Music On The Wind Even In The Ashes Of The Sky Burial
Music on the wind even in the ashes of the sky burial
by Patrick White
of a burnt guitar. And I’ve heard dragons immolating themselves
in the lairs of their prophetic skulls singing in the flames
to shepherd moons that martyred them like muses
that came down off the mountain like waterfalls
unveiling whole new modes of inspiration eye to eye
with stars in the tresses of the willows in the valleys of death.
So many blossoms on the circuitous staves
of the apple-tree boughs suddenly giving voice to birds
or scattered at the feet of a poet who’s just found the right key
to the words of the picture-music leading him astray
to fruition. You can plant seeds, semeni sectores,
in the neo-cortical furrows of a newly ploughed brain,
that might root and grow if the crows don’t spot them first
and your starmud doesn’t die of thirst drinking mirages
from the unused lifeboats of a dead language lost at sea,
but one intuition of a firefly on a starless night
and you can harvest the universe like Spica
in the siloes of Virgo, unmasking the dark abundance
of a thousand lunar goddesses shining all at once,
each of their voices accented by the patois of the earth.
How many watersheds there are under the eyelids
of a single tear making its way to a sea of sorrows
with a taste of stars in its mouth like wild irises
that bloom along the shores of rivers in the night
bluer than cremations of hydrogen burning to create
the universe again and again and again
out of the sacred syllables of its own ashes.
O thresher take care not to reap the cornflowers of the Pleiades
when they appear within the sweep of your gathering powers
or you’ll blight the wheat with Eleusinian ergot
that will initiate you into the mysteries of life you forgot
like a bad mushroom trip in the violated shrines
of your heart and mind, when you fell upon the choir
like a talon of the moon in the war bonnet of a great horned owl.
The wolf howls like a wound to heal itself. The mouth
of a human resonates like a cave that echoes
the ancient silence of a dream grammar sweeter than life
and deeper than death buried under the hearthstones
of fires that burned out a hundred thousand years ago.
Can’t you hear the nightbirds singing in the woods at night,
light years of longing in the eras of their voices
embodying the dead in their transmigratory vehicles
to follow the herds of the stars wherever they lead
like nocturnal themes of life dancing around
the ashes of their aubades laid like lilaceous urns
in shallow graves with the firepits of Stonehenge on their chest?
You won’t find many soothsayers in the truncated ellipses
of creative writing classes learning to write with scalpels
in the surgical theatres of collegiate autopsies,
but if you listen like a mountain to your own echoes
you can hear the liberated shrieks of an avalanche
of gravestones rolling away from their tombs
like an asteroid belt trying to get the inside out
like gnostic gospels dreaming docetically
of lamps in the niches of occult cathedrals
that saw holy ghosts rising from apparitions
of boundary stones in the illimitable dark
like spirits of smoke rekindled from the fires of life
that never go out like candles and fireflies alive
in the eyes of the stars that thrive by never turning their backs
on the enlightened visions of the night hidden in their own light.
I don’t impugn the night with my own darkness
and when has ageing ever had anything to do with time?
How strange it must be not to live a dangerous life
or shudder blamelessly before the immensities
of your own soul. What would you have to risk of any worth
if you’ve never suffered the follies and disappointments
of being yourself in this masked ballroom dance of life
where the shadows of the music eclipse the chandeliers?
You have fears? You labour to unravel the knots
in your heartwood without getting bit by the snakepit
of your own irradiant wavelengths fraying like neuronic synapses?
Look straight into the eyes of the worst without
turning into moonrock and remind the Medusa
in her crone phase despite her oviparous attitude toward life
without wings, a snake’s just a chip off the shoulder of a dragon
standing before her like a flamethrower that can fly
to its own rescue without being feathered like Icarus on a white horse.
Swallow your terrors whole like shepherd moons and cosmic eggs
to bring the rain on to keep the watersheds of mercy full.
And as I’ve said many times to the suicidal butterflies in my mouth
if life hasn’t got a guarantee then even death’s a gamble.
Effaced by a black hole do what the stars do and jump
like a gravedigger into the bone box of what’s unknown
by your own singularity until you shine a light on it
like a firefly through a portal to the other side of your eyes
as if it were your seeing, and not the sunrise that made sure
dawn was always breaking somewhere in the world.
You want to write? You want to live as if to live
were still a noble endeavour in pursuit of an earthly excellence
that’ effortlessly attained by failing at it, don’t
keep the shadows of life out of your work, or exorcise
your dragons to devote your dead air space to the cultivation
of butterfly farms. Get down and dirty in the starmud
under your fingernails like tiny fertile crescents
and don’t despise the starstruck savages who are always
the first to give birth to the seed beds of civilization.
What could it matter if you steal fire from lightning
or the gods as long as the roots of the tree of life are burning
as above so below, whether you’re galactic or quantumly atomistic
about your event horizons. And don’t assume you’re as Luciferian
as the morning star because you brought a matchbook
to guide the sun to the same enlightenment path you’re on.
Go off road waywardly and cut a contrail of your own
knowing even these scars of light will dissipate vaporously
like a dragon disappearing into the evanescence of the sky,
like the spiral arm of the Milky Way, like an electron jumping orbitals,
but for a moment that can last a lifetime, the whole universe,
or the face of God, if you prefer, him or her, were lit up by a flash of insight
into the original nature of love we’re all creating in the name of.