On The Arne 2

Art by Norman E. Masters

How long have you been in our midst, and close

How long have you been in our midst, and close

     I search the skies for you

     ponder deep all manner of things

yet, see you not-

     here before my very face.


Many a meal eaten

     from the tree of knowledge

     am I not like you, knowing good from evil.


Knowing good from evil

     sets me apart from the one and the other

     apart from all that is in between.


Innocence is not a place back there

     nor yet to come some day

it is now, a part of this moment

     distinguishable from experience

     only in the head of who so distinguishes.


As a lover of ten thousand nights

     is still virgin

so, shopworn experience

     is still innocent.


From the beginning

     a water washes clean, the ten thousand beings

freshened each moment.


These waters were flowing

     long before John washed you in the Jordan

and one comes upon us, again and again

     broods over us and hovers

and speaks of our kinship

     with one another and beyond.

Frank John Culley

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