative expression. Finally, there's an inspiring Spirit, or Muse, which I hope will infuse and transform my efforts. But this visitation can never be assumed, only supplicated. As T.S. Eliot wrote: "Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,/Every poem an epitaph."

                          A STONE

       a stone is a point we can start from     return to    is there someone home inside?   the space there could be huger than a universe!    many stones arrive as messengers   small   smooth   polished    others are almost heavy as boulders    I've sought solace in their shadows    if I give you a stone I offer the part of me living within it    if you give me one I'll keep it for those times I can't be alone

     here's a small heart-shaped amber-colored stone    translucent when held to the light    you can see faint striations embedded    this is the only stone I'll never part with    this is the stone containing five deaths and five rebirths    while hidden deep is a hologram of the Milky Way    if everyone cherished a stone like this the killing would stop    the companionship of stones is greater than the violence of nations

     find the stone you won't part with    and the Furies can never abduct you    find the stone that nestles in your hand like a tiny beating heart    it will grant safe passage through all nine circles of hell    a sacred stone trails an invisible thread connecting to a secret star    all the news we need to know hums back and forth between them!    the whispers of stones and stars we've never imagined crisscross at the crux of our souls...



     breath after breath I'm paying out my life    many more have come and gone already than remain    what the sum total will mean I can't say    nothing at all if I go just by the numbers    less than the barest whisper of a whisper among the infinite worlds    yet there are no other breaths sweeter than these    I'm absurdly attached to them!    although every one I draw must inescapably be given away

     I want each breath to count for something    but thousands go by while I'm off on a comet    clueless    or possessed by all-too familiar demons    what could be richer    rarer    than each individual breath?    how do I make each one matter    taken and returned with impeccable attention?    when I can do that my own breath unites with the breathing of oceans and mountains    it's only then my soul comes home

    when you and I meet and our breaths mingle    who can calculate the consequences?    the rhythm of the births and deaths of stars transforms us!    one day this truth will be known everywhere and lived full out    each breath will be treasured--a gift more precious than bushels of diamonds!    when I breathe my last breath I want to breathe it with total conviction    to know I'm connected unconditionally to All-That-Is




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