The Haunting

comments 29
Christ / Poetry

The conclusion
can no longer be avoided:
I’m being haunted
by that weightless certainty
from which no one recovers.
Each day there’s at least one
point in time that lingers,
staring back at me, eyes level,
while waving the wind through the narrow pass
between us– unimpeded.
The wind is whistling,
and the machine won’t read my ticket.
Something ten thousand feet down
is yawning and long after I’m gone
its baby rocks will float to the top
and stare wide-eyed
through gaps in the night sky.
Meanwhile the tides are recalculating
because the moon won’t hold still.
It’s a Mexican stand-off.
Man and microchip are both frozen.
Neither can compute the angle.
The little pebbles all around
the concrete dais– they think
I’m the regularly scheduled programming.
But I’m not.  We all get swept away together
into a world that lies between cause and effect.
They’re wondering
if what’s happening with me
up here on the concrete,
so close to the sun,
so complex and unexpected,
is the predecessor to the moment
that will dissolve them forever.
They’re mothers told them–
while their fathers sat proudly below the harbor’s mouth,
holding up the ships–
one day the light will wash over you.
One day this place will be forgotten completely.
One day.
And it will happen
just as easy as getting picked up
by a girl with braids and a journal
and being carried across the country
to stand watch for decades
beside her music box
and a picture of her cat.
That’s when I feel the haunting.
My concentration flickers.
A bee too far from home
on a fall evening wanders onto my shoe,
and I look up to see
the tails of your robe
disappear over the horizon,
dragging my breath into your vision.
I sink to my knees.
In my dreams
I let them cut me into pieces
and carry me off, slung over their shoulders
like crates from the Far East
that have ridden in darkness
since before they were born.
When I awaken,
the silence is still warm,
and the emptiness
I’ve been daring myself
to heed with my whole attention
is obviously with child.
It doesn’t matter whose…
Why do we keep asking that?
Who did this?
No one could have done this.
We have to start preparing ourselves
for life outside of that question.
When Jesus awoke behind the stone
and knew nothing could ever be taken
from any of us ever again,
he knew exactly what I mean:
no one could have done this.
But still, this is who we are.
It’s time to prepare ourselves,
because it’s happening
with increasing frequency–
faces are freezing solid into building windows.
A leaf is pulled off the branch, never touched.
A sound previously unaccounted for
discovers it exists because of a meaning inside of it.
I know it’s time because
whatever I was before this
just closed its eyes and slipped
back into the water,
and now its gone.

29 Comments

    • Writing this had the same effect on me, Tiramit. 🙂 Whatever this is, is compelling, though it perpetually is slipping through my fingers…

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

  1. I love this – if you don’t mind I’ll lift your words and wear them for a while as comfort as I feel the haunting until the ghost of whatever I thought I was and what I couldn’t be slips away as I discover that I am the perfect fit for me. Your friend, Harlon

    Liked by 5 people

    • That is what the words are there for, Harlon. Dress up in them for the day if it will help, until you realize what’s inside of the costume is altogether different than you once thought! You’re the perfect fit for you, as each of us are. Well said!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This writing took me places. I especially loved this part:
    ‘Each day there’s at least one
    point in time that lingers,
    staring back at me, eyes level,
    while waving the wind through the narrow pass
    between us– unimpeded.’
    I can very much relate. Lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Most excellent Michael, and if I read you correctly, then suspect many of your readers will recognise this feeling of knowing whilst simultaneously having a subtle sense of being caught between two worlds – the one familiar and mundane, the other unfamiliar yet somehow known, perhaps intuited, perhaps glimpsed; a just-perceptible echo; a kind of haunting. Now, what is it with these stones? – I think your last four of five pieces have all featured them. Time to spill the beans!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hello Hariod,

      Thank you again for the kind words. I guess there are probably several answers to your questions about the stones. I’ve uploaded on my Fiction page a short writing sample from about fifteen years ago entitled The Stone Bearer, which will not explain much literally but may offer some insight through story. I think of stones as being ancient, as having a presence older and deeper than we can fathom, and as being witnesses to threads of time far vaster than we can readily comprehend. But I have also have feelings/relationships with stones that are etched into me from the time period in my life when I had the opportunity to participate in Lakota ceremony. The stones have important roles to play therein. During some of the ceremonies, participants and/or leaders are placed into a square formed by a strand of prayer ties that are made (small pieces of colored cotton fabric with a pinch of tobacco in them, connected by an unbroken length of thread). We were taught the prayer ties in this case correspond to “stone people” who have made agreements to watch over/protect those enclosed by the ties. And during an inipi (sweat lodge) one is encouraged to give one’s suffering over to the stones… So, there is a whole confluence of feeling wrapped up with stones. When I write, it is mostly the sense of their being both ancient and present, as compared to the mere blip of time we humans have been around… 🙂

