Each time has a special place
And every such place has its time.
When nature seethes with strangeness
Where the mind in exquisite isolation halts itself and listens
For the rumblings of a something large and not easily defined -
Stop! Softly now, feel how close it is.
Something's coming, be assured, that can't be held in words,
Imprisoned by our comprehension.
Nothing to do now but wait and see...
Now here we stand at the conjunction
Milling about and ignoring ourselves
Like so many motes of dust hanging before a bright windowpane
Illumined by the sharp cold light of dusk, gathering and sliding
Across that vast empty horizon just beyond
And still we wonder deep down
How best to pass these years or moments
Until we turn to look on our creations,
Those children of our thoughts,
Face to face, without defenses
There's a beast in need of killing here
Of that no one doubts
But the name of the thing...
There's the rub.
What is it makes a body
Inured to the blood and fire
The pain and rage
The beauty and the folly
Of the Age it helped engender
And tremble at the smallest of things
The least of the pities and frail sorrowful occurances
With which this world is etched and circumscribed?
Is it the breath of conscience
Or the sharper inspiration of fear?
Perhaps the two conspire within us
Contending for possession
Of our human souls, at once so noble and so abject,
The fitting residence for violent emotion.
Ask me not for the answer; I too join in the dance of confusion.
The beast is still there, and it's ours
It needs to die before the dawn can come,
Bringing us its meanings and its hopes
Seeming so dim and distant
But coming nonetheless.
Remember now, it's a long, long way we've come from yesterday
Back when we huddled and wondered in our vague, childish way
From where we had come and to where we must go
What we need search and what we could know
And even then we affirmed, and some as loudly denied
We must stand firm against the onrushing tide
Of expectation and labor come 'round to fruition
Bearing down the completion of our lonely mission.
So on we wait.
The flutterings of anticipation pass so slow and fine
Felt at most as a tiny unease
Slow spreading ripples in a quiet clear stream,
Or the light breeze kissing the face
Of the heavily sedated patient,
Still there with us always,
Silent and vital as our heartbeats.
Look sharp now
That beast is still there,
And it's ours,
Formlessly waiting like smoke in a mirror.
Copyright © William Masonis