The Lotus And The Siren


Mark Andrew Holmes

What is the philosopher's stone that turns gold into lead,

But a silver magnet of the soul?

Who can cheat the honest?

Who can make base what is not base already?

The alchemist can just as well set aside the base metal as the precious—

And the golden pyramids float in mid-air, awaiting the voice from the poppies

That brings the earthquake, the change.

The set pieces fracture; the bull blunders casually through the glassware—

Pick up what he has not broken if you will.

A bizarre light hangs over Bethlehem;

Nearby hangs a crescent moon, a star, and a bifurcated comet—

And the amaranthine flower in the sky can be naught but a lotus.

They grow from the mud of the swamp,

Where there is no silence.

Wherefore come the mosquitoes and the flies?

Let the farouche hippopotami who now roar their dirges in the mire

Be washed snow-white and kissed by legions of angels

While the decaying Blake's Mill that is the Temple rots in the mist below.

The world cares not for you: you are alone; you are unaided.

Expect no quarter, and give none.

You do want to live, do you not?

© 2008 by Mark Andrew Holmes.

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