The Inner Gaze
A tree is the sum of all its parts,
no leaf or branch could create a whole
alone. And I am not an exotic bird;
no bright plume danced to transform me.
I have seen how the blue bird of paradise hangs
upside down from a bough,
his wings of blue sky open,
feathers of wires trailing
his 'love me, love me' above him -
no man has been an acrobat for me.
I have stood on balconies,
waiting, watching tides of hope,
not discerning over time
even what it was I wished for anymore.
Odin hung himself from an Ash tree,
head to the earth, with the desire
to absorb everything, but how would you perceive
the attainment of it, and where would it all go -
shouldn't there always be room
for the answer of 'I simply do not know'?
Once I tried to squeeze an ocean into a glass
only to find it did not quench my thirst,
burdened as it was, as I was,
with pillars of salt. Then Lot's wife,
not accorded the dignity of a name:
just another woman who defies a man,
a woman who ignores another god
to achieve punishment rather than reward,
though sometimes it is hard
to tell the difference between the two.
And I have felt such terror,
I have lost more than an eye.
This is where the sea merges
into the horizon,
clouds blur, blues unite.
The sun is absent, though
there must be light here somewhere
reaching through when we see how
it has illuminated the limits
of our view.
An ekphrastic poem based on Magritte's Le regard intérieur (inner gaze) 1949. Someone I follow on Twitter posted an image of it yesterday and it sprouted to this for me. Also included on Twitter are these images of the blue bird of paradise and Odin hung from Yggdrasil, as well as a little video of the bird's mating dance, if anyone is so inclined.