School Reunion 4

50 years! Would it have been ‘believable'
if I'd said any of this then? In my heart
I knew it already - what took the time was finding words
that matched the hidden feelings and knitting both together.

Why? Because "art as a primordial psychic phenomenon
fulfills a religious task and represents an aspect of
‘care-full taking account of transcendental powers'
that parallels the chants, prayers and rituals of priests."*

We do it because we're problem-solving animals.
(Happy they whose problems lie upon the surface!)
Of those who sink into the depths, not all recover -
yet this is the start of the journey art -and life- demands.

To complete it is to pluck the jewel from the snake,
the diamond of ‘not-I' under the squatting toad of ‘I' -
and what is the point of suffering if not to bring us visions
ordinary humans judge the price to high to see?

Individuation, authenticity,
self-realisation - all these speak of at-one-ment
of ‘I' and ‘not-I', the diamond clarity of thought
achievable only when coupled with the power of love.

To write of this is not to claim enlightenment,
it is to speak of having climbed a short way above
the smoke of battle to inspect my wounds, noting
how pain and glory enter in the same split-second.

By returning to exorcise the wound that no one
person caused, I now release my victim-hood.
My fear of meeting everyone again was a
fear of coming face-to-face with all my shame.

So love walks throu the walls we erect, to make us whole.
In finding the dark point of our fear we find our power.
For my voice-trial I sang "I know that my redeemer
liveth." Then I wasn't sure. Now I am.

* Marie-Louise von Franz ‘The religious or magical attitude' in Psychotherapy.1993.

by Michael Maxwell Steer

Comments (3)

the sould shrinks from all that it is about to remember, from the punctual rape of every blessed day... This is the reality of living in the real world But I feel as if I have been given a reprieve, a stay of execution when I come to Bring them down from their ruddy gallows. and I feel lke the only mistake made in this poem is a missing exclamation mark. It is a divine and generous impulse here that wishes to absolve us in this poem. I feel blessed every time I read or recall it.
I like this poem alot. It gave me the feeling ofr coming together as one with the world
What a metaphor: redemption and purification through laundry!