Complexity of Life
Sometimes the canonical hours before dawn
call to me —
I escape my indoor civilization for the backyard,
settling behind a cheap telescope
slipping somewhere between the richness of Mesozoic shadows,
losing myself to vague, umbral epochs
where the only light and direction come from that of constellations
and the sun’s reflection off the orbiting moon.
There is no evidence of Humankind in this darkness,
everything melds into black crevices –
even the shape of the moon
fluctuates with the drifting clouds.
The night is diffused, soft,
no sharp edges,
everything cathartic and calm,
this is what the Latin’s called Procol His,
“beyond these things”,
this is what Procol Harum calls
“A Whiter Shade of Pale.”
I consider this the holy trinity:
in an ordained kindred alliance
and the secret language we speak
unity by the alchemy of elements
pressed into our unique forms
using the same matter.
The night sings a familiar breathy aubade,
communion between crickets and frogs,
no streetlights to mar stellar illumination.
This is the altar of the universe
looking into ever expanding space
seeing with the same eye as Copernicus and cavemen.
The night is damp and warm,
grass glistening with dew.
The aroma of raw earth and water infuses the senses.
My skin absorbs the anima and flows with it,
something akin to cosmos gestation,
of being swaddled inside
the galaxy’s great womb.
Ahead of me the lake remains in slumber,
not a ripple, just a mirror for heaven’s vanity.
The full moon provides a copious sight,
through my telescope it seems a cuneiform tale,
it’s armature bruised and pitted,
the expense of its own birthright.
This is the only satellite in our orbit
slowing down the pace for us on earth.
The Terminator cutting through Mare Imbrium
straight ahead to crater Clavius.
The defining line separates what is heated by light
and what is kept dark and grizzly cold.
The landscape is ossified, gothic,
a necropolis of the netherworld.
Four billion years worth of bruises –
no atmosphere, no protection
and still it struts under the sun’s light,
proud as a rooster at dawn.
We are so minor compared to all this.
By the age of fifty, life for most humans is half gone
and yet fifty million is the age of a short lived star.
The numbers float infinite through the universe
I try to limit myself to look at the luminosity,
but soon it beckons thoughts of the chaos theory,
by all that surrounds me:
planets, suns, moons, stars, meteors, blackholes,
gravity, helium, hydrogen, fusion,
and then it gets basic again wondering
why our satellite moon wasn’t named like those
of Jupiter using Shakespearian monikers
with such lovely sounds: Deimos, Ganymede, Europa, Titania.
Then my sights are sidelined by Draco and the Big Bear,
mired in fahrenheit, light years, mass and density,
my brain pumps with extra vigor and I can’t enjoy it another second.
I pick up the telescope and head inside again
listening to tangible things that make sense
like the crickets as they bid me good night,
or that one frog trying to find it’s wet date.
The clock with its white numerals states
it is 3:48 a.m. as I settle into a room darker than black.
I shut my eyes and yawn, thinking
life is just too complex,
too invasive when you let your mind wander beyond
I decide it’s easier to navigate the brain’s firing synapses
with simpler requests if I want it to calm down and relax,
simple requests to put the brakes on softening those neurons
if I want to find sleep.
I revert to basic needs, thinking closer to home.
I have shelter, so I move slightly beyond
what should I have for breakfast:
or leftover Chinese?
In that instant,
sleep stakes her tenticles
and the universe of dreams
shows no mercy…