Art by Norman E. Masters
There is no way to make soft that which is hard. There is no way to gentle it. It... gentles us, baby death, wrapped in coffin-grey, mist-shrouded sky, closed baby blue eyes; and life is a butterfly. And how do you pluck a poem from the veins of that life? How do you mesh the words, the worlds? How do you snare sunbeams and split rainbows? How net the poet who wove his web within us: a poetry of touch, of growth, of joining, of living softly softly vulnerable? There is a weave to things, to the way we flow, but the pattern keeps shifting, strange swirls, of dying, of birthing, of watertracks below our eyes. And why don't you say something, baby death? Or can granite-lipped silence be more pregnant? We see you, Steve, behind your disguise, we see you blinking baby death's eyes, winking at the great dark peek-a-booing us together -- all your people, closer than we've ever been before. That's how you lived: bringing people together, sharing them... people with people. Your people. And that's how you live now, behind baby death's blue eyes, birthing something out of your blue still here, still here, at the base of the whole worlding pattern. No way to make soft what is hard. No way to gentle the sickle-slaying that slumbers all living. We gentle each other in clasp, in touch, in stark eyes that meet and see their own reflections upon the water depths of another's soul. And out of the wordlessness we fashion words, spells of abstraction, to cushion the why's that have no answers except in baby death's quiet smile, crinkled eyes, and the weeping that is the gentling -- our close together. Call it birth pain that links us -- meshed with the mist -- its breath our breath, rooted to oak tree earth, looking in flowers for a spirit that dwells with the wind, listening to hush-secrets never heard before in languages never spoken... And pain will gentle us til the very joints in the coffin are splitting, til what remains grows green with grass over grave, reunited with the silence behind the wind and the whisper becomes a hurricane. Never time. Only Now -- while baby death's blue eyes open life. Open... inside us, wind-mating into the secret heart of things; and the stones are blue again; oh God, they're bluer than they ever were before, Steve! Run! Run with wind-whipped blankets to the top of the sunrise hill! Opening... slumber's webbed cocoon. Butterfly dawn.