Nexus: two meditations

1.
I said: No earth, no plow.
No beaten sword to sway hip-
deep in some
dark wound. Forget
the slit where the rolling
coulter rides. Surely,
she asked, you will admit
the moon’s disc?
But I was still uneasy,
thinking, only if
the values were reversed.
Shining field, breast
of smooth obsidian.

The common words
are worse than inadequate:
they’re wrong. The male parts
scatter pollen; seeds
are eggs that have been – what?
Not fertilized, but transformed.
Shining field of the body,
opaque mirror in which
both sexes preen.
If you need
a fable, I said,
try this: You are
the storm
my tree bends
against. Graceful
as a twister, moving
ladder to let the fanatic
angels down
& down. Ground
or figure, earth
or firmament?
Each yields to each,
gets stronger by giving
way: we are water, no less.
The words float at first
& then dissolve.
Voices merge,
eddy, plunge, seek
the level. All of it
a prelude to silence,
the tantalizing peaks
suspended upside-down
in – ah – this
clear lake.

2.
We are all next. — Lucille Clifton

The first word reinvents the world – and vice versa.

This never fails to astonish me, how we cannot think apart from the blossoming shadbush & the grouse exploding from cover.

The ancient analogy between word & seed still seems to hold. What happens to turn a cry into a carrier of specific import? An egg gains direction without & differentiation within. To set seed is to gain polarity, to separate up from down & one wing from the other. (You can call them cotyledons if you like.)

Thus, the very first word is next.

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