ELEMENTALS

DAN BEACHY-QUICK


To clear, conceals—
every act of clearing

every nearing
endures a new form of distance it tries

to endear—wisdom is
in learning not to listen so as to overhear

the accidental
world speaks itself asleep

 

When present they are missing
as is the soul held in mud

not knowing how to speak is
is not knowing how to listen

is is

the little gold, the large earth

 

What in the eye is clear
the ear mistakes—

world that is world for all—

wisdom is what keeps words
away from thinking

too close the names—

rocks that caught in heaven’s
circles glow, or empty bowls
filled with fire—

the stars don’t know

 

The mind and every
creature driven to pasture by blows—

first water, then fire
then strife, then atoms, then logic,
then the long truce of grass—

heart’s old chaos—
closes behind it the gate it is the gate—

mind the world meadows

 

One
dies to become another one

motherless the atoms

the earth is good and
bad

the stupid don’t see what they see—
the blind see more—

the voice that calls me dumb
comes from the sun—

staring blind the eye that stares

 

Throws its square
on the bare wall

where in the little square of light
I think of the little square of light—

a kind of emptiness or is it
the sun’s discarded geometry

not subject to, not object of—

someone becomes the beginning
every day of his own desire,
or is it his demise—

as a tree becomes an apple
and truth, a tooth

 

I searched myself—
for a river, for some earth—
but what loves to hide

hides
even me from myself hides

as I believe the
clouds hide their harm deep

living the sun’s death
and the cloud’s being dead
is the other’s life—

is the other’s life, life—
the riddle comes as a circle—

the heart is a circle
is a thought the brain thought

it thought

 

The limit is there
inside doom and this labor
of serving the one you rule—

self, child—

time plays checkers
to pass the time—

breath kindles and puts out
the brightnesses of eyes

 

Sleepers work in
under the common law—

a fire there of their own
making masks solitude
as light, as heat—

dark conjures a world
no one shares, a heart
to climb into and close

behind, a voice—
a man calls his child, child—

the terror-marvels,
those gods call him baby

 

Inside the sun every day
irises rise
initiates to the green inch—

there are other mysteries
not your own—

small death mixed in with wine
and the dragonfly catching fire

but what is known is not
holy—

praying to images as if
the image was not a stone

washing the body in mud
or blood

muttering the word atone—

apology is not the star’s tune

 

Those gods, those goods, they go
drifting through my ignorance—

the wind lifts a little
her hair that hangs before her eyes
my daughter—

the dog barks at him he doesn’t
know—

fool at every word I flutter—

there is too much of this
life of which
there is never enough