Phoenix

by DJ Sprague

Op. 3  Firmament of Illusion

 Far distant and close'by..within pure space, the deep recesses of mind are everywhere flowing, streaming between starry bodies, coursing wide between great starry metropoli into vast oceans of void. Far away I be, away from the noise of futures made by self'made destinies. Deep within penetrating silence am I, where fantasy lives, and whims of thought are constructed with brilliant colored light that perceives only by reflection, and by it, responds only within a firmament of illusion 


  Within these seas, in these worlds, a wish brings its haven that it may become true. Feelings..notes of a melody, its motif..emotion, gives form to the solid objects that occupy this place...deep in space, each object is detached, unto itself, suspended..shaped and smoothed by thought drawing devoted light, passing from one emotion to another, one light motif to another..ever transforming noise to melody, or melancholy to song

  An idea works incessantly, busy shaping, sizing, gathering light unto itself, ignoring the dark cast far by its side. Yet, suspended in self light...when else can I be?..but in the time of my own destiny. To be within a world where time is an invention, a sense that suddenly appears and disappears. When time is gone, illusion is gone, and we are where we desire to be. And I, unconnected to figments of mind..unassociated with any feeling that should leave me, wander throughout all the space that I be..forever changed, changing into forgetfulness, from which I may again spring, each again as though for the first time

  Feelings penetrate objects of thought. Dissipating, they eventually hang in space as a misty fog..sullen and dark cooling. A heavy stillness penetrates, and my empty chamber deepens far beyond and away. Enshrouded by void, all objects, all tracks of thought in this pungent emptiness are of me. Why learn anything? All that I could ever encounter would be some feeling, some construction of light or pristine ideal of me, seeking some timeless place to be. What good are these apparitions of mind? that inborn darkness dreams..if they are only of me. By the systems of matter within a system, by a system within many systems am I bounded. To know what is within, is to know what is without...knowing within, immortal selves that would endeavor to remain and transcend the flesh if need be, to remain as they were, in their beginning

  And could I condemn a newborn within, for not having the same light as I? Could I think another born bad because they were taught to never love, trust, or serve no one but themselves in order to prevail and live? Can I judge another self within, without first a'judging my whole to be limited also? for I am also my limitations! I am my anger destined to turn on me, living some darkness within a greater darkness, I cannot otherwise but be..impassioned bits of immortal light surrendering to the mortality of time

  And in time, I am pulled beyond the boundaries of me. Beyond me, another perceives me only what they wish to perceive, seeing me as they wish from their distant spaces of make'believe. Thereby seeing most often, what I am not. Seeing through stained glass and peep holes that they should fashion for my occasion. Far distant they are, as far as the starry light in the firmament, faintly blinking between whole moons

 Feelings, images, what I wholeheartedly believe is suspended. Upon these occasions I feel..to live is to need. And with this vacuum taking a hold of me, I would ask the newborn there..."from what do you believe? From where do you arise? What are your dark roots that you should eternally be within?" ...a bit of death I would readily undergo, to know, for the sake of my whole

  As the stars are of a very fine substance, so all of creation is. As the stars are mirages of some distant past, we dwell upon many paths of light. From the firmament of illusion, when the stars become suddenly still, time reduces to points in space, figments of mind. And when words become timeless pockets of light, they become vulnerable to the dimensions of time, gradually wearing smooth like a bold stone embedded within the path of a mountain waterway, or salted wood upon the shoals of sea with its splinters worn away, and from the smooth curves of windblown sandstone in distant deserts, I hear..."Words are only angles of an arbitrary notion, a wistful dream, and having no real substance, they do not forever endure..therefore, deny any canon!..abandon any thought implied." But what faint notion is this?..that such a process of ordering and directing the delicate substances of light, can be so easily cast out from mind! Are conceptions made of such ghostly material that they live only as some vague apparition? How deftly is this act?..that, in so few words, innerspace can be severed from outerspace, a universe of orchestrated light extinguished, intellect wiped clean from the mind of Earth..obliterated! from this vast glittering universe. Such innocence maybe kindly, but surely an abysmal dismal darkness it is! into which, the light of stars enters, but does not leave. What is this? that finds such delight in the inflexible absolute. What is this light so dim? that delights only in itself, and all else..flexible, amorphous, according to whim

