Sunday, July 19, 2009

Simple Child

author’s note:

In Egyptian mythology, the goddess Isis, in disguise, becomes nurse to the child prince of Byblos.  Each night, she thrusts the baby into the fire in order that he may gain immortality.

But then the queen catches Isis, throws a fit and rescues her child.  Thus breaks the magic spell; the child has lost his chance to become a god.

Another over-protective mother.


As a complicated adult,
I’m a very simple child
with hands still burning
to feel
the shape of our world.

I still forage as I did as a child--dimly digging

in the various forest gardens,
believing in my child’s mind
that water flows right beneath
my feet--

hoping that at any moment
the white geyser will break, gush up
and hoist me to the heavens
on its strong spout.

such a geyser
gains power
only by going deep
into the earth.

So in my digging
when I do hit
the right spot
instead of rising up
the earth caves
and I follow
that white geyser

down and around

the downward spiral
of a dragon’s tail
--down and around
the downward spiral
of an upside-down mountain


with an empty surrender
weakening my stomach, but strengthening
my heart--down

--on down--

until I’m swept
into the mouth of a furnace fire
--the kiln, the oven
for urns, bread, and purgatory.

As animals, we still fear fire
though fire will make us heavenly.
Fire torches a complicated adult
but tempers a holy baby

and I will be as a baby born
when I’m in the heat of the hearth
where the devil is no longer Satan,
but known as Lucifer.  A complement
and compliment
to the sky’s white lotus home.

Every white home needs a black home
in order for it to thrive and shine
so I will still need both
when the dross
has all burned off.

My chubby baby arms reach
for the mother--reach deeper into the flames.
My chubby baby laughter says:
you can’t destroy me
--at least, not permanently:

because this eternity will eventually end
when its burning work is done.

Then what’ve I worked out--?--
where is the work
in all my ashes--?--
where is the gold--?--
where is the spout
that’s supposed
to lift me back out--?--

the gold is the leaves of white ash,
the spout is the leaves of white ash
that drift up from the cavern well
to become the wings of a butterfly.

Then--and only then--do I ascend.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home