Sunday, January 22, 2017

When Time is a Cave

—Photo by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

(After “Arctic Heart” Poem Cycle by Gretel Ehrlich)
—Joyce Odam
She is the dancer made of light.
He is the shadow to which she molds.
Both are the same movement,
entwined and separate.

Folds and folds of soft blue envelop them:
the sky and the sea; the blue earth into which 
they evolve.

Softly the music follows like the echoes of old 
voices, the lost sad cries, and the repetitions.
These are the hands of air reaching toward other 
self—endlessly there; they open
and close like mouths of wordlessness.
This is the grope of silences worn over
hearts of joy and hearts of sorrow.
Nothing will ease the tension of love.
It is the dance.

She goes toward a motion in the dark.
He follows. It is another blue.
Another cloth of time.
It hangs still, then billows.
The living creatures of sorrow appear
and are vain. They want their turn.
They flow and lift in exquisite precision.
They steal the dance; and the ones
who cannot dance steal them.
It is an agony of souls
who have found each other.

Light is the ghost here, repeats itself
until the floating is memorized
and the sensation is known,
even as the next movement begins.
The blue cloth does not end; it is 
the mother of weeping;
it contains all there is of invisible music
that comes from everywhere.

She is weariness that does not exist.
He is the alter-energy. Together they
form a continuation even as the stage
becomes what they escape from
and what they escape to.
Put the two bodies together now
before they dissolve past recognition—
blue ice and white ice—black ice—
the scar of their experience,
or is this only another recognition?
A ghost face with bleak eyes looks in to
the room where they dance. It is a dream. The 
face is an old bone sculpture.
Its presence is inevitable.
They dance to it and around it.
Mirrors do not live here.
They long ago lost their meaning
became the continuous blue
through which another color insinuated.
The ache of cold waits for them to
end this futility. She will refuse it—
contorts to suggest the agony of self.
There is a trust to remember;
it borrows light to repair light.
The curtain tears again.
Light will mend it.
Nothing pours in but more blue.
It is the music.
Love is the experience;
they give it to one another,
tell it again all winter, when time is a cave, when 
there is nothing but
the one word to say to each other.
Now their motion swirls like echoes,
though they are motionless.
Light pours around them, melting.
The vast blueness extends beyond silence. Time 
quivers and is gone. Applause.

—Medusa (thanks, Joyce!)

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.