Poetry eZine ~ April 2012

Wednesday, April 11

David Dowell: The Scroll of Secrets

In certain circles they still speak in soft, rippling whispers
Of things like time and its bewilderments,
Of shapes and shadows and shades of colors
That can’t be separated by any knife. Who knows
What the truth really is once you can’t
Look someone in the eye?

We’d moved like blind fish through cave puddles-
Such was our progress. We tried growing legs, but
Our hearts were too heavy, and we lacked the expertise.
Whatever fell toward us,
We consumed, and when any echo reached us from the cave’s mouth
We hid, trembling behind rocks or vegetative growth.
Our trembling itself sent ripples out
That acted, once summoned back from the rock strewn shores,
Like faulty radar waves.

We listened and counted, like a child suspended within the
Muscular moments between the flash of lightning and
The harsh report that follows. One, two, three,
The measure of the distance increasing every year.
Our ears, too sensitive, famished for news, made wild assumptions
Drawn from our own proclaimed fears, so that we feared everything,
Even the slightest touch. The Scroll of Secrets
Was unfurled underwater before blind, illiterate fish who still dance
Unknowing through its bright rays. Such is the substance
Of divinity. Such is the language we all bear.

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