West Of The Moon

West of the Moon is the unofficial, temporary meeting ground for the members of Christendom's Guild of the Cross and the Quill. Sadly West of the Moon won't be in our future permanent web URL because a number of other selfish people already registered all permutations of the URL years ago without even consulting me. For that they shall pay.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Paradise Found

Paradise Found

"The sage wears rough clothing, but carries the jewel in his heart."
- Lao Tzu

...Being was - to start
And all was Unified
Not one adjunct component -
A Circle, round and Wide
Never ending, Never starting, Never slowing down,
But moving all the time

And then there came the Light (yellow-bright)
And Water, clear and blue
That separated - Piece by piece
And split the earth in two

And from the sea emerged the land -
Red with rocky soil
Where Man and fateful Choice were made
Where lurked therein Death's coil -

It was a Paradise, they say,
So green and lush and wild -
Where lived this man with Diamond in his head
As simple as a child

His paradise was Beautiful -
Many pieces, yet one whole
But never so pristine could be
A place Dim Pride and Fear cajole

For a little string of black snaked there
Temptation - in a Tree
That tugged and pulled
Magnanimous - Safety

The man turned Back
The Jewel went Black
And Tumbling, tumbling Fell - All
But Pieces of his Paradise
Amidst the blinding Gall -

It didn't hurt too much (thou thereafter he no color saw)
Man awoke with separate Eyes -
Half-sight, half-taste, half-life was his
Absurd and homely prize

His Separateness was evident
His loneliness unquelled
A Stranger he became - a Bug
Indifferent, repelled

In Blandness he Existed bleak
For sands and sands of Time
As broken dusty sadness speaks
In bells that never chime

"Innocent" he became -
The treachery all "forgot"
Until from Prophecy arose -
Redemption he'd not sought

Salvation was a Pain - so Great
A tender, loving Sore
That throbbed and with it's Opening
Didst shake Man at his core

It jumbled him, and loosed the chips
That Death had Hardly froze
Like needles pinching Numbness
That's settled in one's toes

"Everything dead that's coming back
Must hurt like Hell and Fire,"
For Love, that Diamond Paradise forgot
Is Death in shy Disguise -

Their Difference is like White and Black
No difference almost
But that White is all colors
And Black naught but their host

(Love) - the Bridge that bonds those rainbow gem-shards -
Once borken Stupidly
One must Die to climb -
To Exist eternally

That Death of Death is what Love is
And of Absurdity
For after Death's dark, Spring's color comes
- Returns to Unity...


Blogger I am soft sift in an hourglass said...

Hey funky! :)

I don't know much about the technicalities of poetry, especially "modern" poetry, so all that I can really offer are my personal reactions to the piece. The highest compliment that I can pay to it is that, as I was reading it and after I was done, it made me think. Or maybe contemplate is a better word. The paradoxes that you brought out: between light and darkness, death and life, were beautiful, and I think that you did a good job setting up for all of the paradoxes/mysteries that you mentioned in the last few stanzas.

I loved the images and motion that you employed in describing the Creation story. It made the story fresh and vivid in my mind, which can be difficult when you've heard the story a hundred times since birth. The repeated imagery of "components, pieces, separateness" that you used for the physical Creation story and for the story about man was very effective; it united the two accounts and created alot of subtlety (sp) of meaning. Your interpretation of mankind falling into apathy and "Blandness" (loved that line), with his half-senses and undeserved sense of "innocence," seemed to be a well-merited stab at modernity. I liked it very much.

"The Diamond in his head" image made me stop; I think it's gorgeous. My other favorite line was "Salvation was a Pain," - I hate to admit it, but my first reaction was on a human level (being moral can be a pain at times), and once I made the (obvious) connection with Christ, it opened up neat thoughts about how we can unite our sufferings with those of Christ for the sake of our salvation.

I am still pondering the Love being Death in shy Disguise image.

It jarred me when you called man a Bug. In the context of the Creation story, where a clear distinction is made between man and the animals, it just didn't seem right to call man a Bug. Man fell, but not to a sub-human level. I may be just analyzing it too much.

Two little typos: "thou(gh?) thereafter he no color saw." Or is that a typo? And "borken" in the second to last stanza.

I'm so glad you posted this! I hope that you post more. Expect a note from me in the mail in a couple of days. :)

the other funky

8:25 AM  
Blogger Learning to be Alone said...

Wow, Anna, that was really beautiful. It's funny, the first time through I kind of though, "Okay.. nice poem," but the second time through it took my breath away. I especially love that line, "Redemption he'd not sought." You summarize man's indifference so well! I also really like your use of colors when you describe the beginning and the beauty and unity of the world, and then sudden blackness... sand, gray, all ideas of the dimness that comes with rot. And to comment on Adrienne's comment, I really liked the notion of man as a "Bug." It is jarring, but I think it's true, because as rational beings, created in the image and likeness of God, we are capable of falling (and therefore being) lower than the lowest of God's creatures. I think C.S. Lewis said, those creatures that are the highest, when they fall, fall the lowest. Thus maybe "Bug" is not strong enough a word. "Worm" "Slug", something that gives the idea of absolute depravity might be even more appropriate.

I was confused, in the second stanza, when you said "split the earth in two;" you never mentioned "earth" before that, so it isn't terribly clear. Is the earth created yet? Or just the water?

I don't know too much about poetry, but I found the structure of a few lines strange, this one line particularly: "Where lurked therein Death's coil." It just doesn't flow, and it interrupts the progress of the rest of the poem.

I really look forward to hearing more from you, Anna, this was lovely. God bless you!

Mary Beth

8:48 PM  

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