Below the sunshine on my face, kisses on my cheeks,
And thieves that test and sculpt the bones underneath.
Out I look, and in the ancient meanings stream.
Down beneath the flows are nothing they first seem.
There a bonded master waits, the unseen errand of the deeps.
I faintly see, but know its shape, the sinew black and brow of stone,
The orbs relaxed in deathly sight, a being hidden from the light,
A face loyal to one and further none.
Skeletal conviction looking out,
The war-struck servant just beneath my skin,
Holds midnight post inside my open eyes,
And when I sleep reports to secret grace.
Shadow-like the being climbs below.
A wiry body, fierce, but ghastly thin
Scales the cavernous abyss nobody else will brave,
Drawn by adoration like Gollum to his ring.
That minimum of string and bone descends
Not greed but love-consumed,
His flame inside burning to be spent.
Called down along the rock he picks his way.
“Love seeing anything you know is true,
Only to surrender to every tiny bit,”
Echoes in the inner spaces far from pain or preference,
As deep into the gloom descends the rames of a man’s honour.
Through a dark and narrow pass he pulls his frame,
Toward the inmost chamber of the deep,
Blind to one past thought or name,
There in sheer light, he none will keep.
That shadow-being in me takes all,
Returning to a true and all-providing core.
I listen for that faint and perfect call.
I know what is required and ask for more.
(Featured image by Judith Labelle)