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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mysterious Shrine

standing in the dark stone cube of a perfectly preserved memory
you are close, very close beside me; and something
of that sensation persists even after the return
to this flat-roofed adobe dwelling without you;
stymied by the plethora of geometric designs to you,
and the intricately nibbed beadwork of your jewellery,
giving me perhaps most of all the deep reverence
for the forms of the land traced by an artisan of hand:

all these are part of your heritage to me; in which
I willingly inherit the sempiternal breath you give to me;
for your beauty understood creates beauty; it surrounds,
the heavens abound, cylindrical structures, cosmic aligned
studded stars, sunken lines placed on the sweetest lips,
in every secret grove where dappled light is found;
where architecture and workmanship reach their peak:
here is the logical place to begin exploration of ground;

where soft strands of curled redbush climb white slopes,
high branches of pine casting patches of precious shade,
fingernails floating in meadows of tiny rustling grass
that run right up to the foot of pink turfed cliffs,
and from the pinnacle's penumbra to the inglenook's decline,
as far as the eye can see there is no propinquity to escape
from the burning sun; and time itself seems to fall away
as we move across this terrain on the outposts of civilisation;

where we kneel together in place of worship and ritual,
a union most preternatural, laid out on silken fireboxes
soft and bare, flints that sire ceremonial drums of smoke
and the susurrous wandering of air, and the binding light
fallen from the flickering dome of night, yet we see by shadows
alone that shine equally bright; comets falling in a desert sky
intense; harsh grandeur, desolate magnificence into a lagoon
where the serenity of touch comes as blessed relief;

to the hushed, sheltered aura of your secret enclaves,
a paradise, a walled garden, to a door where I hold the key,
an almost perfect hemisphere of skin and sky, the mantle breaks
and the ever-flowing creek that runs along your canyon floor
grows ever more, supporting a ribbon of delicate grass
in the epicentre of the canyon's tight, narrow pass,
balancing the monumentality of the design with an exquisite,
almost fine gemlike firmness, a plumstone that shines,

and where every wall is sheathed inside and out in a kind
of vestigial, abstract mosaic of silken hairs that shade in tone
from salmon to blush crimson; incredibly beautiful patterns
of an empty waiting throne, where it derives its power
from more than its size alone; the blinding sun searches deep
into these crevices of rock arranged in perfect harmony
while the surrounding land forms a riparian shrine encircled
by sleeping lions that will wake at the softest tripwire touch,

but there is no better introduction to the beauty of its roar,
and the enduring mysteries of this spiritual and political capital,
which you taught me on your guided tour, and after you have spent
some time wandering through the shrine, you come to see how
carefully and lovingly planned all this is, and you fall in love
with its form: its perfectly aligned walls and the patterns of its
connected chambers, complex and finely articulated as honeycomb,

producing the sweetest honey for the industrious bee, consumed
by the lives and artistry of generations of busy lovers taking
private walks through these mysteries, abuzz of these delicate
cottonwoods, sheltering walls, the familiar scent of petrichor,
where there is ample compensation for the quality of the shrine
and the beauty of the setting alone, where the overall effect
is a grand, hypnotic unity; rocking together as the water ebbs,
frozen in the ephemeral cube of its perfectly preserved memory.

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