Friday, 7 October 2016

d6 Encounters by Louise Bogan


I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved,- a bell hung ready to strike,
Sun and reflection wheeled by.

When the bare eyes were before me
And the hissing hair,
Held up at a window, seen through a door.
The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead
Formed in the air.

This is a dead scene forever now.
Nothing will ever stir.
The end will never brighten it more than this,
Nor the rain blur.

The water will always fall, and will not fall,
And the tipped bell make no sound.
The grass will always be growing for hay
Deep on the ground.

And I shall stand here like a shadow
Under the great balanced day,
My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,
And does not drift away.


I burned my life that I might find
A passion wholly of the mind,
Thought divorced from eye and bone,
Ecstasy come to breath alone.
I broke my life, to seek relief
From the flawed light of love and grief.

With mounting beat the utter fire
Charred existence and desire.
It died low, ceased its sudden thresh.
I had found unmysterious flesh-
Not the mind's avid substance-still
Passionate beyond the will.


O see what I have made!
A delicate precious ruse
By which death is betrayed
And all time given use.

See this fine body, joined
More cleanly than a thorn.
What man, though lusty-loined,
What woman from woman born,

Shaped a slight thing, so strong,
Or a wise thing, so young?
This mouth will yet know song
And words move on this tongue.

It lacks but life: some scent,
Some kernel of hot endeavor,
Some dust of dead content
Will make it live forever.


O embittered joy,
You fiend in fair weather,
Foul winds from secret quarters
Howl here together.

They yell without sleet
And freeze without snow;
Through them the broken Pleiades
And the Brothers show,

And Orion's steel,
And the iron of the Plough.
This is your night, my worthy fiend,
You can triumph now.

In this wind to wrench the eye
And curdle the ear,
The church steeple rises purely to the heavens;
The sky is clear.

And even to-morrow
Stones without disguise
In true-colored fields
Will glitter for your eyes.


Must I tell again
In the words I know
For the ears of men
The flesh, the blow?

Must I show outright
The bruise in the side,
The halt in the night,
And how death cried?

Must I speak to the lot
Who little bore?
It said why not?
it said Once more.


The young mage said:
Make free, make free,
With the wild eagles planing in the mountains
And the serpent in the sea.

The young mage said:
Delight, delight,
In the vine's triumph over marble
And the wind at night.

And he said: Hold
Fast to the leave's silver
And the flower's gold.

And he said: Beware
Of the round web swinging from the angle
Of the steep stair,
And of the comet's hair.

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading 'The Alchemist' in a strange discussion about video games and ways to build up the conclusion of a story. Thank you for the memory recall.