Spells Spoken at Dawn
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances
confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live
the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours."
Conclusion to Walden, Henry Thoreau
Say the words, go on, say them: e-lu-ci-date.
Divulge the unfettered stream of synonyms
for a good day (benevolent, satisfactory, excellent,
virtuous, merciful, prime, effective, productive, choice),
the very finest kind, sun quickening
through the blinds in new dawn,
(beginning, daybreak, sunup, aurora, cockcrow),
a hastening of gossamer hope
(optimism, faith, confidence, trust, wish, aspiration,
desire). Seek that place,
nebulous dream (vision, incubus, imagination, muse)
come true in the seeking itself.
Pronounce it begunthe soft delirium.
Call it donethe undoing,
the initial mess of gathering seed,
choosing the grains one by one, the plump
and promising ones, firm to the touch,
eager for the field (clearing, pasture, realm, domain,
blank white page, unmarred)
of the day ahead, a radiant reverie
of possibility, a harvest
even before the hull splits in two, the root
feathering into delicate threads that grasp
(hold, squeeze, caress) the earth to suck
(breathe deeply and inhale)
its life-giving vigor, startle of life,
and you (every dawn, each one)
the sprouting urchin with buckling knees
standing, again, for the very first time.
As it happened, the fuses blew,
burning our fingertips
passing fireworks from hand to hand.
Sparklers fizzing, a childish joy,
living stars sizzling white light,
writing our names across the sky.
It’s a common need:
the desire to leave an imprint,
sign a name to a lifetime
before it turns to the grit and gravel,
bone chips, of memory pounded to dust.
Passage of time, clouded by old desires,
an irresistible rewriting of history.
I would rather have been
a finer grain of intoxicant,
enough to fuel moon rockets
beneath your skin.
You would rather have dared
to reach for more meaning,
holding out the courage of a straw man
playing with matches.
The cripplings of human nature,
Don Quixotes fighting windmills.
Everyday fare, but we play instead
with sparklers, pyrotechnics,
blazes of Roman candles,
cones of fire, fountains of liquid flame,
writing a momentary name across sky,
there, then not.