Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Meditating Upon a Centipede



author's note:

I dedicate this poem to all those of my generation who hoped the Carlos Castaneda books were true accounts.

So, in part, I dedicate this poem to myself.


MEDITATING UPON A CENTIPEDE

Once in a forest, alone
I tried to force my eyes open

driven by the desire to see
the mysteries
of a spirit world I sense
all around me.

For many minutes I peered
into the darkness of the trees--
I stared--I squinted--
trying to pierce the curtain

until nearly blind with frustration...

finally I sank down to rest
on a stump by a dry brook

but in the quiet defeat
of this convalescence
I slowly forgot myself

as my empty eyes began to fill
with the grand beauty
of a centipede
humbly soldiering
through a rich wasteland
of gray-brown leaves:

such intelligence in those little legs!

I watched until
the tails disappeared
into a miniature door
at the base of the stump

but a few more moments passed
before I came back to myself--
suddenly I realized
I'd entered an elevated state--

maybe now
the mysteries of the world
would open to me--!

But that desire, returning so abruptly
broke the peace
and I returned to being the lesser being.

Thus
the secrets I wished to see
remained secrets.

I then cursed my impulse

until I realized:
without this drive
I could not endure
the tedious process of opening
to the truth of a hidden world
we all secretly know.



© 2017, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: a poetry book

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