Five Ages

The first age was a small red berry

the bud of humanity and the red fruit

in the garden at dawn. Some great

unknown is about to escape

into the present tense, so clear

that only God can see it

all the way about a circumference,

chopped half in diameter,

rose of the birth and love and death

we risked, a world that is more than all others.


The second age was a tall grass,

with a sharp blade to cut heaven open,

demanding justice below, attention

from the sleeping oort clouds

on the edge of angelic vision.

Fertile, waving tan in the sun

we raise our crescent scythe

and the grains shoot through the veins

of every tree for generations.


The third age was a red leaf. Mother

told me a story before she lost her mind

about an Egyptian princess who was not from around here

and tried to get home to the blue isle of Patmos

with slippers from the white gold of the sun.

Their white star towers and scroll heaps

begging to be picked up and cradled again.


The fourth age was the near extirpation

of all the red gold, the blue isle.

Sleepy after so much upward fluidity

we gave up the longing, been a longtime

since last we loved You, last we lifted

Your meal to our mouths.

Don’t remember the red berry. I always wanted

to eat it but my mama said it was poison.

That was before she got sick. Afterward,

she didn’t care. There were to be five ages

like fingers on one hand, star tips when

we drew them up in the heavens,

and everyone of them whispers

up where they’re hanging.

Back to Magellan cloud and Hubble’s dreaming,

back to before so much red and the want of gold

and before the sharp curve of the grain.


The fifth age was and is and is yet to be,

an outstretched conifer filled with the light

from the top mast of its canopy,

the light is its ocean, and the wind is its waves,

and all its limbs are pointing upward and laughing.

I have been told by the one I love

who is like the sunrise in the forest:

This is why we have words and arms

and red and gold and blue isles

and star clouds and all the ages.

It is because, in the beginning,

it was all so clear, so mathematically perfect

that only god and God’s garden

could get it.




image source: creative commons CC0

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