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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Body Gospel

The Body Gospel

A Temple for Unity

1

I came into the world
to preach this gospel:
I am a temple; I am a dwelling place
of the spirit, where no shame abides
and where an eternal child resides --

my body will be a wedding banquet
for the bride of my soul, for the One
where we'll become one: where Apollo's son
will give up his throne to Neptune's daughter
and to joy beyond all desire,
dowered to rule forever.

2

I'm an encasement of skin -- not sin --
an archive of scars and marks, outside and in,
of sudden rushes and remembrances,
a royal court to hold an audience of touches
in which the body responds

with ceremonies and dances,
and the movement of hands filled
with copious applause that sometimes stills
in awe; I'm a building on loan that owes
to the people living in it, who bestow
a certainty of existence
in a place it doesn't own.

3

I'm a house of breathing,
made to come alive by other
souls living and believing in me; a
ubiquity of spirit, a reminder that
reality is a mere container of part of the all,
encompassing only the bricks and mortar

that isn't just another side of a living
room wall, but a glorious landscape in flood,
in which angels and devils war and their blood
soaks to the very passions of skin, stoking
hearths on smouldering fire,
a walking synonym of searching hunger --

labouring across forests and coasts,
over all boundaries, the soul traipses in
vistas real, imaginary and temporary,
ever singing the body gospel,
songs in praise to join people;

and of its greater world, of which it
lines but one sentence of a greater story,
in a greater library.

_____________

Love Come to the Body

when you are near me
love comes to this body,

love comes like the blood to my very
skin and veins, working its way

unseen deep within to fill me;
transfusing you into me through

every particle of my being,
I'm suffused with you;

all that is left of me
remains in name only.

_____________

O, Land of Love

there is a land
between molten white hills
that flame in the distance
like starlight, and where I become void in the arms
of its night, and by day its light
drives me on relentlessly;

where the soft tread of its earth
wakens my conqueror’s blood
in discovery and rediscovery;
where each touch of its soil makes me think I'm some kind
of Christopher Columbus, believing
I have discovered a brave, new world

to conquer and convert all ills; I'm delusional --
my eyes hot to see such a fertile patch
lying heavenly so moist in view,
its remembered smell like the agony of longing, of coming
home -- O, land of love, the course to you
is filled with such purpose,

and a field of rosebuds beneath the dew,
I walk in a magical place -- how can air
touch earth to make fire? --
strummed on by a two-beat melody, pushed on by a desire
to get to that cloister
for my daily prayer; here --

there is such a land, where
Catullus wrote his lyrics to Lesbia,
pleading with her to share
a thousand kisses; so many as to lose all sense of air,
and where the rain simply inflames
the burning red sun,

and where the playful stick out
there tongues to catch
the falling sunburnt rain,
as the bellybutton of the sky becomes a shining canopy,
casting its light from above
in this land of love.

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