Phoenix

by DJ Sprague

Op. 9  The Sangraal


 So it seems, but is it true? that for beauty to be, something ugly must also be. That, for every token of happiness, there must be the hand of sadness holding it. That, while seeing by everlasting light, darkness of mind also, must forever be

 And then, from the darkness someone says, "Who do you think you are?" And strangely awake, time stops. And into the infinities of life through this instant of time, of life do we perceive

 Some say what they believe and call that themselves. I am not what I believe as much as 'I think, therefore I am.' Also, 'I feel, therefore I am,' and 'I know, therefore I am.' And like anyone else who has no more to say of who they are, I am as I was in my beginning...'I am that I am'

 Within the shadows of hopes and dreams, earthly ambition, the struggle to gain more than what was freely given in the beginning is singular, and alone. And in the home, the children want now. And then some dark corner of mind, some grief'inspired mood invites the sins of fathers and mothers to visit themselves upon daughters and sons. Warm winds become chilled, and darkness drapes the child

 It has been said, "While ignorance is darkness, be not shameful! Awareness of ignorance is deliverance and light." Yet, darkness we shall inevitably feel when affection is given, only upon compliance with requirements of tradition. A feeling so hardened by blind tradition can assault like the edge of a razor, or point of a needle. And the pain is searing to the soul. And roses bleed from an over'weighted past. And in its vase, sentiments sank, and from its depths, programs of fear make dreams, dark and dank

 So darkness of me, speak now!..I am listening. Speak freely!..life of me. Emerge from your hiding, if there is so much to be said about your condition. I need to hear the deep of me. I need to breathe from there, even if only once in a fortnight. I need to feel from there, think from there. I need to live where I may gain more than what was given to me in my beginning, upon Earth turning, revolving around the sun. And the sun spinning and revolving around the galaxy's center. Like the galaxy's journey, so far beyond what I could ever realize, this earthen haven in the midst of stars is evolving..upon a journey, amid a metropolis of galaxies..if only for a moment of a single lunar day, may I feel my deep, feeling the life of me, that, having been given freely, awaits me

 Every bit of change I call me, is a death of me. I enter adventure. I live, and I change from the pain, or from any great happiness I should gain. From the happiness I seek, I die a little. From the pain that seeks me, I die a little

 Of all the love and life and love of life there is, who of the living? can condemn the darkness of providence..for hate too, has genes that can be passed on. Or when great currents of wind from many directions meet, and turbulent cells aloft form, and the currents shearing, a'right and reach down, and great masses of earth, water, fire, and air violently ascend...is this some devil incarnate?..spinning its wrath, its treachery indiscriminately, this Will of creation interrupting the Will of life in any that should happen to be in its way. And soon, the same wind ravaging and wasting life becomes dispelled by the land, unraveling to the north and south until moments later, the wake of this hand of creation, is but a gentle stirring of fallen leaves. And the lark soars high seeking lush meadows. The meadows shallow become suddenly broken by a surge of moist wind from the distant north. The waters are rippling, and the alligator waits just under its surface

 Suddenly, after long labor, a  cry pierces the air as first breath is taken. The mother immediately comforts the baby to calm his distress. Spirit newly incarnate, needs rest. Baby dozing, suckling breast

 A squirrel scurries up a pine tree and across a limb. Pine cones fall, and life's seeds readily spillout and spread out throughout the land

 A man finishes his work. He is tired, and he opens the newspaper, and it reads, "You may not be able to drink the water tomorrow. Should filter it first. The freeways are jammed. Engines overheating. Earth a'quaking. Hundreds, thousands!..roadside camping. And some angry statesman in session, making threats of limited war with the forbidden weapon, was wrapped in linen and committed to an asylum. A tornado tore up a town and indiscriminately wasted some people there." He throws the paper aside, cuts a cigar plug for his pipe, and fires it up, because right now, he is tired, and all he needs is a little rest

 The ethers of heaven are suddenly shaken, and a great volcanic surge of fire rises to the sky. A black grey, murky massive cloud billowing up, rolling up, throws arcs of light everywhere, and thick grey ash pours down. With evergreen a'fire, the hills in an instant, become barren, dark, and smoldering

 She slips into the comfort of his arms. She radiates, and he is glowing in warmth. And in their time, they share the beauty..the sublime sensations. They sustain it, for as long as they can

 Where the lark landed by the pond for a bit of sustenance, only a few feathers remained to show that it had existed at all. The alligator disappeared for awhile. The lark was never seen again

 The child's cry was weak. Days passed since any food was available to eat. Dull pain. The spirit of the land waning, the sun desiccating, the trees dying. Everything is so far away

 In the instant the Earth shook, and the sky turned dark, the deer surged and heaved through the brush. But the black sky came down. And the deer running fast, not knowing to where, suddenly became silent, beneath a bed of hot ash

 Is beauty so easily created? that it can be subject to the whims of violent upheavals. Is beauty so inherent? that it can be so readily taken away

