What Is This Mess
by Justine Mara Andersen
What is this place of thirst and death that father calls home,
That fights and quarrels over gibberish, smoke and nothing,
That is washed in despairs even as it sips, sups and stares,
Through windows and ghosts at the tiny cage of the infinite sky,
To beg for the eternal pains of youth before a waning moon,
Where every soul’s sun sets in spite of all the begging.
What is this self before whom the grandest words fail,
This self which contains the unknown and is unknown itself,
That knows liberation from all foes, woes, words and forms,
That milk of life encased in every shell whether or not,
The shell is cracked and the gold of its light is revealed,
Such light craves only to be and be nothing more than being.
What is this place I know which had once been only words,
What is this place I cannot find without smoke or shame,
Which I know beyond all knowing and cannot know in thinking,
That cosmic sea where I and all together are one in being,
Beyond the heart of tales and time, and knowledge at its wisest,
Where forever shines until the tether of illusion snaps me back.
What now that I have sunk deep into being the truth of eternity,
What is this pinkish mess, I ask as I sink back from forever,
Onto this stuff of mist which once seemed immutable as a mountain,
What are these cuttlefish colors that fade with every breath,
And why all this noise ever increasing in the storm of illusion,
How could I have ever known this pettiness as the limit of all.
What are the rubber tangles of this thing into which I return,
A preposterous self too tiny to be the iron limit of all I know,
Me, a golden god on its belly struggling, returning, slithering,
In the slime upon this mad turtle’s back that I must call home,
Through the muck of dogs and lies into a shell far to small,
Too feeble, bizarre, and sickly to contain this me of liberation.
Why do I ache so now, when I have been nothing less than bliss,
Why must I cry now that I know the heartbeat of eternity,
And why do I fear a descending madness has deadened all my senses,
How hard it is being in the knowing of having been released,
If only for a moment from all desire, anger, sorrow, fear and dying,
Why then do I clutch so at cold damp stones of wind and trouble.
What is this knowing that ravages me in the fires of destruction,
That cannot be known when it is born from womb of words and mind,
That causes such distress at no longer feeling this ashen self to be,
Even as I look out the window and breathe the air of the forest,
What is that which destroys the false self with a whiff of knowing,
What is this tiniest crack in the behemoth shell of my ignorance.
What is this mess I ask in panic of having outgrown this tiny self,
Why does the pain of truly knowing being crush me like a can,
This breathing is a suffocation to me now, this flesh a holy lie,
The effort of living on in ignorance I can bear no more,
No more than the act of being here can bear the weight of truth.
What is this mess, I cry in the distant echo of forever.
Dear Shiva, tell me where to go, and what I need to know,
Who do I need to bow before to stop these siren fevered tears,
To still and mute these thousand untamed chattering monkeys,
To conquer this tyrant child that claims me as its tiny “self,”
What air must I breathe, and what teacher must needs find me,
Dear Shiva take me into your eye of destruction forevermore.
I weep and hunger for nothing more than that eternity,
Where my infantile weeping and hunger are neither fuel nor fire,
That silence where the great green dragon of desire is slain,
Where I can lay down my sword in the boiling blood of all,
I have slain in me to lie among the corpses of all I knew,
To be the self I am that is known in the silence of simply being.