Wednesday, January 21, 2009

765. For Thomas Hardy - Dennis Haskell

Start with simple things:
Grass, the earth, the roots of grass.

Perhaps meaning is found
Only in the minute perception
Of old and familiar objects.

What more do you have?
If you wish to discover
The Gods you must look
To things, not into
Your own mind.

And be specific: kikuyu, the dark soil.
Our discordinate minds
Shake at the roots:
If you wish to construct a religion
Choose nothing more solid than water.

Because this can be counted on
To move, and to capture
Every angle contained in colour.

Because everything breaks down
Into perception , the onrush of light
Running toward and across our eyes.

Because this is opposed to
The assumption that perfection exists
Whatever perfection might mean to us: hands
Untouched by wrinkles, grass
That spreads untiring shoots like green fingers
Whose knuckles never coarsen,
A life of no conceivable pain.

But the mind holds colour
Spreading from somewhere outside the mind;
Light breaks onto our eyes
And leaves us simple things: earth and water,
Suffering, joy, the roots
Of a coarse religion.