Tuesday, September 7, 2010

air and dust

"air and dust"

sometimes we can only ever
know the question at hand
like we know air, for granted
the known answer is forgotten.

we mourn this aloud and fight it,
the fighting itself is clever,
and cleverness may be what we want---
a truth of sort but not an answer,
though sometimes we remember one.

now what resounds in my voice
when i sing out for clever memory?
the first words i hear are
          i am achilles!
          i must fight!
what are the questions at hand then---

is the i of that song really me?
did achilles know like men know
he should fight?
or was he drawn like an animal,
to obey a wave of his mind
and not think back for its origin?

and what does that mean for me
that my memory recalls him so?
why not odysseus first?
where's my vasubandhu and socrates,
why are they late to the gathering?

perhaps i need to separate
the animal from humanity?
divinity is the great divider for that,
whether i am animal or human first.

here must be then a call upon greatness,
          for it may be true
the animal created the divine,
before the divine created a human.

it may be true we all must realize
the box we are in before
we can imagine what is beyond the box
and how the beyond holds the box.

the question now turns on its side.
is the mind a great accident of the body,
or does the mind precede the body
as light does precede its source?

even at that question i wince,
the light bulb creates light
because it  was created to do so, light then precedes.
the sun on the other hand, for all we know,
may be accidentally creating light,
who knows what precedes there, who knows?

the answer may not be clever enough
while truth by itself is a question mark.
yet to erect the great divider
is to separate known from may be known.

i know i am achilles, i know i must fight
and it may be true otherwise as well.
these are my givens and supposition.
and this is a moment for cleverness.

but now this also is the time when even
the question at hand is air
and so the answer of hand is dust.
to hold what can be held
          and to imagine what cannot---

for in the meanwhile the answer comes,
whether by fighting or questing,
whether in animal, human or divine form,
i am certain this hand shall bear only ever
         air and dust.

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