Below, Above

By Roy Doughty
Written 11/28/07

A night of perfected clarity, bright stars, bright moon,
A neighborhood of frozen light shafts,
Strong enough to elucidate individual leaves,
The gold of autumn canonizing the house with its nimbus.
In this moment, there is enough stillness to allow
The one lover who experiences this hunger
To forget the great sheet of galvanized steel
That is beaten and beaten by the giant,
To forget how the hoards of consumers,
Like tiny beads, are set in motion by those mechanical vibrations,
Who must go where the thumping tells them to go,
Arrogantly in the din, thinking that it is their din,
Always hollering: “I am, and I am free,”
Always puffed out with the felicity of felicities,
The automaton’s false belief in autonomy.
Yet, there is a hole, a flaw in the ceaseless beating,
And though it is only the size of a single bead,
The lover finds this hole and falls below the din.
The fall creates a deep awakening.
Here is a new level of stillness, inhabited solely by the one
Whose hunger has enveloped him in stillness.
He looks up: there, there and there, there are stars,
And there, the moon, and there the single leaf.
Here, gold is ringed by silver, and here, below the thunder,
All hunger ceases. It is here that the tiny bead at last finds freedom,
And becomes a person again as vast as the night.

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