The first and only time I thought of You

[another older poem, from about a year-and-a-half ago]

I dreamt of a time when the mottled pieces of our puzzled planet
stood in fault lines
when in fact they were nobles of perfect lineage
and with each movement
made ruins of our best intentions,
scrambling centuries’ worth of work
and making jagged jigsaws of them;
buckling the knees of freeway overpasses,
shaking loose steel bolts, and
creating works of art for us to ponder
in moments of riotous pause.
We did not design, in the past, but designified,
crossed lines,
and with every blow of the hammer
knocked the mystery from our lives
and lessened its greatness;
even Albert Speer knew this, the folly of his best laid plans,
and tried to imagine what his creations might look like
two thousand years on, as the beauteous ruins they would be –
He knew that sandcastles stand the test of time
when they give themselves fully to the surf.

All ingenuity in the performance is lost to us
if we pull away to find strings
and the hands of the master,
which wring themselves, even at rest.
We must use our own fingers
to touch the face of the world
and leave what we’ve created
to phusis,
that which arises and empties
and arises again.
Outside of ourselves,
in the hands of nature,
there are the things we can’t control
and the things we think we can,
and they push against each other like the prodigal and the avaricious,
and we stand within the eye of the storm
with all we have wrung from the earth
as some great throne beneath us
and are content to believe we retain some command of things,
while le meilleur des mondes possibles
rumbles around us,
seasons in transition, and colors, in the same cycle,
and us, quaking, in fear and trembling,
while the flow of Mauna Kea touches water, slows, and turns black,
and in vapors
that progress does not always mean going forward;
that it may mean turning our back on time and letting it sweep us to parts unknown,
and that it may mean a return, and it may send us into the ocean,
but as we give ourselves fully to the surf we know we will stand the test of time;
we know that death feeds life;
we know that at death an oath is sworn
to feed the living, and be reborn.

About allisunknown

26 year-old student, tutor, and writer. Write for Also nascent pedestrian advocate. Twitter handles:
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2 Responses to The first and only time I thought of You

  1. Alli says:

    “progress does not always mean going forward”
    That reminds me of what we were talking about the other day, about how the future could be going in reverse, or passing us by. You know what I mean.
    You’re such a genius.
    I can hardly take it.

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