Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Upside of Upside Down

author’s note:

In a recent dream, I’m in a quarry, surveying a rock wall that I must raze.

So I guess I too am breaking rocks.


...and as a result...
I act very respectful
towards them. After all,
they’re the ones who break rocks
in the quarry while I
dangle from a tree,
watching an overturned world
try to right itself.

But I pay a price--
my feet know
they can not
walk on air
while my head worries
that my hair points
in the wrong direction


once upside down,
you never quite
even with your feet
back on solid ground, you still
have that feeling
in the body of your mind.

--or is it: the mind of your body?

How did I end up hanging here?
I guess I wanted a new perspective

though I feel I’ve been forced.

Is this how we must live now?

Yes, but haven’t things
always been such?
Always putting us
upside down and then
right-side up again, yet
turned by the experience?

Ah, but in those days
we built
tall steeples
and carved our beliefs
into tablets
and flesh--

in those days
we carried boulders
with us
in order
to feel

Now the old stones
can not hold back

Now the stones
are just heavy.
Don’t all amulets eventually
lose their power
to convince?
Don’t the bell ropes
eventually hang us up
when we entangle them
with thought?

The towers are empty
ever since
the light through
their windows
was identified
as waves
and particles.

Now, even when we do
figure things out,
we’re still confused.

And so,
amid such conflict
I don’t fight the remedy--

when I see the giant
I don’t protest:
I go on ahead--
shimmy up the tree
then hang myself higher.

Might as well--
what else have I
to sacrifice
except myself?

Might as well
accept the inevitable--
see what I must see
so I can try to turn
right side up again

so that I
can again walk free--
for a little while at least--
at least until
I get my legs back
under me.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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