“All things transient are but a parable.”
– Goethe, Faust
These books are killing me he thought.
The sun has risen, the bell tolls eight.
I’ve tried to learn before it’s late.
I woke to feel I could not breathe
So took both dog and my leave.
Been talking loud for hours now
To no one but the clanging sound
Of whether I should go or stay
To hear the lightning have its say.
“Where,” it asks, “was I before
I flashed across the coming day?”
But now the sun has risen up.
I sense the answer calls me out
To shout at someone close to me
That living is a dark unknowing
Far beyond your reach, my friends,
Sitting there boxed and self-assured
Neatly stretched along the walls.
It is true you enclose this room,
Give it a stately sense, a hint
That the one who uses it
Is wise, knows, has learned from you
Those answers held within.
We both know better.
“Where,” the lightning asked, “was I before
I flashed across the darkening dawn?”
So I came to the place
Where the lady lay waiting
Under the weeping sky.
Who are you looking for?
The gardener asked the lady at the tomb.
But she too could not recognize the living
Man, the fierce voice speaking
Those breathtakingly lovely words:
Do not cling to me.
Do not cling. Let go
And tell the others
That you will not find your truth
Living among the dead, images and words
Woven subtly down the page.
For you, dead letters.
So on and on I walked, asking,
Where was I before that room
Where answers were my tomb
And where I wondered day and night
Before I wandered lost in fright?
“Where,” the lightning sighed, “was I
Before I flashed across the sky?”