Part One - THE CHAIN OF EXISTENCE

Upon the first link of the chain,

An old man climbs again

On pathways he has never seen,

In countries he was never in;

Only his eyeless cane, remembering

To guide him on.

 

And in a clay boat far from shore,

Not knowing if they fear

The salt wave

Or the vessel more,

Three men lean on a single oar;

The ocean mocks their struggle.

 

The fluid, is the womb’s fluid;

A circling urn, and on the sand

The high flood shattering the clay.

The pyres from our beginnings burn;

Recurring in the wind,

Our ashes drift away.

 

Interminably I begin.

And the relentless mold of doom

Shapes the inevitable form of every name.

Borne from the moment of the womb,

Our time is long;

Inexorably I began.

 

My house has five loose windows;

My body has bare walls.

From my bones

Shall the flesh fall.

And through the draughty exits of my sense

Shall the wind come in.

 

Before it settled in the tomb

(For in the next tomb it could hear

The bold call of desire)

My heaped flesh, in despair,

Moaned that the urn was open,

Cold the night air...

 

Maiden or prince, the shudder is the same;

The moist earth shall call us again.

The shaft shall quiver in the blinded orb,

Stiffened with pain, and thick with birth,

The blood which floods the circle shall flow on

Where we have lain.

 

Thus we are formed—woman and man-

The wound which origined us all, the same;

Hidden by thigh or land,

Or in the eye’s turning:

A vessel, buried in the sea,

Or broken on the sand.

 

He plucks the maggot from the rotting bud,

The maggot blooms from the man.

When shall I end?

How shall the blossom understand,

The spring which would not come,

Or summer, withering in the stem?

 

The process which the soils began,

What has been hidden in the root,

And what is sown

By season or by seed, has been,

Only a circumstance of green, or brown,

In infinite pursuit.

 

The blind stick is our brightest faggot.

The arrow, bleeding, quickens the wound.

The pyre flickers;

And in the ground,

The phosphorescent maggot

Lights our tomb.

 

From tomb to tomb I shuttle on,

And leave, upon the loom of time

The fabrics of my form.

And what is woven here, or what I weave,

Is never done. Inexorably begun,

I move, interminably, on...