Tuesday, December 19, 2006

289. The Known Unknown - Pattiann Rogers

Some unknowns we can identify––
the untraversed knife-rare ravines
and gorges, the unmapped inner-salt
canyons of an iceberg mountain extending
downward beneath the brief blue spear
of its crag visible above the polar sea.

There are unnamed species
of rainforest beetles, undiscovered,
and, though I myself have never seen them
and therefore cannot truthfully
be said to know them, I believe
in the cosmos of roots composing
subterranean forests of aspen
and pine beneath the forest
where I walk.

None of us will ever know
how a crystal of honeysuckle honey
feels on the tongue off the digger bee.
We will never collect the flowers
of the field daylilies mowed under
in their buds, nor realize any god
whose divinity is left unproclaimed.

There is something a little rapturous
in contemplating the unheard portion
of the phoebe's call, the portion
that might exist beyond this evening's
call were the phoebe to push a measure
further into another realm of itself.
And despite always remaining unknown,
it might be pleasurable to imagine
the sound of Plato's voice, the touch
of Mary's hand, or how it might be
to kiss the blind eyes of Homer, the living
lips of Arthur the King.

The unknown yet known also is vast,
residing from the beginning in the acumen
of the fingertips, the discernment
of the eye, inherent to the unspoken
canon of careful footsteps.

Yet, though I worship it, this
is most fearful to me, being nothing
more than the look of its letters,
the sound of its words: the unknown

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