When all --
the murmuring crowd, the angry mob,
the graceful orison of the ballet,
the neon leaves at morning light,
the stench of city subways,
the loved one and the enemy
Are seen without the rippling surge
Of division, gut, or mind,
Then they are most truly seen aright.
The mirror of consciousness
with the elbow grease of will
we polish bright
So it, without distortion, crease, or scratch
Reflects experience in its proper light.
Then, delineating our mirror with a frame,
Instinctively contend it’s not the same
As all the rest, described as “other”,
For lack of better name.
Strangely, this paradox, this practical division,
Works in this world of approbation and derision:
Such boundaries must be drawn
To keep the glass pristine and bright
And in the onslaught of all things foul or fair,
Still functioning with precision.
Most who glimpse, beyond their own reflection,
Behind the other’s glass, are disconcerted
By the stillness housed within.
Still others, few, who’ve tasted the rare confection
Of repose, are drawn, fearless, to the silent depths therein.
Of the few who swim those depths-without-a-name,
Still fewer, those, who dare to love the frame.
-- c. 2004