1963 etching by Salvador Dali
First published in "Like A Woman Falling" ©2004, the following poem, inspired by a dream, is based upon the myth of IO as told by Ovid in "Metamorphoses".
IN A DREAM SHE LAY STILL
inside what she couldn't see one thousand eyed in two or three
the egg hatched when the eagle maid
in black, remade in gold...
Last night She dreamt an alchemy, She dreamt
neither me nor mine. She dreamt
herself and when that died
She left her eyes behind. He said
This forest burns
burns high in the heavens, see
every tree is blackened
to its tips. He said
Pick that up
and so, someone leaned over the edge and reached
high in the heavens low
and picked from the tallest tips of the blackened pines
someone looking just like me pitched out
and thus drew in two boughs, two boughs, both dead
one black, one gold, one ash and one
whose blossoming did hold. They are dead
someone looking just like me then said.
He said, "Separate them!" And, I did, while he went on
and on and on―an on-to-say, a story. The fires de-story
everything tis true, as this fire, this terrific fire did you
but look what you now hold. Downwardlooking
I lifted two boughs, both were dead
Separation changes things. Now that you know this
you will, too. Now you must get away quickly...
(is this a quickening a-go?) Go!
Get away with this saying-thing! And so
I jumped into a heap between two gents
a father and a son. What a mess!
that leap, this heap, these men
the son was driving
(too close to the edge)
the father's face kept changing―he had three!
(none of which I liked) but, that
didn't stop me from interacting
and all the while we were climbing.
And, we kept climbing, up a slippery slope
conforming to its curl, the dash tilting such
that water kept flowing toward us while curving
to the dash. The son was driving
on the outside where the three of us sat...
and the cab began leaking...from the in-side out.
Everything's a mess, I thought, yet,
is adhering so. The boy
reached out and slurped a sliding slip of a sip
from the dash. It was a mad dash! Such a bad water
a mad-lad, sad-bad water!
Turns out dad hauls manure.
(It was his truck the boy was driving.)
"Are you sure he knows how," I asked
just as we parked.
I got out as quick as I could
parked like we were on that iffy cliff
cleft with crevices and rocks and a high house
built upon stone. Some folks were home
a girlfriend I knew came out
we rushed into each other's arms
and each other's laughter. Oh, the things
you have been saying, she said.
I know. Don't you love it, the things I say?
They want to know how on earth
you do it, get away with that say. They want
to learn those sayings, too. I said
Oh, that is simple
then I showed them all. You let IT
form the picture. You let IT do the work.
Let it as IT, and IT will let you.
It opened then in the work they were
working on them. All the right colors bled, too
in the one I drew, which I used in example
I let the paint do its own painting, I said.
Then we watched and we saw that the paint did.
IT showed up and showed through and showed
quite a show―My! All those eyes!
Which formed into forms that died dry
in a day scene. But, just before they did...
in the center of the seen a black thing formed
and it began to grow
and this black thing formed into a bird
a bird in flight rising from a
red, red sorry sort of spot
surrounded in a circularity of gold
from where it hatched.
Seems eggs hatch when we
return a story.
And so, no body's sorry
about jumping into that
truckload of sh-sh...stuff
nor about exposing people
to all those black things bleeding
through their own red-dead, dead red
messin' with those guys...even though
(somebody still thinks that driver needs lessons)
Hera's Eyes, stephanie pope from "Like A Woman Falling" ©2004
5 days ago