I had wandered into darkness and was pining for the light.
But all around was murky, with the shadows growing more.
And I wondered if that darkness was an artifact of sight,
For my eyes were aged and dimming, not the eyes I had before.
Towards the ending of my journey, as the path began to curve,
There came to me a question, as I sensed the roadway's arc.
And I wondered, if at ending, I would get what I deserve,
But I could not find an answer – or a light within the dark.
But a tumult, from a distance, it grew louder and drew near.
And I listened, in my darkness, and could hear the voices rise.
I was gripped then by confusion and by wonder and by fear,
For the spirit-world was speaking, to a soul that was unwise.
And I heard a conversation. Was it one or two or three,
Who were speaking to each other? Were they ghosts or were they gods?
Were they demons, were they devils, were they spirits flying free?
And I trembled in my terror, as a vassal met by lords.
But that conversation faded, and I thought, “My plight's at end!”
And what was the discussion, and why those sounds of strife,
I could not quite remember, or truly comprehend.
And then, there came a voice, that cut me like a knife.
But I heard that voice proclaiming, “Do not fear, oh mortal man!
You will listen to our voices, you will glean what we have learned.
We are spirits, who are searching, as we spirit-beings can,
But we've come to know our limits. And in hellfire, we have burned.
“And yet, we still are searching, and will search for longer still,
For as spirits we live longer than the ones who live in stuff.
We are eddies, not immortal, and we whirl as eddies will,
And we fade away like others, when we've whirled about enough.
“And we search for hints of meaning, in the vortices that whirl,
In the galaxies and atoms, in the minds of octopi,
In the swirling of the waters, in the flowers that unfurl,
In the numbers transcendental, like your Euler's and your pi.
“And we too have known emotion, that is reason's better half.
And in feeling, as in thinking, we have delved and we have burned.
Like the maid that's lost her lover or the cow that's lost its calf,
We have mourned – and broken-heartedly, the cost of living learned.
“We are born like others beings, we are transient, like this world,
We will die, like other mortals, and we only have a while.
And we pray, that while we're living, in this pit of madness hurled,
We might find, what we are seeking. Then we spirits too may smile.
“And we sense that you've been searching, and your desperation's clear.
So we've come to you with questions, and with yin and yang and crew.
And some of our companions, they had argued, that your fear,
It would make our voices dreadful, but we've settled still on you.
“And we know that you are bestial, that your journey soon will end.
So we hope that you will listen, and be wiser than before.
But we do not know the answers and we never will pretend
As your prophets have pretended, or as writ in human lore.”
So I listened, though I trembled, and I heard the voices speak.
But I only heard confusion, and of opposites that fought.
And my mind was set to racing, and my body, it grew weak,
And I felt a passing pity, for all others in my lot.
“There is reason and unreason, there is heartlessness and heart,
There is cruelty, compassion, there is innocence and guile.
There is slavery and freedom, there is artlessness and art,
There is sanity and madness. There are those, who still can smile.
“There are those who thirst for justice, there are those who seek for self,
There are those whose souls are honest, there are those who like to lie.
There's the mother full of nurture, and the one, who leaves her whelp,
There's the one whose life is easy and the ones who toil and die.
“In this world, there's rarely justice, as the feeding rules supreme,
Yet in oceans roiled with madness there are islands still of calm.
It's a world that's full of hatred, where the evil-doers scheme,
And yet there are the beings, who are loving, kind and warm.
“There is light within the darkness and there's darkness in the light.
There's the frenzy that we're caught in, there is hopelessness and fear.
In a world that's full of blindness, there are still the ones with sight.
In the midst of our despairing, we can hope our ending's near.
“There's construction and destruction, there is order and there's mess.
There is growth and there's progression and the cycle that repeats.
There is confidence and learning, there's achievement and success,
There is ignorance and diffidence, and failure and defeats.
“There are legacies of matter that will swirl about and fly,
There are legacies of forces that will gust awhile and fade.
There are legacies of knowledge, corrupted by the lie,
There are insights that are diamonds that will slowly turn to jade.
“There is laughter here and weeping, there is loneliness and love,
There is bliss that we can savor, there is hopelessness, despair.
There is joy that is abounding, there is suffering sans end.
And we seek for shreds of meaning, when it's torn beyond repair.
“You ask for this a reason, and you wait for a reply.
But the sky above is silent, and the ocean breakers roar;
The earth brings forth its bounty, but will never tell you why.
You were born into the tumult, but in silence you will go.
“So your nature then is silence – and to silence, you return.
In the midst of all the madness, there is solace still in this.
When you're turned away from silence, in the madness then you burn.
When you bravely turn to silence, then you taste again of bliss.”
And the voices then grew silent, though the tumult would remain,
And I wondered at the sayings and I sought to find the sense.
There was burning in my fingers, there was fire in my brain,
But all around was darkness – and the darkness, it was dense.
Towards the ending of my journey, as I turned around a bend,
I could see that I had foundered, in the swamps of a malaise,
And I looked for a horizon, where my torture could have end,
But I only saw a darkness, and no ending of the chase.
I had wandered into darkness. It was darkness without end.
And my mind itself was darkness, with an ember still aglow.
But that ember, it was dying. There was nothing to defend.
For my life and for my labor, I had ashes left to show.
And the words that I had written, and the puzzles I had solved,
They would all amount to nothing, they were meaningless and void.
And in seeing then this foaming, in my heart I then resolved,
To turn again to emptiness, to my nature, which is void.
And yet, this world of tumult, it had entered deep within.
The sea within was roiling, it was churning up the I.
And so there was this writing, and this making more of sin,
As the truth was thus avoided in this capture by the lie.
So I then began to wonder if I ever would have peace,
Would there ever be some order, would the chaos come to end?
And I wonder still, befuddled, for the fire does not cease,
Yet the darkness, it grows denser, since I turned around that bend.
But still, there is that clearing, as the mists of maya part,
There's the memory of silence and the quiet of resolve.
In the midst of all the frenzy, as it's time to soon depart,
There's the sense that what seems real, into void, will dissolve.
For the spirits did their talking and they seemed, for moment, real.
Then they vanished into ether. Were they conjured by my mind?
Could a spirit, of that ether, sans a body corporeal,
Find a method, to a body, for a moment, to be kind?
There are spirits that have vanished that were once where we could reach,
And they live within our eddies till our eddies fade away.
There's a spirit that has vanished that was dearest once to each,
And each, who tries to reach it, will be answered with a nay.
To my mother, I would answer for whatever I would do.
She is in my mind forever – and my father too is there.
To my mother, I still answer, to my father answer too.
But my parents cannot lighten now the burdens that I bear.
And the answer to my question begins clearly to appear.
For there's no one who is counting up my labor or my sins.
My omissions and commissions, and the things that I hold dear,
Do not matter. There is silence. So my losses are my wins.
As the ancients thought that Terra was the center of the All,
As in China, it was rumored that the other lands exist –
But they're foreign and malignant, to be countered by a Wall,
So delusions, of that center, in our eddies still exist.
And the voices I was hearing, they were voices in my head.
And their sayings bred confusion, till the silence took its stead.
So the ones, who've lost their reason, are afflicted, it is said.
When the world is utter madness, to the silence, then be wed.
2013 September 24th, Tue. 6:36 am, with stanzas added Tue., Wed. & Sat. nights. Bensonhurst, Brooklyn