Aengus and Etain
"What a sorry world" Asuramaya mused
His consort now in form was Rohini, she of Antares,
red giant in the Scorpionís Heart, who replied
Andromeda-style, the twilight talk dakinis make
dismissing words for flawless
telepathic surge, so conversation
went in lilt of cadenced silence
one easy fluctuating pause
"Recall what Long Chen Pa will have said" Rohini intoned,
comfort in mind. Instantly her thought
translated his, their recollections
gathered mouth to ear
spun a scroll where indigo letters
outlined in ochre
wrote anew the formulate idea:
I have elucidated for the sake of future generations
the meaning of the supreme way of life.
This approach to life comes from spontaneously
perfect universal creativity,
the way to experience directly the pure fact of awareness
at the heart of all experience.
This approach is not a gradual process of self-development:
with it, you actually wake up to what is, right now.
"Forgetting this" she observed "anyone might be excused
if truly desperate for a clue -"
"Excused but not forgiven -"
"Because all the clues in the world -"
"Donít count -"
"If you donít know what crime has been committed."
"What feat of imprecision"
"What insensate solution"
"Or twisted attribution"
They sighed long and alike.
SEASONS AND SUCH
In that moment the mandarine dew of the Persidian year was slowly evaporating across the treeline on Mount Basho. Its departing fragrance stirred the long leaves of the impanate cherry and loosened the curl in the tendrils that wound down its bellbottom trunk. The huge saponacious tree, a relic of Confucian odes, shuddered ecstatically at the roots. The leaves display some future permutations of Long Chen País discourse.
Asuramaya was encouraged to look again
sliding ever more deeply into that sorry world
so aptly named
"land filled with the sound of falling fruit."
"Perhaps a simple paraphrase would do" Rohini suggested,
her lips pressed mutely to the sounds
"By way of explaining what happens on earth -"
"To bring about this sore confusion -"
"And so impoverish the native sagacity"
"How a planet intended for divine experimentation -"
"Sweet cradle of mutating species -- "
"Repository of luminous spores from the Pleromic Stain -"
"Became a vulgar trading post -"
"Will not be easy to explain"
Rohini stroked her lower lip, shaped like a yellow
sumi petal, with the edge of a yellow sumi petal
leaving a jeweled thread of pollen
caught in the corner of her mouth
"In poetry or prose -" she added, missing a beat
"Less will say more -"
"But prose leaves more to say -"
It was dawn all morning
It was moulting
And it was going to moult.
The blue cranes nest in foaming cloud.
MIGRATING CRANES AND SUCH
Metereological conditions in the Syrene Limb require random snowfall whenever a court poet and consort are necking within six vadims of a flock of migrating cranes, but only if the cranes are blue. In the Persadine year migrations are frequent, so that Embassies often have to alter their flight-plans to avoid collision, but the flocks remain high, rarely approaching more than ten vadims. In the Persidian year the blue cranes of Lake Rinzai will occasionally nest in foaming clouds that sheer off Mount Basho in apposition to the whispering sounds from the runic training camp of adolescent tashis on the northern slope.
"The sacred books of Aengus and Etain -" she ventured, touching
his heart-spot with the quivering
stalk of a jumna weed.
"Donít get me going on that one again"
"At least you canít pretend you never tried"
And so not to pretend, he did, taking the stalk to write,
and let the script be mirrored in her gaze.
