Tuesday, April 17, 2012

after "mindwalk" - denise levertov

Once we've laboriously
disconnected our old conjunctions -
'physical', 'solid', 'real', 'material' - freed them
from antique measure to admit what,
even through eyes naked but robed
in optic devices, is not perceptible (oh,
precisely is not perceptible!): admitted
that 'large' and 'small' are bereft
of meaning, since not matter but process, process only,
agthers itself to appear
knowable: world, universe -

then what we feel
in moments of bleak arrest,
panic's black cloth falling
over our faces, over our breath,

is a new twist of Pascal's dread,
a shift of scrutiny,
                           its object now
inside our flesh, the infinite spaces discovered
within our own atoms, inside the least
particle of what we supposed
our mortal selves (and in and outside,
what are they?) - its object now
bits of the Void left over from before
teh Fiat Lux, immeasurably
incorporate in our discarnate, fictive,
(yes, but sentient,) notion of substance,
inaccurate as our language,
flux which the soul alone
pervadess, elusive but persistent.

Levertov, Denise. "After 'Mindwalk'" Upholding Mystery: An Anthology of Contemporary Christian Poetry. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. 332-333.