Spousal Discovery

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/17/08

The density of foliage here prevents the eyes
From reading movement as a recessional
Progression, darks and lights, with somnambulistic
Slyness, ceaselessly shaking to pieces
In the breeze, and regrouping as mosaics,
Only to tremblingly shatter once again,
A wall of insubstantial lights, that yet remains a wall.
With sound it is different. The birdsongs, busily
Exaggerating the foreground, lead us to where
The eyes cannot pierce, their spiraling figurations
Suddenly bringing us face to face with an unlooked for
Encounter. Surface and depth, a duel movement
Of skittering brightness plumbed by indigo holes,
Hornpipe ditties mixing with grave-digger tunes,
Their music taking us far beyond the backyard garden’s
Merely domestic charm. Now we arrive,
Unwittingly, at a place where uncertain greens
And vaporous blues give way to the emphatic
Scarlet of a path, threading its way through
Doubt. As we go in and down, we are
Transformed, each one of our many human
Skins scraped off, not by abrasion, but by
Realization, until only what is obvious still shines.
That occasional glint of the green moon
Stabbing through broken windows is far behind
Us, and before us, an ebony sheen,
A place where the old have arrived
By traversing the lips of dizzying cliffs,
And where all dead mouths lie choked with garbled weeds.
Here what is most meaningful and succinct
Awaits us in an interior cavern, whose only
Furnishing is a stony bed, whose only occupant,
The shadow bride — scorn and affection, laughter
And lamentation, and the whole body,
With all of its joys and pains, finally fitted
In her close embrace.

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