Place

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This world we have wrought would perhaps shock even Faust

Trading what is great and beautiful in us and the world for our pyrrhic victories

Losing our place between the great vaulted sky and the deep earth

It was our gift to dwell in the glory of things, as a note in the sacred song of the world

To share in the flesh of the world, as our ancestors before us had done

For we have not always been wretched, and when the night comes for the day of man

We may be able to say that there was some  beauty in us among the calamity

If you wish now for some greatness and beauty you must find that ancient place again

Not in the tortured world of “Man,” but where the cold blood of the old mountain runs

Where the great green pillars that hold the firmament may be found

Following the footsteps of the coyote or the great amber buck

Take the blade to your cherished “humanity,” cut it clean off 

Let your blood soak back into the dark soil, rejoining the beating heart of the world

This is our beauty, our greatness 


 

 

 

 

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Fires

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The sun rose red like blood, soaking the dawn in rich crimson

The distant mountains were clouded in a thick ashy-gray veil 

Murky silhouettes against the the red sky from spires of smoke adrift in the atmosphere

Flames consuming the forests to the east have built these vast spires of ash and smoke

Adornments atop temples of chaos and destruction 

And I have heard that in California too the fire is swallowing the world

Leaving a trail of charred ruination, black refuse from the guts of the world-eaters

And yet, the indescribable beauty of this sublime terror


 

 

Return


No longer to sense the sacred in things

Missing the divinity of the old river following its ancient steps

Missing the dark magic of the deep forest

Missing the ancient powers of the distant mountains

This is our wretchedness

To have grown blind to the staggering beauty of things, the divine glory of the inhuman

Our seeing clouded by our own mirages

So you shall let the mass die, lunging dream-driven back into oblivion

Like a passing flame in the world-fire

And leave behind your humanity, returning to that ancient source


 

Theology II


You may keep your dead god, that limp corpse strung up on the cross

I will take my living one, a god of earth, fire, water, air, and blood

Whose life is the swirling galaxies, and the pregnant voids between them

Whose life is the burning heart of the stars, and the spinning worlds

Whose life is the eternal cresting and falling of things, endless birth and death

More given to the limitless violence of eternal creation than stagnant grace

But rich in glory, in numinous wonder


 

 

 

Theology


And what is meant by the term “God”?

That which is all things, one life of infinite extension

The great body of the world which carves itself into its infinite parts

The unnameable beyond the One or the Many

The towering cedars and quaking ferns of the green forest

The quiet power of the deer and the ferocity of the wolf

The pulse of the old river and the stony bodies of the old mountains

The life that wakes the world in spring and the herald of death when the days grow cold

Even the dreaming and dying people are but a curious extension of that one life

This is what I mean when I speak of “God”

Nothing but the immense, living body of the world, a great elemental god

And this alone, the final, indomitable spirit of the cosmos


 

Turning


Sitting before the movements of the world

The lilting flight of a butterfly over the grass and brush

The endless bustling of the lives of the people

The warm summer breeze moving the cottonwoods

The song of the little swallows drifting from the trees behind me

And the faint laughter of children from a distant pool

Some miles away I imagine the meandering current of the old river

The multiform life of the rich emerald forest

And beyond that the more ancient life of the old stone peaks

All things turning endlessly, round the dark center


 

World-Song


The sound of the old river’s current lapping the gravel bed at my feet

And the summer sun painting undulating golden patterns on the river rock below the surface

The swallows are busy hunting over the body of the river 

The agile brown bodies moving with such graceful speed and power 

The sound of birds moves from the stands of cottonwoods from the forest behind me 

And the rustling of the canopy moved by the summer winds 

In quiet contemplation of the movements of things

An apprehension of the grand song of the world 

A glorious symphonic whole born of the chaotic interplay of its infinite parts


 

About Trees in the Wind


I have sat at the base of old Alders while the wind swept through the pillars of the forest

To watch how those old trees bowed before the power of the great wind

There is a surrealism about it, their strong and sturdy trunks,

Roused from their stillness as though joining the life of the world for the first time 


 

About a Tree


Gazing skyward, contemplating the black tendrils

Set against the subtle gray sky

And the wooden veins terminating in little fragments

Rich emeralds flitting in the wind

The sky darkening, pregnant with rain, and the little leaves quicken their steps

It seems to me that the world is as a great fire

And the things of the world like spires of flame 

Thrown up from the burning soul of the world


 

 

 

An Age of Monsters


I think that mankind’s war against the earth has only succeeded in killing the gentler gods

The gods in the old stories that were the friends of human beings

But man’s arrogance is great, and his power before the fury of the world limited

And he shall bring by his arrogance an age of monsters

The dark, cthonic powers risen from the bowels of the world

The monsters that have always haunted the worlds of men

The angry gods in the old stories, violent and cruel, world eaters

Enemies of the human race, these will be the gods of the future

And who would love the divine will have to learn to love the darker gods