Saturday, January 4, 2014

οὐρανός Burning - A Poem by Ric Couchman

The Arts: Poetry---

οὐρανός Burning
by
Ric Couchman


"I would have gone willingly."














I
And the question, "Have you considered...?",
And then the consideration,
And then the game...the game began.
The dice were rolled, six all told.
He had called odd,
And I became his to prod
Like a pliant and docile cow.
With "heroic carelessness and lightheartedness"
He gambled on my soul and won.
But there was no need, no need at all;
I would have gone willingly.
Willingly would I have given my soul
For the Confliction,
For the Contrary,
For the Contradiction,
To the Fire, to Agni,
To Him.
I had had enough of the other one,
The old one with the perpetual frown,
Dressed always in interminable white,
He who had made me his footstool
Upon which to rest his feet,
Upon which to rest
His lame, varicosed feet.
It was his idea, this game of dice,
Perhaps in a puerile moment of caprice,
Losing me without regard for the price.
Fire, Fire, Burn!
Burn, Burn, Burn!
Play the harmonica while Heaven burns.

II
This sulfurous descent is stifling.
He assumed my moral excellence.
I cannot breathe...
I was not what he thought I was.
I cannot breathe...
He took the risk, and sealed my fate,
I cannot breathe...
Pinning his hope on my uprightness.
Air, Air is what I need.
So down we plunge, engulfed
In an oppressive and palpable suffocation,
Engulfed in the darkness...the thick darkness,
The horror of a thick darkness.
Something good will come of this, I am certain.
Can we pretend we are lovers?
You won me, but I chose You first,
My Dark falling Star,
Falling...falling into a doomed and happy oblivion.
Can we kiss this nightmare away?
Tell me something good will come of this.
Fire, Fire, Burn!

III
Bless me, Father,...
In this dark and cramped enclosure.
Alas! I still thirst.
The Water from the stoup of stone
Quenched me not.
In the entrance I stood and drank.
I poured the Water over my head,
And still I am not pure,
Still I am not cleansed...
For I have sinned.
I cannot recall the last time...
The fault is mine; the choice was mine.
He won me, but I chose Him first,
My Dark fallen Star of the morning.
That Law, Father,...that tablet of stone,
Does it say anything about a daughter's wife?
She is not my neighbor;
I am her mother - I gave her life.
She is my offspring.
I coveted my daughter's wife.
The Water covers my head.
Pulled down by the millstone,
I cannot breathe,
I cannot breathe...
Air, not penance, Air is what I need.
Burn, Burn, Burn.

IV
You came to me in a dream,
And I reached out to touch you,
Hoping you would stroke my hair once again,
But you retreated into the darkness.
Then there you were again
Dancing with dogs and with that He-goat,
My Lightening falling from Heaven,
Cut down by you to the ground.
I reached out to touch you,
Hoping you would call my name, as before,
And again you retreated into the thick darkness,
Leaving resentment in your wake.
I had let you down, for I chose Him.
And my Bhumi, my Earth, opened up--
For it was time, the time of harvest.
My Mother, my Earth, opened her arms to embrace me,
As if to say, "All is good."
As if to say, "You are safe; all is well."
And indeed something good will come of this,
Will it not?
For goodness is in plentiful supply,
And wickedness is scarce and in demand--
And appears the more valuable.
But it is time, and everything must return.
Ashes to Dust, and Dust to Earth.
It is time; the time has come,
But everything will be born again,
Will they not?
Promise me; promise me,
That everything will be born again.
Play the harmonica while Heaven burns.

[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]