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  4. If (or rather when) the mundane threatens to eclipse the mystery, there are places I can visit, places that chase the shadow right off into the corner again – – – this spot is one. a few of the others places are pure image-oriented – I sense it may be tougher to chase the earthly facade away with words, yet your words are pictures too, so there is that. grateful I am for shiny pebble trails on my moonlight walk which felt pregnant tonight, as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello M,

      I’m so grateful to be part of this node where we can meet, and balance the mundane with the mysterious… The delight of meeting with those who are able to wink and say, I know exactly what you mean, is a true joy…! I’ve often been told I write very visually, and I never know whether that is a tendency that should be smoothed out or a nuance of life as it lives in my particular skin, but it seems a haunting theme… I love those walks beneath pregnant skies… Truly delicious…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. if you get there
    before i do,
    coming for to carry me home.
    well tell my friends
    i’m coming on too,
    coming for to carry me home!
    swinging low with this, Michael 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Thank you, David. Whoever arrives first gets to hold the door open for the others… I’m grateful the knowing of this sweetness is shared between us…

      Blessings
      Michael

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    • Thank you for that, and yes, it is…! I think recovery of the realization that our perspectives are in fact malleable, and imperfect, that can help us to see the world and one another with fresh eyes… in ways that do not require distance or fear… The act of changing perspectives is, in that sense, an act of survival… 🙂

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Imagine a solitary woman searching and reaching down to find that perfect flower, so afraid to pluck it for she knows it will die and for this she is both happy and sad at the same time, she looks around to see a million flowers around her and suddenly knows they are all perfect, they will all pass on and in reseeding be reborn once more yet still she stands there with a gaping mouth at the depth and beauty that she cannot bring herself to touch. These are the words I use to say how I feel as I read your words, spellbound, open mouth gaping like a child in awe. Your words are the million flowers and I am standing here still watching but with so much joy, truly. Inspiring my friend, wow. Kim

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Kim,

      I’m not even sure what to say but thank you, and that it is apparent to me we’re looking at the same wordless pasture of perpetually amazing happenings. I am so delighted to share the view with you. We both see it. We both are it. I am you, and you are me, and yet we’re both breathing that perfumed air… The words, if anything, are of course just reminders. And they wouldn’t make a lick of sense if you hadn’t seen that wondrous place… Thank you very much…

      In Gratitude
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michael,
        Good beautiful morning to you my friend,
        Finished the book. So, when is the next one coming out? Smiles….no pressure of course….just kidding. Will work on the review shortly, although words can’t do it justice, I shall try my darnedest. Thank you and enjoying the view, always.
        Your response made my heart sing….still waking up but like a beautiful sunrise, you’ve started it out shining…as you tend to do.
        Peace and love,
        K

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Kim,

          I’m actually hoping to do another in the spring perhaps. I have enough new pieces I think to pull it off… Should be fun!

          May our hearts continue singing… And thank you ever so much for the prospect of a review…!

          Peace and Love to you also,
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • Spring….wow and that is amazing. Yes a review is on tap, just need to find my thesaurus because how many time can you say amazing before people yawn? How about incredible, stupendous,incredible,life altering….yep, there will be more too😊 having a great morning star gazing..frosty and crisp…compliments the morning coffee nicely😊 have an amazing day. Peace and blessings, K

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful Michael. Love this, in particular:

    “When I awaken,
    the silence is still warm,
    and the emptiness
    I’ve been daring myself
    to heed with my whole attention
    is obviously with child.”

    Wonderful image, wonderful feeling.

    Be well~

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Tac. Much appreciated. It’s a wonderful thing when our relationship with the Mystery bears fruit… Something lives, and we are part of it…

      Blessings
      Michael

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  8. Beautiful , majestic , astounding and bewitching ….life’s silent mysteries so bright in their haunting when we touch them …I love your poetry so much that I become intoxicated and always wait for the universe to bring me here to where you embrace forever just when the moment is alive for me to respond , respond with love to all of this wondrous life …thank you so much dear Michael , love , megxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Meg… thank you so much for this… The responses extend the original thought, and give it life and meaning, and I’m grateful you create the space to carry these explorations onwards in your own heart. Hopefully together these inklings of grace can continue to extend outwards to touch those whose lives are part of our own. There is not greater experience. Much love to you, my friend…

      Michael

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