Dog Star

 

The head of the animal lies athwart Sirius:

horrible visage that plays through the stars.

Orion trembles and raises his weapon

and blood courses dark through the archways of Mars.

The shroud of our beauty, the flesh that contains us

is thick with reality, luscious. . . sublime;

and sings to our hearts like the touch of a finger

within our thin passage through cosmos and time.

But truth in the shadows beyond our perception

grips mind with a paradox: Seer and seen

have been split from the focus, and fly from each other,

yet joined by a ligament, ghostly between.

Thus we dance through the darkness, imperiled by phantoms,

through galaxies thronged with the doubts of our hearts,

spun out from the center, through sound and confusion,

divorced from the comfort that stillness imparts.

Yet out of confusion and out of the darkness

and out of the terror: the beast of the night,

the soul lifts in wonder as truth shines triumphant:

sweet light of the universe, ageless and bright.

 

June 30, 1995