Friday, January 13, 2017

.Jack Scott writes

The Poison Garden 
Part III

I need bags, not laundry, 

pockets are inadequate, 
so shirts and pants will have to do 
if I want to take my treasure with me; 
I do. 
(But why?  But where?  
Be still my mind, don’t bother me.) 
I tie the legs and sleeves with twine 
and follow wherever greed leads me.

Deeper into Northern jungle,  

a horizontal kind of quicksand, 
lost in these dimensions  
all directions are the same 
like falling after leaping 
without gravity. 
Blinded by intensity 
I’m at risk of being 
seduced into becoming lost.

All this space encloses 

verdant claustrophobia: 
botanic zoo below 
with grotesque giants toe-to-toe. 
Above, trees knit a seamless canopy 
of  sun-speckled solitude; 
around, they wear a veil of vines. 
Wall-to-wall moss carpet 
upon the forest floor 
completes terrestrial décor.

I cannot stop plundering, 

but I leave a trail, 
scuffings in the moss, 
twig broken here and there.

When full, 

I drop the bags as markers. 
Good thing to do; 
the way back out 
tends to close upon itself.

I fear -

I feel such fear -
beneath this frenzied passion, 
that there is no one else 
on earth with me 
anywhere this day. 
Me, mushrooms and magic: 
obsessive mycology, 
compulsive, even rabid, 
surrogate for unrequited love.

All the bags are full 

yet I cannot stop picking 
deeper, deeper
into this endless fairy forest, 
this wood, a Venus Flytrap 
and I, a hapless fly.  
I shed my shirt and pack it like a sack. 
In the northern chill I’m sweating.

The car, where is the car? 

The road’s too far away to see! 
I pride myself on vision -
vision that I had, beginning -
and turn to follow back 
bag to bag the landmarks 
that I dropped along the way, 
beacons for the long way back.

The trunk is full, 

all its nooks and crannies, 
the back seat likewise.  
I have more bags 
than room for them.

However hungrily I collected, 

come hunger, I won’t eat them. 
I do not trust my memory, 
fear hallucination -
death by imagination - or worse.

I should have given 

more attention to   
the M encyclopedia.

So much for what I didn’t do, 

here’s what it seems I did. 
Did I brush my hands on lips 
or rub my eye? 
My vision has begun to melt, 
but there’s nothing in my eyes. 
One now waters and it stings, 
in the mirror stares back red. 
Daylight fades; I know 
I’d better swiftly harvest 
what is left of it.

How foolish I have been, how callow 

to have run the risk of sightlessness 
in my blind ricochet from loveliness. 
The thing that matters most to me: 
do I face eclipse ahead, or blindness? 
This gritty darkness running in one eye  
feels like night is coming on, 
the right the worst, 
and twilight in the other. 
There is slight ease with sunglasses; 
it helps to loosely wad a handkerchief
between the right lens and my eye.

I fear blindness 

as the sighted must. 
The path to sight again 
requires blind faith 
in more than medicine, 
not at hand -
and luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?