Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Rain Bush

...and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush
was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside,
and see this great sight...
-- Exodus 3: 2-3

I heard kindlings, full flames, a furnace fire
and singing ore. I turned aside and saw
rain blowing into the branches of a bush --
the molten metal cooling, magnetic,
its memory of directions, its brilliant
dream of the earth, come back. The bush stood,
living, intricate, a hollow sphere lit
in a theatre blackness with circling
mirror-drops. New wind arrived, and the array
of branches swerved on the stalk, and the bush
caught new rain, was still again, and the mirrors
continued circling, losing their silver
and becoming glass. So whatever a mirror
displayed through the air was as soon released,
whatever memory it let appear
in any image as soon disappeared --
in the mirror a rememberer could meet
himself in immediate new transparency
haloed in haze and glitter. Each mirror,
as it arrived, resolved itself in multiple
weddings of gazes, in gazes dying
into waiting gazes. The entire bush
was a changing mask, radiant with desire,
charged with identity, and turning aside
with what is given to us. The mask said:
Our unremembering, when we turn aside
to what turns to us, and are nothing
of what we have been -- that is the gift of all
we can desire. That is to hear our names
spoken clearly, and look and see no one.
That is to know a voice, and know the voice
is an elsewhere saying we are what is not us,
while the elsewhere brings rain, pours bright
ore into our always darkening day.