Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Song of Yehudah ha Nachri (Canto 1)

"Face 1b" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

I watch the sand blow through the hourglass
                    into the bowels of this glass desert

The sand flows infinitely
the hourglass turning on its own axis
the perfect structure of this perfect labyrinth
 not so much a desert as a Universe

And here am I
crouched on the roofs of Shiloh like a watchman

between the two poles of the hourglass
 the four poles of the mandala
  the nine towers of this stone city

And here am I
                    forty years in the wilderness

between morning                and the meridian
between darkness                     and darkness
between the Nine Circles              and the Rose

Until all is complete
                    and all is empty -

and then I turn the bowl around once more
 to begin a new spiral
  to maintain the constant one
(for it is a spiral
               not a cycle
                    despite appearances:
I am one who has learned never to trust appearances)

          And here am I
                    for you
gathering myrrh and spice
          between kenosis               and plerosis
between Apollo                           and Dionysos
between Yahweh                          and Elohim

between the Nine Crowns of the Kingdom of Alphalia
 and the Nine Names
  on the branches of the Tree of Life

between the thousand names of God
 and the One Name


Call me Ishmael

Call me Yehudah Ha Nachri
Call me Argaman

          And if you are coming down
      through the shallows of the river Jordan
               please let me know beforehand
                    and I will come out to meet you
                                   at Jerusalem

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