Once a loner left adrift in mythtide
Castaway, a barefoot boy enthralled in seascape
Fraught in gold-haze the child-eyes
amazed the day where under a marooning sun
he wandered on the ragged shore
Like madder strained from salty air
his dreams were born and painted there,
pore by pore in
ambience rare and
wound into a coiling signature,
every cell to taste the tide
Bodily knew it then,
once and always
for this knowledge is carnal, is acid-
Where sapphire found his eyes a sky
pearl-gray and soft as beaten metal
hints waning light for Irish genes to skry
So bent on gray reckoning
filter metals in sheltering Maine coves
saltladen seaborne clouds
turn silver glints to
rippled in mauve, careening
sought the wind
sidled on the memories
caught in the moment they were made, spun
forward into time, this
register, this lingering
sea salt and mica
all that will remain from a Celtic life
laid down in Flanders and
still in progress
A life reduced to runes, a love
exposed by flintstruck light
"The rime cannot be translated, alas"
"The syntax will collapse, but you knew that" she countered,
her torso steering for the Dharma Vane. There
exquisitely in flux
they glean his memories
Cruising the lee-side of the Vane, their consorting hearts
formed a single instrument like the menat
hung upon the breast of Hathor, emblem and organ,
resembling a constellation that spans the southern skies
Arcturus to Aldebaran, lingam and yoni in one vessel,
"believed to restore the power of reproduction in the afterlife,"
but for their consecrated aim and single vision, it was a fructive eye
seeing light turn time into a wave so slow to break, so
rapturously delayed the lumination cracks and raves, this
langorous display upon the fractal ridges of the Reef
rare diadem of demi-circled stars, reveals a black lagoon,
sweet haven of entities who drown in Vishnuís dreaming,
passions gone to surf and soundless longing for loveís perpetual return to Alfecca, to Nusakan, coraline nodes in Ariadneís crown
And from Nusakan sped to Vegaís light, desire in fusion
constellates the bright tail of their twining codes where surf
seethes from the Reef and sinks in ever-widening arcs,
clear and gelatinous in toroid rings around the Solar Apex
adorn the dim falaise due east of Cygnus, galactic isophotes
signal their rite of passage to Shelliac, to Sulafat and
circumambulate the Ring, phantom desire in smoke-coiled
... beyond the Vale of Cygnus downy light
beckons to Vegaís sweet earth-bearing aura, the husk of Orphean night is tenderness alive and veils the fruit they make,
lyric embrace in equipoised delight, in sapphire pale the omen and arc-
sign of Maíat, the Vulture Star reciprocates their slow-
They veer and graze the wingtip of the Swan and
turning back to gaze the long way home, vibrate by looking
through the sacred Lyre as if a membrane
plucked the strings and mineral veins beneath the earth
preserved their song among the shades
no word is lost, no longing spent
without divining and consent, the primal mix of love
and fatal discontent, the glaze of human transience
upon the dew-born kiss
Still courage does not abandon his moment, this rite:
to sense and dispense the infinite praise.
Sighting Vega in the slipstream deep behind
Rohini dreamed his way into the rime, divined
the runes in triple-time, in earth-side tropes and
tragic tones from lifetimes on the lamí
"Causality kills" she intoned with a lovely smile,
letting the undercurrents from the Reef
discretely shift them upward to M31
"A Buddhist adage will not do -"
"If human love is so divinely tainted -"
"How else can it be said, and still be true -"
"That one love lost, just one will launch the tale,
this green-eyed odyssey, country-boy saga,
some sorry plight in Jambudvipa -"
"But the sacred books were lost, the birth betrayed /
the marriage spent, so love was just a pretext--"
"So tender is the Reef, one can save one" she purred and
swung their fusioned torso down to the Wending Sea.
SERPENTARIA AND SUCH
For a time measured routinely in earth-centuries, estuary bards of the Wending Sea had observed how the shoreline of the Sea presented a figure/ground reversal with the constellation of Serpens, the coiling reptile entwined with the cosmic yogi Ophiuchus, known to earthside skylore pundits as the Snaketamer. It became a rite for poet and consort in rhapsodic transport to pass Vega and view Cygnus, the Swan, by way of the reef-like constellation at the head of Serpens. From the torso of the entranced yogi the stars of the writhing Fire Snake constellated a series of sheltering atolls strung together into the glittering archipelago known as Serpentaria, a site of fragrant but incoherent dream-excursions favored by Andromedans seeking a spell of simulated isolation among the disguising tidal mists of the atolls.
Rohini pressed his lips on his to silence any further doubts
"The dove is never free, itís said on earth
but we two shall unite like hand and glove."
So merged, they veered across the Vane.
Broken though it is, all that he loved
regains him in this flow the tidebound coast
reduced to ledges scathed with chilling foam and
helter-skelter fleet of prancing crabs
jumbled like shards of gorgonís teeth
ground in the jaws of glaciers
inching in retreat
cut crooked etchings where he leapt
barefoot and laughing mad
so free to be without a path to take --
ĎThough never checking any step
so perked to the ears a pitch of pine scent
stung him in a drunken poise above that brutal seething
Ask Rilke what sustains us
What permanent stain insures the code?
From Eve to Adam it propagated
He watched it written once by his own eyes
scanning his image mirrored on the night
were fingers tracing blackest ink upon a blacker glass
But long before the script showed him its gaze
it wrote him where the gulls spent light off wings
wondering in that childish daze whose blades
lack any breadth --
everything in depth,
deep into the maze
his sullen heart spilled lonely tracks
veined in hues of rose
eruption, the not-so-subtle
refrain in the left ventricle
Pin-sighted in the needle-valve
a semblance glows like pain --
but is it pain,
or just some mythic surmise:
the midnight sun
piercing the clouds?
