It was a brutal exercise
training my young will
to taste the intimacy of the gods
by degrees and not all at once,
to go beyond the immediate sensation
of the fever burning my skin

to those other fields

hidden to my common flesh
and embrace in one single body
the concentration of time and space
beyond the distractions at the gates
while watching the objects of my chase
drift to the center of my soul
like a herd of cattle
gathering in a sandstorm,
and feel the individual hurt
as the wild cattle stomp
the ground of the tender soul
uplifting all human things
like horses on a stampede
leaving my soul empty and bruised
but ready to move in
and taste the intimacy
of the signs of the gods.
(At which one of my gates
do the gods knock,
touch, taste, sound, smell,
ritual sight, none of them?)

How does one know a god?
I keep listening
with my eyes
to the footprints of the dead
burning hours of light
on the shadows of the written page
waiting for a god to prop up
out of the oil of lives past
as my soul grows fainter
with the exercise
and the fear
of my own lost life.
Why not settle for the outside,
the path of the written page,
the life others made
steal their forms and shapes
and repeat the correct sentence?
But why settle for the outside
lean on the shoulders of the dead
let memory fail in the recreation
of the original acts
that made life in the dark
the original imitation of the gods?
My soul is chained to the dead
learning to sail upstream
to the ports of infancy
of the human race
as distant from me
as my will is from the original
act of creation
I am trying to repeat
as my soul burns hours of light
with the oil of lives past.

The pain became so intense
I asked them all to leave,
and so they did,
the good and the bad angels
after a whole night of fighting.
Very soon the house
felt empty,
the lights had no walls,
no ceiling, no floor,
the wind could turn no corners
and the fog slithered across
with no furniture to cling to,
it was the life of ghosts
with the same cold feeling
they give the stones in the cemetery,
I knew then I could have company.
I knew of Your presence
by the way time stood still,
my body became as large as the sea
all movement stopped outside
as my soul became a surface of glass
stretched to infinity
with the feeling of a living rose
dressed in a woman's skin,
suddenly Your light broke
the inside of the rose
into a million splinters
with touch, smell, music, pain
penetrating the soul in
a slow moving dance
till the rose filled the air
with living petals of flesh.
We had another date
on a summer night,
the silence when
body and soul come together
to form a ring of one
under a parasol of lights
from the inside
waiting for breezes
from the sea
to release memories
from ink paintings
in white prisons.
From the body flows
the light to see
among the shadows,
and the scent to smell
a passing god,
and the sound
to let the shadows dance
and the taste to savor
the slow dance in the soul
and the touch to feel
the hand of the dead
join the magic ring of flesh
and flow in veins
of love, poetry and song
along the shade!
A God at the crossroads
of our soul.
From Moksha Smith: Agni's Warrior-Sage
by Antonio de Nicolas

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