Oedipus at Colonus

I do not remember the day you filled my mind with certainty.  The day your dazzling clarity became irrefutable to my feeble mind.  The card-board stand-up people bartered dead objects in strange and barren places.  I could see to the end of heaven.

The day came when the desolation burned too bright, and I had to take you from my head.  Though, clasped blind to my chest you never remain.  A thousand times you bloom.

But, I also persist, each time you flower with your certainty and might.  Give me a creature’s breath and I forsake my right to name all things.

I was led. But, it was I who stood alone in the clearing.   It was I whom the trees encircled, with menace or with love.  I let escape all the dark small lurking things. They seared my throat and tongue with poisoned thorns.

Death is the most tender of invaders.

Even shame grows weary in this infinite world.  It curls up its black spindly legs and dies. How a heart can be still.  My heart is mine.  I cast off all so the cool brushstrokes of eternity may kiss my disfigured face.

The dull relief and sharp love of being nothing and of being everything: I overflow into the world as I recede into the Secret pools of hope.


Yes, it’s a poem. I don’t write much poetry. I wrote this almost 10 years ago. I am recycling it during NaNoWriMo. The featured image is “Oedipus Taken Down from the Tree” by Jean-Francois Millet painted in 1847. All works by Millet (1814-1875) are in the public domain. Any Sophocles’ fans out there? 

 

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