susan smith nash
savagely gentle and as dark as a dawn
promised but not delivered;
I am a person of many secrets,
hidden words I share with no one --
my life a series of fleeting encounters
human contact limited, like flying low,
scraping my belly on the tops of mountains
thoughts foaming and pure
only fools still believe
perception is more important than the truth
the last century was a factory of false philosophy;
ideology we only pretended to believe;
that reality can be constructed from political will
that humanity does not require a human compass.
only the blind believe
utopias are not paid for in blood
my secret is that I am not connected.
my dreams are not sheep
to be butchered for someone else's wedding.
I have kept myself apart --
you probably divined this, but what does it matter?
I could never believe in any reality constructed
merely by force of my own longing;
earth, fire, water, air are not enough --
creation requires wisdom, too.
I am safe here in the mountains and rivers
in this sad bridge between artificial territories,
maps drawn as if the hand of man could rename identity & heritage;
some still try,
but aren't we past all that?
I stare into the sky and into the clouds
mirrors of the glory of God.
the mapmakers haven't seen these wild mountains
the slender ravines and trackless cascades;
why believe that saying something will make it so;
that perception holds forth more weight than truth?
I want to live and breathe
on earth, not paper -- this earth
a body sculpted by poets & history,
how can you define truth, dignity, family joy?
the world clings to its delusions
and I travel alone
skimming peaks, sinking into valleys
begging for light, union, final truth --
with answers carved in calligraphy,
poetry woven into carpets
holding the joy I have searched for all my life,
I am a woman of many secrets
many dark dreams of night
stepping stone to the clouds,
harbor for souls learning life on earth.
-- susan smith nash