One Black Swan (pt 7)
I’d become collector that first day, an avid novice starting out,
but I've reformed for reasons other than the obvious.
I’d no more room to store my treasures;
I’d filled it up with rocks and bones and fossils.
I didn’t stop collecting and am reluctant to relinquish,
although I might replace;
my shelf space was that crammed.
I wanted expertise, or at least its semblance
of the realms I’d entered.
This acquiring was education as I came to know collectibles.
I chose between what I had and each new addition,
returning one of them back to the beach.
Absorbed in my enigma,
I’ve shed the need to own anything but two:
the one I have and the one I’m looking for.
Though window shopper now I'm still open to temptation,
tantalized at times,
always urged by curiosity, ever energized by awe.
In this strangeness I wonder whimsically
if I might also chance upon a Kraken’s beak
or the horn of a unicorn.
I have become a comber of a broader beach.
Now that it’s implanted in my mind I can’t put the seed back,
tweeze it from my memory, be free of the idea of it.
Should I consign the object to the darkness of my pocket
now that it’s been exposed to light and so bring some relief?
I was so aware of it; it would not come to rest.
I had a pendant made of it suspended on a golden chain
and kept it always next to me hidden in plain sight.
I exhausted libraries and they exhausted me;
thank god for the Internet.
How many languages did I need to read the diary of the earth?
I needed simplifying facts to answer just one question:
how could someone shoot an arrow across ten million years?
Baldly stated, there it is.
What did you shoot that arrow at?
Did you hit it?
Did it taste good?
Did it nourish you and yours?
The animals and fish that were there for you -
rabbits, bluefish, deer and perch
are much the same as we fish and hunt for.
Our diet and our larder’s much the same;
we’re omnivores at each end of one long table.
We - I have to say it . . . we. . . have a certain resonance:
you, who once were
and I, who, some eons hence, will also be as you.
We are now connected by my curiosity
and our shared, however distant, mutual humanity.
The only clue, what’s left of you -
this tool you made and used - is all there is;
the rest also bedevils me.
You are so much less than dead - or more if viewed another way.
You are so erased you have become unwritten in any record book,
so close to having never been.
I try to meet our past on its passive terms
from my subjective distance.
It seems far too far to come, and certainly is.
Not a pseudo-séance, but a field trip of the mind,
stretching . . . being stretched . . .into some kind of mystic touch . .
Adamlike and Godlike, fingers frozen in their almost there.
I am neither God nor Adam; who the hell are you?
Talk about trespassing, we are both so out of bounds.
This was anomaly beyond anomalies . . . anachronism,
temporal dislocation, parachronistic incongruity -
new words to me -
shifting my emphasis and my motives for thinking,
doing almost everything.
I’d tripped and fallen into a tiger pit of time.