Alice O. Howell   

 

Prometheus

 

                        He who feels

the golden tides of the god

            wash through his soul

                                    who in his friable self

crumbles, surrenders, and dissolves

            all element to light

who has flown the inner winds of the moon

                         gathered the stars in his hands

            in penitential night

 

he who sees

            those lucent rings of love

                        about a diamond earth

sleeps within her and dreams in her sweet breath

            and, after, flies still trembling

the numinous stark darkness of symbolic death

                        then speeds through apostolic space

to find his own lost universal face

 

                        he who  finds

the diatonic need of gods

            for a string's pluck

and a scented dewed diadem of flower

                        is now shattered by the tick of simple

in a crowded hour

 

            he who reads an alphabet of leaves

touches the Great Tree

 

            sent on a quest of whispers

            travels the cliffs of his bones

            swims in his own blood

            through the caverns of his heart

            learns the trined quaternity

            of his every part

till shot out his skull in wonder

                        with a great and bitter cry

who now has felt the tears of time

                                    in his inconstant eye

            has lost his senses to find sense

is reaching as a son

            in passion for a father's fire

to bring immortal music

            to a mortal lyre

 

recoil from Prometheus!

                        flee him, flee!

he but disturbs us

            to our other, our own divinity!

 

love ever ends what time began

            yet, man sets out to kill the god in him

and god, the man.

 

                            A.O.Howell

 

                                              

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