Though the thickness of the undergrowth impedes him,
though doubt throws obstacles across his path,
though clearings of illusory light deceive him -
still he goes on grappling through the dark,
wriggling like a bifurcated spider
trying to reconcile two contradictory halves:
the joy forever rising up inside him,
the anguish meanwhile spreading through his calves.
Left and right are equally untenable,
for rejection is implied in every act of choice,
and every act of hope implies dejection,
for the silence is the darkness given voice.
Yet he goes on struggling, jib and mainsail for’ard,
knowing he does so out of cowardice, not fortitude;
the path is his to choose, however rough and awkward,
yet he chooses not in freedom but in servitude.
The goal, of course, is halting - but he cannot halt,
not, at least, until he has attained his goal;
and the darkness presses deeper, and the vaults
of darkness close around the halter of his soul.
And the darkness masks itself as lightness to deceive him,
for his skin has turned to silk as thin as cloud,
weaving the cocoon of his own unhatched creation
he sloughs the blackened husk of his own shroud.
Soon enough the birds will come in harness
to breakfast on his liver, share by share.
It will not nourish them. Reduced to mere skein of darkness,
he has become as insubstantial as the air.
"Kafka's Worm" is published in "Welcome To My World, Selected Poems 1973-2013", The Argaman Press. Click here to purchase the book.
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