TOCCATA ON A THEME BY PAUL ZECH



Tear my tongue from its roots: I shall not need it –
I will still have hands to praise my island existence.
It becomes all, is all, and passes through into me
as though its living colonnades grew from my bone.
Where rose-snowed Aoraki rises clear into the clouds,
with gathered light I will randomly paint the unwritten poem
and branch it out clearly across the heavens in constellations
like living coral, silver ore veined in rock, and arterial blood.
For this is the gateway to infinity; where the world regressed
to childhood, was reborn once more, singing
through the hole in the zero, star to star,
quartz fleck to quartz fleck in granite,
bubble to bubble in a black tarn’s ice sheath,
out of the drawn ebony and ivory lots like piano keys.
Enter here, you who are jaded, blasé, cynically ironic
and blind. Let those opaque eyes keep searching
for the thick pelt of darkness that swallows up sight.
If ever in dreams someone called for their god,
these tōtora and kauri trees are the steps to his throne.
Life is the eyes, the awareness of the universe,

how it knows itself.

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