  Peace from all I need, and the resolution it breeds, for a good foundation that truly is, surely is as it seems...the dust and rock of the Earth. From where then? does this confusion arise that absolute spaces of mind should replace the earthen floor as foundation. If not replace...align..or worse than align...just be!..unconsciable alien overlord to the dust and rock from which it sprang. Upon absolutes of mind do foundations of airy ethereal heaven and hell lay. From there, do cynicals condemn fault's innocence, and feverishly build presidiary ideals for happiness in the after'world, of which we know not of..a'filling it with all the things lacking in the world we do know...always a'want'n for something better than what earthly incarnation provides. Indeed!..presidiary absolutes stalk the innocent, and direct what shall inevitably take so much, and give so little

 Within this firmament of illusion, there is the power of love, the overlords to love. The power of a word. The power of music. Love, words, spirit...all serving power to secure greater power..darkly indentured to serve a deeper need for ever'more power. As innocence is perceived as a fool, the fool knowing no affection, becomes the hawk. And the newborn hawk quickly learns prickly deceptions, tricky confusions of emotion, conflicting visions from which fear’driven illusions take shape, like the surface waters of a sea, shallow or deep, troubled or serene..weeping and laughing its truth upon rock. And when resolute rock speaks, words can so easily project illusion. Touch, taste...what we feel listening to shimmering leaves of an October tree may become illusion. Its sensation passing through some resolute word that wants to live, wanting to be immortal so much..that it requires no context to be, amid snow drifts worn smooth by bustling spirits moving over land, ascending, shifting, drifting white purity!..soft, cool indifference packed under its own weight. A stillness within, far beyond the means to feel. Yet, even this detachment is of the world! Of one world high in the sky looking down upon itself, over seas, through streams feeding quiet lakes and hidden ponds, becoming the bonds of what we are, and for a moment, becoming one...zen

  Of a crystalline pristine image can life so easily be, but so divine and self shining, shall I be at the expense of knowing fragrance, or the heven'bowe, or sweet melody? Shall I remain as some word forever fixed and rigid?..to be only angles of conception unable to tolerate any new experience from mortal confrontation?..and so restricted in this unchanging now, the sensuals become subtle pains..particles of self'light, those motes in mind seeking pleasures of pain. Is this label, I, so worthwhile? this immortal I, for which, the sensual world, I would so readily defile

  Tone and inflections of tone that deliver words. Inflection and image. And if the words should belong to the great firmament of illusion, then only do indirections of light perceive and interpret. And righteous words upon a page become profoundly depreciated and lowered. They become sheets of flattened wood and cotton fibers stained with the deep umbrage of a sovereign who has perfected the borders of perfectly imperfect letters. And rebellious to these symbols standing, pain competes with pleasure. Yet, for all the dint of battle, any tone by which a word is spoken will be ignored, utterly obliterated. What end can this battle between competing feelings be? but the demise of each, as each tries to extinguish and make the other extinct. If feelings are not allowed to have their own space, each will estrange the whole..and so estranged, the whole shall deny whatever feels

