Before time began, before this creation of light
and from a slab of darkness hewn the day and the night,
there was direction, we’re told, with the Spirit of God
hovering not below nor to the left or right, but directly above
the formless and empty darkness of the deep.
Before land and sea, before fish and feather;
before stars erupted from black firmament to watch over the night,
before Man arose from dust there was only one direction
with the eyes of darkness staring not down nor to the left or right
but upward at the silent and golden mouth of God, waiting for words
to flow in a river of light and syllables flooding the deep with poetry
and tempo and time on this, our very first day of eternity.
Before hate and war, before homeland, country and king;
before death and taxes and this millennium of madness,
there was direction clear and true: North and South, East and West
were but one direction with man rising from a cloudy crucible
of dust and breath blown into this sack of blood and bones,
this body stretched upon the rack of time, crowned and bejeweled
as a king to rule over the stones and trees, the mountains and seas,
and every creation’s heartbeat.
We squandered the miracle but survived this mortal mishap.
We murdered our jealousy, buried it deep in the ground
while ravens decreed loudly our dark secret and black blood
(a brother’s blood, our own blood)
drained into the roots and blared like trumpets from the tops of trees.
I carry that ancient wound in my chest,
a blood-red flower blossoming in pain.
We built our cities east of here, raised the temple walls
stacked high with stones mined from the basement of time.
We worshiped false gods, bowed down to idols of bronze
and carved stone, chased after animal spirits and spoke
to the mountains and trees. We worshiped Sun and Moon,
cut out hearts and hurled virgins at the dawn to defeat the night.
The road’s future lies in that past just east of here,
up arterial rivers and across jagged mountains,
down into the Fertile Crescent flooded by this century’s flow
of boisterous blood screaming from beneath the ground,
crying out from the ancient temples buried and lost
beneath an avalanche of pummeled sand and blinding heat
destroyed in the wake of metallic clamor, rattling sabers
and the roaring rhetoric of those public tigers
now freed from their cages, hungry and roaming about
while all the missiles in the silos
vibrate like obscene radioactive dildos.
East of here lies the promise of man
broken like teeth biting down upon stone,
broken like two towers collapsing to dust;
lost but not forgotten
this harvest of shattered bones
planted deep and growing still
into the gnarled roots of ancient trees
with the Spirit of God now hovering
not above nor below, nor to the left or right
but inside each of us, near and anchored
to the eternal darkness of the deep where
like tiny gods we must demand:
“Let there be light!”
and allow our voices to create the world anew again,
create the world anew again.