I would like to go back to the days when, after a fire reduced a commericial building to charred rubble, the onlookers and the gawkers wondered if it was an angry customer or employee, or sloppiness or poor maintenance.
Now, we watch as the fire marshals comb through the ashes and the rubble, looking not only for the source of the flames but also the accelerant, always wondering as we do just how the business was doing and if not well, did the owner at least pay up on his fire insurance.
I stooped and spoke to a stone, asking the question. I was here before you arrived and I will be her long after you leave. I held the sand in my hand warm from the sun, asking the question. I came after your arrived and I will leave long before you are gone. I held the winter wind on the tip of a finger, asking the question. I am not here now and I have never been here. I touched the waters to my lips, asking the question. I was above you when you came and I will be below you when you go. I saw the flames dance before me, asking the question. You were ashes once and you shall be ashes again. I stood mired in the clay clinging to my legs, asking the question. It is of me you were formed and it is to me you will return. I sat at the foot of God blinding light, asking the question. You cried to me at birth and you will cry to me at death.
He watched as the flame licked at the lip of the candle, the wax slowly conceding and falling in, forming the cradle on which the flame danced. He wondered how something as simple as a wax cylinder could have an inherent knowledge of beauty and simplicity and yet he stared at it certain the knowledge was there. He dared not put out the flame for he could not deprive the night of this momentary beauty when it’s love, the moon had chosen to retreat leaving the stars to mock their small, immature brother.
I saw the sun rise this morning over Mt. Hood, the glow that announced to the horizon its approach. There should be in the life of every man, every woman, that moment when seeing dawn lift, peel back the shroud from Mt. Hood causes the sudden intake of just that much extra breath that like the sky’s morning flame we are consumed by the moment.
The Royal Poinciana is in full bloom, its brilliant flame has led the sun to take jealous refuge in the clouds but we know not to be complacent.
Mother nature it is said, and we are loathe to argue, can be at times the most fickle of bitches and we suspect that it will not be long before she brings forth still another tropical storm, a tantrum in which the jacaranda’s beauty must cede to her repressed envy, scattered at our feet, a warning, perhaps, but nonetheless a moment of beauty that even nature cannot deny us.
The room is awash in words, they pile up in corners, form untidy stacks that perpetually threaten collapse, strewing consonants like shards of ill broken glass. It might not be this way, for words need order, a rubric in which they are forced to operate. But here, in a room of poets, anarchy is the sole grammar, and in the face of order someone throws a Molotov cocktail as we are all consumed in the flame of self passion.
When we finally allow night to settle in around us, and we curl together in anticipation of sleep, we fit comfortably, but with no less passion than when we first did this, but a passion tempered by less need for flame, more for warmth and a gentle caress. We could not have anticipated this, and still it seems quite natural, the fulfillment of the promises we exchanged, these vows held sacrosanct and beyond value. In the morning, when we repeat this, we know that from that moment the day still holds infinite promise.