Monday, December 7, 2009

Restless Dust

To speak or remain silent is a choice
that we can make, but not to stay the mind
behind the restless words; thought, spoken or
set down, is a more stringent discipline.
To ignore or be deaf to unwelcome
news is a choice that suits our purpose best,
when mind will not be still at our command.

The impulses of mind are never still,
but flash and scintillate unseen behind
the dull screen of habitual response.
In sleep, the music continues to play,
albeit in quiet whispers, rustling through
old leaves, fallen memories of past lives
real or imagined, rolling stones in streams

Layer on layer of semblances and signs
are sifted and arranged into the past,
discarded or held ready for fresh use
when light and sound stream in through tiny gates
with the endless question, is this a new
configuration or is it déjà vu,
or maybe unreliable memory?

The wind that is not restless is no wind
at all, but an improbable average
of air's gasses in equilibrium,
its motion independent of all sound
until mouths and ears make their messages
heard above the atmosphere's unceasing roar,
adding meaning where there was none before.

How calm the seas would be without the winds
to stir the surface into waves and spume,
like the mind endlessly disturbed by sense
to respond with motions in its defence
against real or imagined enemies,
or seek out ways to preserve the idea
that the cacophony it knows is real.

Deep beneath the earth, massive changes ebb
and flow, fissures form and mountains slowly
grow, unnoticed until the sudden strain
tears earth, sea and sky into a new Hell
for the tiny creatures scurrying below:
and in the brain, the subterranean
forces slumber, until they burst out too.

The Sun, so calm from where we stand, is the
paradigm of violent motion, restless
in its fearsome grandeur, implacable
in its burning majesty, so that we,
insignificant children of the stars
seem just like ephemeral motes of dust
rising and falling in a fading beam.

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