Aurora Consurgens the dawn-light
broke behind his eyes
So wrote the shoemaker, witness also to
this code, the signature of nature
a pewter revelation
as if by apt sublimation (let the light
fall quite gently on the hearing)
succumbed to Devic thunder (can hit us all,
even when washing the dishes and especially
pulling on that second sock)
Awe-stung the tongue
shed its radical moisture
his heart in calm precision
But since Rilke sunk into no oneís silence on
all those lips
dawn and dark cannot be sundered.
Eurydice has raised the Underworld and
rather like a dancing bear
she staggers with it
down the Plain of Sunflowers
"The Lord of Andromeda is a mosaic gel, his consort
is a scarf" she reminded him,
citing an adage of the Syrene Limb.
They were again lazing off the Reef, gazing
down upon a school of Devic bluefish
deeding off Azoic odes in the shoal by Cygnus
"What apposition presents a life in Maine?"
Rohini wondered so almost aloud
she turned the fish to figures in a Stevenish poem
He was inspired to complain:
"The myth of divine lovers
has been corrupted by humanity-"
"So they will see it otherwise, due to infection of the native heart,
the puling of imagination, centuries in the making -"
"More like millennia, Iíd say"
"Back to the caves, to the black womb of sanity -"
"To darkness, to the great correction."
Sunken into the sound
Ariadneís thread makes as itís pulling
round the spindle of the mind turn triplets
beaded bright as nucleotides wind
filaments of flicking light
strand over strand
intelligent acid coils and codes
record how slight the moonís nutation
unloads a lingering print into the lines of iris
heart and hand
Slow to recover, so endlessly twined
mind sifting through all variations of
place and tense
will drift on nuclear tides
gleaning words for primal sense
seeking to mean or matter
How is all
Immortal, maybe later
She must be cool
sheltering in the honeycomb of night
down in the lace retreat of glacial caves
The Muse beneath her natural ice
spins memories in quartz, veins to retain
her sexual extrusion,
source of many rivers
Aude Ariege Adour
Garonne Dordogne Vezere
In Aquitaine a sound of water
running over rocks
cuts labyrinth into the silence, and
deposits the soft
lode of hearing where sounds
arrested by the Muse,
dark mistress who dreams her dance in exile
underground, glisten in the depths behind her eyes,
staring down and down, finger to cheek
her head is tilted to the left and
there she spills her gaze onto the sand
beneath her toes
curled in the trickling stream, her rapture
sheds a clue that lingers in the dark as long as flowers
No moment without apposition.
A life in Maine is juxtaposed to Flanders,
mica to poppies
blood for blueberries
Not far off the seething shore these ledges
loaded with ripe berries
packed in dense clumps
nod beneath an August
clusters to be stripped between
finger and thumb
with the palm half-closed
and leaving tone-bursts on the tongue
later to be heard
at random -
so alluring - in cadenzas
How is all
One spoke once of Aengus and Etain
Would it be tedious now to bring it up again?
So many legends rife the blood
Primary bard am I to Elphin
And my original home is the region of the summer stars
So many legends rife the blood
Idno and Heinin called me Merddin
At length every king shall call me Taliesin
I am a wonder whose origin is not known
I have been in Asia with Noah in the Ark
I have witnessed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
I have been in India when Roma was built
I am now come here to the remnant of Troia
I have been with my Lord in the manger of the ass
I strengthened Moses through the water of Jordan
I have been in the firmament with Mary Magdalene
I have obtained the muse from the cauldron of Caridwen
So many legends ripen in the genes
Blueberries for blood
To say what the word means look and
linger where the gaze
seals form and void
the mind by its slow increment
turns polyphonic in the genes and
vivid the chord
unloads its notes
one after one
sheared between finger and thumb and eaten
off the palm
each tasting single
How is all
Once a time in Erin saw a loner leaving home
Silent as moonset escape he took
Sighting Amorica across the sea
Wandering homeless to be free
Hay and apples in a rocking cart
rutted the track the daunting bullock took
each step with downcast eyes and nostrils
blue-flared in the cold
breathed a dual plume a trembling
spume of bestial breath
dissolved into the deeper blue a hallowed mist
went wending through the menhirs
lined mute and sentinel the way toward Carnak
A little band
bearing a hushed and reticent air
treads the moist earth in the eerie and
echoless calm of the morning
Bent to the earth thin silhouettes
align in cadence arduous
and the rain is fine as mist upon their eyes
met the sightless mehnirs
solemn in procession
scarred and lichen-starred
poised in mute meter attendant
Leading the troupe the minstrel with grey eyes
shoulders the small harp
adorned on the haft with twining sylphs
Delicate in torment as any earthbound lovers
slyphs too are sliding in the air he thrums
three chords repetitive with fingers long and
slender the tapered menhirs
match the beat
three single notes repeat a deft refrain
mounting on the mist chords for the Muse
three by three makes nine
So paced the troupe proceeds and
minstrel at the front to hold the step
not faltering when harp is poised by
single hand with palm to curving keel and
fingers plucking still the other hand is
loosed to brush a long strand from his eyes
caught by its own elegance
his thumb is
slow to draw the long straight hair
across the palm and turn it on his ear
and for an instant
light off flint
shot through the wending mist
one fleeting ray the metal sun
gives to the hair that signal glint
enough to hint its color
Then errant hand regains its hold
high up among the twining sylphs.
