Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Jacob's Ladder (Feb. 10, 2005)

No one knows where
this ladder goes, nor
even much sees its
isle to isle travail;
yet each shore is
certainly a rung
which greets the foot
with iambs of wild
blue, changing both
voyage and its pilot
into a deeper, stranger
meld, old firmaments
confused and waking
less solitary or
solid than ever.
See: my hand here
on the page has become
a ferryman of sorts,
hauling the next day’s
sentience from one mind
to some other, its
end wrapped further
in fish-tails and riot,
the mysteries entangled
there at once history
and poetry and you.
Each travel here
is another rung on
some rising or falling
stair, depending on
which way I clasp
the wave which crashes
everywhere you
curve and curl and
leaven. I hardly
recognize the singer
any more after
all the songs, his
patronage a soak,
his origins revoweling
for new ends no one
knows the breadth
or depth or heft of.
No one knows which
ladder that they climb,
nor whether even next
steps were meant to
be taken in the span
of just one life:
No one sees the last
rung or is allowed
to report on back
the view -- surely the
widest span of blue --
one unlike any espied
from a masthead or
tossed bed, deeper
and wilder than any
shore this pen will
reach and name, though
each day I try again.
Perhaps ten thousand
ladders in one work
will get me high enough
to graze that wild night
when all heaven broke
out in a tumult of angel
wings - or was it a spring
river? -- ten thousand
lives ago: And there
upon that daring ledge
find grip enough to
find the rung which
rises and voyages on
beyond what that
one kiss began.


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