 Their sensitivity had been abused for so long. And because they love, by providence they were marred. And in striking back at providence, as they were taught to do, the repeated bruises become scars. Within their private void, scars equipped them with daggers. And they learn to kill. And society accepts their killing for its face value, and readily seeks 'eye for eye.' And the alien predators are wasted. And no one ever learned how they came to be. History thuswise inevitably repeats

 Millions of people are vacant and gaunt from want of food because they are poor. Millions are sick from too much food. And the young are demanding the downfall of the system that feeds them

 Deep in a dark cellar, for many days, she has been on bread and water. No one knew. No one knew except her and her captor, and she knew not why

 Well, after all, when children are raising children, tragedy is nearby. Is humankind orphaned? On Earth, is humankind like an infant?..with a bib, but without diapers in a crib 

 The mother had labored long, and finally with what seemed to be her last bit of strength, she pushed. And he said, "The head is out! It is coming out! Now push. Push hard!" Then there was a stillness, a heavy pause, and then a loud repeating cry. And he spoke again, "It is a girl!" And the aged doctor stood in wonder as he always does upon this occasion

 The squirrel was sitting on a limb of a tree. The boy seeing the opportunity, approached the tree and took careful aim. The squirrel suddenly dropped, and all was quiet. The boy surprised with his accuracy ran to the squirrel. It was forever still. The boy felt despair because he knew that he made the living spirit leave. The boy silently grieved while burying the squirrel, giving back what had so beautifully sprung from earth. And the boy heard his grief, "if only I had known before I took aim"

 How much of life must die before the rest of life venerates it? How many ever?..must lose what they have, to learn what they value

 On the beach warm, young man and woman, arm in arm. Of the stars above, they mused. Flying high on love, flying high in the silence of the drug they used. Young, yet so far away...how does youth become so removed?..from this day, this night..under a purple moon

 The old man in the heavy heat of the city walked crookedly with his cane. He felt strangely new. He knew. Soon it will come, and he watches more intently, feels more intensely..all the things, all the moving, everything around him

 And there she stood, a bit shaky raising a cup of milk, taking a drink by herself for the first time. And having just learned to stand, she soon discovered how much better the milk was, drinking it by herself

 "Crying! Crying!! She never stops crying! I have done all I can! I cannot give anymore. Stop crying!! I do not know what is wrong with her. She will not stop crying! Crazy. Crazy!! Evil child, stop crying!" And the mother grabbed the baby..."Stop! Stop! ..Stop!!" And the baby opened his eyes, and became afraid

 The man was already quitting his body. He was charismatic and self possessed. He had a deadly potion in hand. By his own hand, he will soon leave this here and now. His power in life was waning. And hundreds of people..men and women, for their own reasons followed him. And of the men and women, their children followed because the children loved them

 And the father in loving his daughter, "My child, how could I know? You were so little. Your fingers so dainty. Of sweet smiles, you had plenty. My dear one, how could I know?..you, filling my heart so full. How could I possibly know when you were so little, that I would have to let you go. Let you go, for you to love"

 The men, grim and determined, hurried the gurney to the airplane. The man on the gurney was gaunt and pale. He was silent and peaceful. They rushed the old man, but it was too late. The wealthiest man in the world, had just passed away from mal nutrition. Died from starvation

 Here and now, night and day, bitter terror, sweet sensation. Flesh tearing, fatal pain. Flesh swelling, pleasure gain. Life greater than life, murders life. The alligator does not know the beauty of the lark. The irate mother, the innocence of daughter. Innocence blind to innocence. All insult to flesh and spirit, is by the hand and mouth of innocence, for the predator knows not, the prey. The hell of madness, straight jacket, asylum. Two lovers savoring penetrations of nighted pleasures. And two others, drug depressions, confine themselves within their carnal darkness. A newborn cry. A last sigh of life'giving breath. A quiet stream of cigar smoke rises in still air. The night...moon stricken and sullen. Pungent fumes of wet ash rise from a thousand, dead grey trees. A child, a weak cry, turning the sky. A party high on wine and laughter. A penitent, agonizing. A child screaming on a thrilling ride, while a woman screams on the darkside of an isolated street. A painful blow. Fresh fruit, satisfied, complete. As this moment is relatively long or short, life passes on and out, within and throughout. And youth's voracious appetite for sensation makes time long..its moments, heavy. Absorbed and passion stricken, the world within, braces for the old, readies for the new. How quickly the living moving, so spontaneously passes!..and upon impact, its reaction so quickly assumes, and moves spontaneously on, into a separate reality. Or when so much happens at once, flooded senses, mindless, absorbing everything leaves far behind conscious mind. And it shall happen!..whether time has become relatively long or short, the world within, ready or not, accepts the change and time a'new. And so, from decaying life does life spring, does all life flourish in spirit. And, as in my beginning, I cannot but be in this moment stretched far throughout the living. And within this instant that life contains, I raise the Sangraal to my lips, and being the only cup from which life may flow..the life, far greater than I, its bitters I know, but made subtle..as I drink deeply to receive its eternal beauty


REV:  Sept 2017

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