Once a loner left alone in mythtime
made up a song for all thatís missing
Lost books and lost romances
Lost airs to mystic dances
Shannon weep for me
Tristan harping in his skiff while a nameless poison
fraught his veins and offshore a breeze
brought cool allure the hint of passion
born in Isoldeís eyes
nurtured a tragic sadness
when Alizan and the little troupe made landfall at Carnac
In seaborne rime the mark of their mortality
the signature of fate in sexual fatality
Son of the Dalcassians when the Shannon
sang your blood was young and
strong and full of song
inspired by ageless tales of a divine affair
written and pictured in a pair of books
White and Green the lost testament
Love Song of Aengus and Etain
Gone for a passing lust your sacred trust
made you dare
So there, be forever dead in Eurydice
more gladly to arise into the seamless life proclaimed in your song
"The legend has been dated,
the poet bilocated" Rohini mused and
laughing in a soft-throated way
stretched out with lavish ease
upon a massage-bed of moss-backed snails
The shadow of Mount Basho on her torso
mimicked the outline of her torso
When the low-slung branch of a lucent willow
grazed her breast the tremor it sent
down her back aroused her urge for sweet debauches
retromingent discharge of astral lust
sprung on the souplesse of her haunches
but all was still and passionless in the Persidian dusk
They were reclining in the tall blue reeds
bordering the estuary called Epi Kalf
where Asurumaya might usually be found
reflecting on the fractal look of earthbound lives
There came and went before his eyes
visions displayed by slow-wrought ciphers
reflected from black-lacquered skies
into the honey-tinted waters
Along the shoreline a thin bank of sand
was bronze and then the color of bruised peaches
then bronze again, a solid-seeming hue
where herons leave haiku in silt their cries
ripple the amber reaches of the Wending Sea
Waves to the quavering edge of the Syrene Limb
churn violet light in tides of gelatine
"A tragic tale of love in Jambudvipa" he proposed
"might comfort human hearts, the Celtic legend
might strike a note they trust, the suffering
they crave so mythically is less acute, perhaps
less mean, less dangerous if
rendered into verse"
"If fuck we must -"
"The slogan for humanity -"
"Emblazoned in their genes -"
"Since those Orion Boys triggered the curse -"
"And righteous women made it worse -"
Tandems of black swans delved among the reeds
With a long hollowing slide an Embassy
flushed soundlessly across the upper air
The slipstream drew their fusioned gaze
first to Cassiopeia the shapely mother-lode
sunk in her milky bath
then outward and
across the bright galactic grain and
dazzled by the narrowing scope
looked through Orion from the other side
(his arm upraised
switched to the left) and gazing
down upon the earth
beheld in awe their doubles
their eyes pouring compassion
or drinking it
they knew not which
"The moment will be one like this" he guessed
"the moment when manhood once more awakens
ourselves on earth will free ourselves
that sacred trust restored at last
yet lost so long...
Only the swan song now
only this distant-ringing rime
will keep the lifetimes going
one story at a time"
"Where the stain spills" she whispers
"is where it lingers
where Aengus and Etain
capture one heart,
the books are found again."
And sure but slender are the dead fingers
Silent the deft hands
plucking still on the small Celtic harp
answer the sharp cry of mating deer
All that remains of death is rapture
Running in the ears soft and sinuous
rhythms of his life lost
one note distinct
will tremble in the lost embrace,
never to know if
caught by joy or grief
spun in the tides of Vishnuís Dreaming
Will we leave our lust alone at last and
come to rest and
touch the Reef