Friday, May 25, 2012


How long does it take to learn the nuances of your love,
the DNA of her breath and the way clouds cast shadows
over her eyes, so that in the grey light of day she is still
something of night,
something of dreams
that you recall for many years, but only in fragments.

It must take decades, perhaps, to learn such nuances and
so few of us, it seems, have the patience to endure, to
tolerate our own surprise at the smallest of discoveries and 
accept such tiny moments
as the progress of our love.
A simple half-step and there you are.

It takes a lifetime to grasp the simple, longer still to know yourself.

Artists still flock to the Amalfi Coast to capture the
incomprehensible Mediterranean light. Perched on the
fragmented, chaotic cliffs one constantly hedges against
the persistent lure of
tumbling downward, seaward,
ending in the transcendental need to climb back up.

One feels the downward pull, too, of the falls at
Niagara, the existential suction of so much water that
you are left breathless in the perpetual vacuum. Even
there one might observe the
rebellious mist that lifts upward,
miniscule tears of preposterous hope.

Drop your baggage here and you will rise up, too.

Language will eventually fail to provide the words necessary to
describe everything. Left to our silences we will momentarily
accept the world for everything it is and fails to be. Some might
confuse such insight with
enlightenment, forgetting that
at least part of bliss is walking on coals.

On storm-laden days you might see a ray of sunlight that pierces
dark clouds, or filters through spring’s pale leaves at sunset or dawn.
Such rays make even the dying chaff and dirt of forest floors
something to worship.
Something on which to kneel,
bury your fingers, look skyward, cleansed by that singular light.

Let the one who reminds you of sunlight be sunlight.

c. 2012, by Martin A. Bartels (working draft)
Part of my new collection, “Unlanguage.”

1 comment:

  1. Truly beautiful Martin - a pleasure to read. If, as you say, a working draft - I cannot see how it can be bettered.

    Anna :o]