we built ourselves out of undoing

An 11-year-old confessional to trimming our better selves down to fit in society’s boxes, with the revisions from its shared stewing in live performance environments.

* * *

if you’re dreaming of a river, let your heart flow.
if you’re dreaming of holy ground, remove your shoes.
if you’re dreaming of the mountains, be still a while:

still is how you’ll find me in my slow ruin of pride,
dear sun on your own high heaven,
within my towers of ambitious service
hands out to you and fingers laced
to sculpt the vision of me as i would be
had i befriended rather than enshrined you.

how is it that we, living as old stone towers
have come to be in this place, wrapped listing
in the arms of trees and clothed in ivy which runs
starking us naked by evening,
carried in our crevices into dawn,

and what is night to us that we should
reflect light from our skin, hollowing out
a lee for it to cling to on the inside?

oh sun, for too long I did not keep your memory as i said i would:
because promises were really mysteries and now
of the two of us only you still seem young,
and still i’m confessing my ridiculous works,
our misconstrued needs, my unnecessary ambitions;
and still i’m reaching up

dear sun, what did you ever need from me?
your wheel has turned countless times since
and i find you whispering will be will be will be
as if the goodbye was never heard,
and somehow in dismissal you shine the same
on a slow circumscription of doubts cracking me open
though i can still speak to you of dreams
as if they are worlds wearing their insides out.
to summon my shoulds would require blotting you out

if you dream of the sun, build no walls.  let it in.
let it in.
let it

i dreamt i would build here, as if building was shaking
loose bricks from older edifices for them to grow
from the dirt in spontaneous regeneration and
i dreamt that solidity was a matter of time in
trial and error’s meandering rows in hope or animation

and i am nodding, shaking dust off made of us
ground to power and clinging to our souls
on the roundabout; yes, i confess turned my head
and put my brow to the work of mighty distractions
i put you far away to understand what was near;
gone is not really gone until you’ve turned away

it’s as if with reason i built my temple from dead things

stones are not seeds and too few temples
are made of living trees, so sun,
though unlike my companions you cannot feed me,
i am putting my heart outside and gazing back again
with them and nodding and whispering back, yes,

will be will be will be

yet still we are just old stone towers
listing in the arms of trees, pressed close
to companions who know you better, dear sun,
whose arms brace and bow me in a slow baptism of
light and years, and erode my achievements and
plow the ground slowly under this temple
which does not stand to reason,

i’ll list into these cracks of light so far that
my temple may finally crumble down the hillsides
and in a dance of debris
break into the empty fields below.
dear sun, in a blessed defeat of pride,
i’ll know i’ll meet you, there, in
a state of

will be,

cracked, bathed in the world and wholly ruined,

still holy.

(c) 2004, Daniel Rollings


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