Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Beginnings by Michael Brownstein

BEGINNINGS
 
You know everything has its own inherent qualities. Mine are to be deep and hard to cross.
                                    —King of the Ocean to King Rama in Phi Kah Phi Lam
 
FIRST
 
I have the strangest dreamslide.
Images slip like smiles through landscapes
of fence and caressed brush.
I never imagined a line of hose could stretch so far
or that I could run as fast as the spray of water.
 
Everywhere is a story sky
and the Tree of Life misplaced in the Garden of Eve
comes to seed as stock root reinventing itself after the picking,
comes to fruit like the head of Bathala after the burying.
 
Look to the herb bunched with yellowed fingers.
Study the face of the coconut.
Find the slits in the bamboo.
Seek out the crevices in rock and cave.
 
And the tears of the lonely giant
drip into wings, feather into birds,
fly to the bamboo in the first valley
attracted to each other, attracted to quiet song.
They have not yet found voice to sing,
but they are hungry for it, finding softness
in the hardest of bamboo.
Malakes and Maganda
slide to wholeness.
As a gift to freedom, the first People
give to the birds the first songs. So it is and
so it is for later and later.
 
Everything has order,
the luck of Kannon and the Elephant God,
the blue mist of the Weaver Maid.
Bathala looks like us.
 
SECOND
 
this crossing of stars
a slicing of moon
the one friend of Bathala
someone else I will never meet.
 
THIRD
 
I’m thinking we’re thinking we’re someone else.

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