Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Song of the Alchemist-Apothecary (1)

"Still Life - but only just"
© 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

As the candle burns above the hourglass
 time itself appears to be obscured
  lost in its own mists
   like a London smog

It would give Madame Sosostris a headache
It would ruin the eyesight of Nostradamus

It manifests a vile transparent tumour of its own
as clairvoyant as

See how it passes and declines
                                See how it decays
See how it demands ever greater banks of sand
 to fill its obsequious
               its unrelenting belly

And the sand flows
                    grain by infinitesimal grain
And the candle flickers
                           in a jest
                                   and a gesture
              and in wax

And me - it receives me also

As I prepare for ascension and fixation
As I take a chance and consult the Tarot
As I make a change and question the Yi King
As I set up my telescope
As I recite the psalm of History

It is my head
               reflected in a blunt mirror
It is I - Argaman - playing with possibilities
 as Akiva once played with the beads of an abacus
  rearranging the coloured balls simply to claim
   he had responded to the questions darkness poses
    calculating time in the fourth declension

          So I watch and wait
I lay my hand upon the hourglass - and turn it over
 I make this
               my paltry contribution to the Universe

No comments:

Post a Comment