This is probably my favorite poem.
(96 more images!)
TO THE DEPTHS OF THE DEEP
Here I stand, holding fast,
Onto my other half.
The zephyr faints, dying in the half-light,
Its caress suspended, as day kisses night,
When for some instants, stretching into moments,
We are neither here nor there but in twilight.
We live at this boundary of day and night,
Our selves merging in the blend of twilight:
You and me, me and you; yours, mine, and ours;
The day-gold melts into the jeweled night.
Above us, fires burn the stars away;
Below us, the Earth turns under our feet;
Within us, unworded dreams haunt the soul;
Around us, night pours blackness on the ground.
Soft and warm, the evening caresses us,
In gentle darkness and quiet stillness.
Here we sense the sweep across the heartstrings,
For we’re undistracted by the day’s bright noise.
I beg of the night to yield its dearest puzzle,
To reveal the full truth of what it is.
Much I already know, from twilight dreams,
And from poems unveiling truth and beauty
But I ask, with my most inquiring looks,
To know the deepest secrets of the night.
I must ask from the powers of the night
Not immortality nor youth nor birth
But only that I glimpse the enigmatic—
That riddle posed of the conundrum.
The door resisted at first
Then creaked into the crypt,
Powdered rust streaming from the hinges.
Here the answer to All was kept;
But not all was pleasant—it spoke of death,
Of life’s end, separate by just a breath.
I saw tombstones overgrown, underswept,
Names unknown—and to all the message saith:
It said, in words engraved beyond the brink,
“You who live up above: of life go drink;
And you underneath, now lying so dead:
Rest in peace, relax—it’s later than you think!”
To learn the Secrets—what IS and ev’r WAS,
One must brave the crypt and ghost of cause.
So into the deep we go, without pause,
To look down, ever down, no self to keep—
Through birth, death, and the shade of sleep,
Through paths unkempt, underswept—
To the deep,
Through the cloudy strife
Of this hazy life,
Through the equations of eternity—
Their non-paternity nor maternity,
Past the realm of the things which seem or are,
Even o’er the steps of the remotest bar.
Where the mind whirls round and round,
As the ear draws forth the sound,
As the eye sees the light,
And of the dark the fright.
Beyond all death, despair, love, and sorrow,
Past yesterday, today, and tomorrow—
The body’s guide but the logic of the ‘know’.
Down through the fog, the not, and the void,
Where ‘God’ and everything fail; Oh, zoids!
Where reigns the night, where the air is thin,
Where the sky and stars are not, but within,
Where the glorious have not their throne,
Where there is one presiding, all alone.
To the fathoms of the cryptic;
Where substance slept with arithmetic,
Toward the spark yet nursed by embers,
To the first and last the universe remembers,
To seek the gem that shines—the wealth of mines,
The jewels so treasured by thee and thine.
What truth accelerates life’s momentous gem,
Letting the motto become “Carpe diem”?
Who seized the moment or lost its momentum,
Wearing not the time as its royal diadem?
The World does not pass by—we pass through it live;
Clear your being so the treasure may arrive;
The spirit sparkles of a different light—
The gemstones are of a different mine.
We guide thee, we must carry thee;
We’re illumination beside thee…
Fear not the proof—
It’s the beauty of the truth:
Above the ground you were ever born again,
When the roseate hearts were cleansed by dew,
And lucky were you if spring found you new,
As every blossom on the bush blew full.
When these wonders the new morning bestrew,
The beauty of truth was all that you “knew”.
Life’s hardships there were softened by beauty,
All its weaknesses strengthened by the truth—
As when roses blossomed, like realizations,
Beauty itself bloomed from the well of truth.
For now, rarely enough, existence is left aside,
And yet the essence ever has its other side—
Life, although anguishing, must be lived fully,
Since if you’re alive enough to feel its beauty
Then you’re exposed to its opposite twin;
Yes, Beauty’s other side is Melancholy.
The essence beckons us back home,
As the contained-container is the poem.
When a deep truth is known so intensely
That all of its clothing falls away,
Then one has learned the beauty of truth,
For the reality of meaning is beauty.
When sadness brooded over the morrow,
I once visited the deep well of sorrow.
There enshrined, inseparate, Beauty said,
“’Twas from me that sadness you borrowed.”
So do we live the life of art,
Each playing our part?
Nay, that is not life, nor a part, bit,
For there’s another dimension to it.
Art and poetry enrich human experience
But they’re not substitutes for the living of it.
Like Keat’s figures on the urn, blest,
Should we live life any less?
No—because what is deathless is also lifeless!
Truth and beauty must be inseparable,
Although this is seemingly imponderable.
On that sphere above,
Soft breezes ever blew, caressing me and you
As we kissed the roses new and drank their dew.
Reason and passion then merged into one,
As truth and beauty made their rendezvous.
Down, down, ever down—
Through the antiquity, past all of the known—
Arriving at the lowest, remotest throne,
One of the highest perfection,
For it is of the two contrasting directions.
Opposite twins rule the causing call,
The positives and negatives constituting All.
Here the enigma of the ever immortal
Is undone and unloosed through its portal:
The Theory of Everything mortal—
The Idea for which we’ve opened the door to.
To the end at last!
Here be the lawless and the formless
Of the unordered, uncreated scene.
Here the causeless reigns supreme.