Things Wouldn't Be ...

Things wouldn't be so very different, perhaps,
If you were with me now.
There would be sunsets, even as this one now
With gold dipped clouds
Working through a flaming breathlessness
To pastel hues and deeper,
As the sky across the arc grows dim and leaden with night,
Like the dull monotoned reverse of one of Rembrandt's canvasses.

There would be the pressure of the wind as the body leans into it,
Catching its breath as if in answer to a sigh.

Days would come with lunging hull and crashing wave
Like mastodons on some primeval summit, and permeating all,
The low dirge of furies moaning in the superstructure.
We would stand and face it, you and I,
Filled with contrapuntal fear and defiance,
And know that a life which holds such fearfulness is grim
But even by such qualities is worth the struggle.

We two could watch the bow wake, you and I,
And see the surface of the powerful deeps
Like rippling muscles on some giant's back
Milling and tumbling in tempestuous foam
As it splits apart, casting up a tangy spray ---
A powerful churning whiteness slipping past,
Subsiding, spending itself in beautiful patterns
Of white against swirling blue, like some highly polished rare onyx,
Dissolving finally into the swelling sea.

These heady potions of life, brewed in some sorcerer's urn ---
What meaning they could hold, what feasting to the soul;
That spontaneous burst of affirmation
Which struggles to release itself but never quite succeeds,
And in receding leaves an emptiness and mockery
Too forlorn to bear.


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