When you stare into the abyss
the abyss stares back at you.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900)
Abyss, abyss, deep mawing abyss, is there nothing
amiss in heaven or earth or beyond the sun that you have not
swallowed whole in one greedy gulp, leaving
hollowed out all our myths, memories, hopes, dreams? How has
a Rumpelstilt-skinned Fairytale Of Nothing emptied me of good thoughts, my mind a
rattle snake pumpkin? Dry seeds rustle. I shake my head.
No sound, no voice, no breathing, no echo in eloquence can be
found. Shuffling all the pages of my holy texts, I hear the
distant murmurs of sages
long ago gone to Sheol or Purgatory or even Heaven. A leavened bread of
songs forgo Nirvana sweetly sung. Each song was un-sing-able except for air
on planet earth. All our deafened ears so closed … want to open.
Rituals, chants, postures we composed … covenants promised yet broken? …
to right our wrongs, plumb our righteous surveyor lines of sight;
while all our human might bore down on shovels, picks, axes to break apart the earth,
to birth a new era. Call the bright day’s dawning democracy,
worth three hundred million votes. Call our new beginning theocracy,
praising deity. The nation is now full of spiritual newborns,
raising fresh baby-ish cries for breast milk
or for cuddling. We are huddling fast together in any case,
swaddled in unnamed shadows. Hoping for lost hopes, we do not abide by reason but chase
all our enemies furiously. Our superior blessings shine like the sun at noon.
In thrall to self-regard for being divinity’s favored, we leave no room
to doubt while flourished trumpets call
that like headgear, badge, scepter, all
our blessings mark our superior spiritual station.
Confessing their dark and dirty sins, our nation gathers to lay hands
upon the heads of all the people
who in fiery dread we have called sinners. We forget
the holy kingdoms which not yet
do arrive, on planet earth as it is in Heaven or Nirvana. Forgiveness ever frets.
Good kingdoms must thrive by promise of their coming. If one of us would save herself,
let her give a wise or foolish virgin’s wedding dress to her neighbor. All the unwanted
peoples were never planning to compel us to be all alike, nor welcome them in any case:
our steeples, sanctuaries, symbols left untainted, safe. Surely we chafe
at the same hard hurting burdens we lay on others?
Blame, blame, blame, nor bottomless shame, is not the same as good news.
Do we choose between children as Sophie chose in the novel?
(Who’s sharp enough to be wiser? In that poor hovel of the human heart
is the true new birth we seek,
amazing us in mirth that springs up like wild weeds.) Our redemptions
wait for us, like war dead strewing disputed fields left fallow. Rest, one,
Hate’s Judgment, leaf and stalk, is best tilled back into its own original pitched soil
till some chemical process that the field extension guy
will fill several pages on his pad, explaining, flies
off his notepad into our heads, … or better, our hearts our bodies our selves.
Scoff at kindness all you want, it just goes
to show how you have neglected
to go far enough out, onto the visionary point above those high cliffs
where the horizon and the near range hills,
bared to blurriness beyond our eyes, cannot fill us
with awe because we are already full of appearing to be better than nothing.
An act of God sits there, erasing. All our human certainties or ceremonies go transparent, gone to a wide horizon’s
nothing. The Abyss. You dare to stare into such a friend
only bluffing some false angelic courage that must quickly end.
Then we ourselves as sojourners or pilgrims
pretend no longer that nothingness so grim
does not know us far better than we wish,
crackpot, jackpot, barrel and lid. Face love, be known. All else is fabled Carchemish.
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