MARBLE AND STONE; JADE AND PEARL
There are a thousand lurking minds within this room.
Too close they draw, uprising from the mirrored past
which I, the subtle glass, have closed within my brain.
Come not too close you fitful, beaded thoughts. My heart
is full of stark, denuded calm and solemn hope.
The battlefield is strewn with dead. A thousand lamps
are swinging through the night. Where are those loves we knew?
Where is the hope that once was full of joy? Long dead,
our bowels and guts enact a mocking, ghostly play
as if to say: We live, and will continue yet.
Dissolve, thou fading star of youth! Dissolve! Depart!
Put on, my heart, this little pain of lust, thy cloak.
Descend to deeper depths than ever man could know.
And rape and are dancing in the depth. And love,
that faint and fading star, gives out its dying glow.
Death death death. O weary, morbid train of thought,
O dying tune, O faintly ebbing heart. Dissolve! Depart!
And break break break O stupid heart. Distracting star,
O backward flying thought, depart! depart!
My deeper depths are deeper than my heart.
Like iron, like marble, like jade my heart.
My solid, depraved and fading heart. Like stone.
The star is dead, yet faintly flickering burns the body on.
Stars new and deeper depths revolve on marble paths.
Unconscious fade I now. Unconscious, lapse away from dreams.
Now tear away this last and flimsy veil, this last
and weary veil of love, this ebbing, dying heart.
Congeal and petrify all loves within its fading scope
and fix them there like convoluted forms in amber,
the marble creatures frozen where they die.
Marble and stone am I, jade and pearl,
rock and diamond. My heart one hard inviolable gem.
My soul a frozen shape enclosed by stiff and startled ice.
My form a sudden band of glittering, shining crystal
stretched upon the shattered glass of jet carved night.
Snow falling in spirit whirls and eddies.
All the landscape it buries
beneath its thick yet fragile weight.
Step lightly stranger, the world is listening yet.
Walk softly through the softened snow
and as you homewards go
think on the essence of the sweetness and the gall.
The heart must fall, the heart must fall.
Yet falling spirits may redeem its beat
and take it up from out its little sleep
and join it in the concrete dance of snow.
Stranger, are you dancing with the snow?
Stranger, is your heart on fire?
Stranger, let me tell you, you shall never tire
of dancing with the falling spirit whirls,
of dancing with the snow and faery girls,
of singing out your heart to sudden ash.
But you are cold.
The snow has stopped. The spirits are growing old.
Come now and walk with me beneath the pines
and I shall show you where the essence lies
that grants us all this snowy balm and death.
You must be strong. The quick and awful web
will catch you up within its whitened net
and cast you out among the cold and heartless stars.
O stranger, stir all naked in your heart
and from your senses cut away that part
that now stands trembling in the silent snow.
You must be ready
for the spirit whirl and eddy.
You must stand ready, for you heart will overflow.
Now take my hand and walk beneath the pines.
LIGHT SNOW IN A FISHING VILLAGE
Yellow rocks and yellow clouds.
A yellow boat is floating on the yellow lake.
Thin trees, disgorge your withered branches,
put aside your death of withered boughs,
consign yourself to yellow lake.
A thousand monsters lurk about these cliffs,
at dawn descending to the lake to drink,
at nightfall howling with the winter wind.
No moon, no sun, no stars; but yellow pulsings.
Time…waits; suspended through eternal winter.
No fluttering birds among these frozen trees
or mirrored on the surface of the lake.
Unending silence glows about the peaks
or hides itself away when monsters groan,
at dawn or in the night, as yellow air grows dense
or thins away. No trees may rustle here, no leaves.
But once in many years a bough may creak
or once in many years a twig may fall
or once a wave descend.
Duration : 0:11:31
Continue reading Poems Opus One (18) by Charles Bryant: Final Sequence