Alice O. Howell   


Upthreading flame, veining light

spreading invisible

network luminous

binding atom, man and star

overlook its trembling

ignore the urge to be!

pay no mind, my daughter, pay no mind

but, o ! let me warn you

should you turn your eyes inward

yearn in wonder for filaments of feeling

probe, blow, reach for the Promethean fire

you will burn, my daughter, you will burn!

your heart a conflagration, out of hand,

screaming with pain, you'll go

to love for help but destroy it

Then as a pillar of fire

a finger of time

you will have to flee all

friends and dear ones

lest you let loose the flames of madness

or become a torch in the wilderness

consecrated, a witness blazing alone

in the hands of the god


the price, the prize of knowing