Shifting the epicentre of a life
consumes it whole,
requires its years,
its growing points,
And even then
tectonic plates will not shift far,
a childhood will not slide away
as stage sets do when plays move on,
but makes of life a one-act play,
its whole world rooted in a single scene.
Trees - apple, plum and elderberry -
were the watchtowers of our world.
Beyond the fence, the wilderness;
behind each rock a shadow or an unknown shape
would move or lie in wait.
The trees out there were postlapsarian:
one struck by lightning,
another by the blight;
one poisoned at the root;
and one, we thought, the haunt of ghosts -
one, certainly, of rats.
Within was Eden, still intact
despite the plague.
A passer-by was stranger, threat or friend -
and sometimes fraud - and only we,
who knew the shades of difference,
could tell. Out there life opened up,
though now it closes it. The way it was -
the lies it taught
of life, death, God,
life after death,
what we become,
the life of tombs
and catacombs - becomes
the great taboo.
forgotten as an unmarked grave,
it is the shadow that we cast on death.
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
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