  Within this firmament of images that portray only me, empty I feel, searching for some hidden identity. I...illumination or illusion? In the next moment, great world views can so easily crumble into smaller pieces of itself, into razor'edged fragments that can so swiftly and easily sever a motif from its melody. Seeking the source of isolated notes, or fashioning some all'knowing light, apart I be from the light, the emotion I am. Seeking inflexible preciseness. Seeking myself in vain, each failure weighs heavy, each an impending doom, collecting and creating a treacherous soil, feeding a growing body of eyes..each seeing a different way, each begetting a new curve for light to travel through, a different shade by which to see what is true. And isolated, each spontaneously splits into two, four, eight..until it becomes the barbed edge of a thorn, until some feeling cools into a fluttering snow flake, until shadows deepen with fear, and the light of me crystallizes and begins to crack from fear. And the thousand shards silently contemplate the peace of the lamb. Yet, I remain..detached from this impending chaos, knowing that...when something is gained, neither is nothing lost. As nothing is, in the beginning, there remaining is as nothing. It is, afterall, when placing life solely into one's own hands, a thousand still'steady eyes looking out, remain unchanged

  What stubbornness is this? that insists on standing with ideals, while withstanding the ideals of others? What Will is this? that insists on being in complete command. What hopelessness is this? that heart cannot reach for something, anything within, that also belongs to another. What despair is this? that can allow one hand to fashion the poison, for the other to take, when the lamb becomes the least, yet a lethal bolus inside the belly of a beast. What black hole is this fear?..this room so dim, this sparkless I, that divides so easily, from the least of desire's whim

  But my detachment grows stronger. The firmament is frozen. Only temporary eternities are permitted in death because there is no sense of life within a world where there is only time making motion conscious. Nor is there any remembrance of life when the world is eternally timeless, made so by ideals created to stay one's self...only the shadow of sadness reaching down as far as unleashed laughter reaches upward..for the sake of wholeness, with so many shiny, dangling, spangling, vainglorious beliefs..I am empty with every thought dispelled, every melody in isolation, every sensitivity withheld. A deep hollow emptiness fills me, until all that I am separates and expands...and clear, crystal clear void becomes me

  I emerge. So born, I am also the space through which all that I am, or could be, may freely exist. This peace from so much pain. What can it be? but a part of I without desire, without feeling, emotion, or passion. Amid whirling images and mirages they spin. There I be, silent and dim. A mere witness to happenings and happenstance. In detachment, this empty I. An inconspicuous self, an onlooker to all that lives. This bit of space, this still, steady eye

  Such stillness has no weight, but lays heavy upon spirit. It creates or destroys time. It directs where time may travel in the midst of grey days. The dull white sky appears through bare moody branches already prepared for the turbulent dormancy of winter's sleep. Above, the spirits are alive, moving in unison to the north, and the clouds near the starry heavens are white and soft grey..a vast, wide river with undulating currents..misty waves high in the sky, flowing far and wide. Most leaves are gone. Blown away by the surging winds. Yet, some stubbornly remain, clinging to arbors reluctant to shed a part of itself, for winter's sleep

  Still, barren and silent, withstanding cold winds, the arbors are one with the Earth spiraling. The Earth slowly turning, moving swiftly, silently coursing, sucking nourishment from radiance shining. Moments later, the sky breaks open. The clouds are swiftly traveling with the winds. Like the surface wakes of a deep lake they are..making their way north, ready to break upon the shores of hilltops and mountain peaks

  And above these seas and rocky shoals is the dark starry firmament...always there, a perennial evening upon a quiet pond. The waters, like dark silvery glass, are still beside newborn grass when the moon shines full. And the quiet pond also lives, feeling the time to rest. Only the bullfrog is awake..and the stars, intensely alive! images shinning brilliantly from another time, blinking, twinkling..sparkling crystals mirrored by the still waters, and any who becomes awake in this night, feeling a bit of freshness pass, for moments of seeking sustenance, quietly stirring the grass. From a rustling of a reed, and swaying water crest within a darkly streaming brook, do night creatures feed. Meek they are, seeking the quietudes of evening. Sensitive they are to the slightest sounds and changes of mind...all appearing to my ears like a hidden chorus harmonizing, to remain themselves..discreet

  I also seek through the dark, touching the cool damp earth..feeling its soft sweet fragrance, and listening to the myriad of sounds somehow blending, until another unexpected creature moves closeby...and silence arises, and fills the sky..disappearing into the deep firmament above


REV:  Jun 2017

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