Blinding At First

by Ulric Cowley


You are viewing the Stars on your Lid

and just as the Night proceeds the Dawn

so does that light – entering

upon the rising of the veil

blinding at first, a ritual of acclimation,

your view becomes the fervent green

of life captured in the rapture of dew

held on that morning tree before you

its trunk, a cylinder of that

unrelenting strength of becoming

rising amongst the mulch – a fecund

bed of decay

its outline made distinct against

the many that stand before and beyond

the limbs and branches capturing the

morning light like a colander does water

its warmth blanketing your skin

Tree’s crown glorious in its menagerie

fit for the old Kings and Queens

who stood as sacrifice for the crops

this is what you see in the morning tree

beds of moss and colonies of mushrooms

expand like valleys and forests

over the roots too mighty to hide

under the comfort of the

perpetual night of soil

under the canopy of those who eat decay

marches a phalanx of ants

towards their holy sacrament

the body of a worm

dried from the force of heat

torn piece by piece with precision

the one become many on the backs of others

and carried into those tunnels

deep and mysterious – untouched

in their form by sight

this is the drama of the floor

a procession of being

disassimilated by the pincers of life


the one acting as many

and in the beak of the bird

with its tar colored head

and indigo body

life is tossed about

like clothes in the dryer

she stands over the nestled nest

babies naked of their natural clothing

crying a cacophant celebration

as the torn garments of flesh

land into their morbid mouths

A proliferation of bodies upon bodies

the all too familiar metaphor of the Wheel.

a light in the world so small and tender

keeps the soul warm when the days are cold

its red effervescence stretching out

across the savanna of the table

lifting up the round of your bottle

and you’re chasing the drink

afraid it’ll get away from you before

you can get rid of your thoughts

choosing the animal on the carousel

is always a difficult choice

their dead enamel eyes staring

directly into your consciousness

and the vaudevillian music

singing songs of eery mundanity

like decaying sears catalogues

and rusted spring boards

walking over cans and newspapers

as if they were clouds and you

were mounting the atmosphere

a king of the decadent wasteland.