Sword & Seed, a Poem

Anno Vii in 24°, in 17°

April 13, 2016 e.v.

Sword & Seed

With glee laid I a hand upon the hilt
Of that sword; aloft I held it
The Sword of Mind, of iron, gilt
With golden gleam. When wielded
I had the sense it was a key
To open any door,
That by this Weapon’s mastery
Omniscience I bore,
If but through time I meditated
Looking deeply into all,
If I to truth be dedicated
Ev’ry veil should therewith fall
Under the stroke of whirling Sword,
As driven by my fire
That ev’ry myst’ry of the world
Should yield to my desire.

Indeed this Sword undid the Veil,
Affording me a glance
Beneath the pallid image, pale,
Beyond the false romance.
And though the truth that therefrom sprang
Tended to simplify,
I gladly let the death-knell ring
And watched falsities die.
My grip upon the sword grew tense;
My eye teased out each victim,
Clove by sheer habit to my blade
I, as to a dictum.

And so by habit I had made
A trusty aide-de-camp,
Tearing down and laying waste
All that did not bear the stamp
Or seal of authenticity,
That deeper sense of Truth;
That certain something I believed
Could signify a proof.
Even that to which I clung
Was subject to the blade:
Most deeply held beliefs and all
Presumptions I had made
A priori, posteriori;
Let my blade be double-edged,
Both self and other tasting steel:
Let all my bets be hedged.

But over time as curtains fall
And every atom’s split
And every meaning, one and all,
Is deemed no longer fit,
A bleakness soon is consequent
And all the earth lies fallow,
Not a spark to kindle flame,
And every water’s shallow.
The drudging dirge, the dragging feet
Are given no respite,
All of life’s delightful charms
Have simply taken flight.
The magic and the mystery
As seen through children’s eyes
Give way to such sterility,
This shrewd watcher that denies
The sense or the utility
Of what it deems as lies:
Once valued friends and phantasms
As seen through children’s eyes.

And so a choice that must be made:
How does one thence proceed?
Into the blight? into despair?
To wither, writhe or bleed?
One can only bear this to be
Harrowed for a season,
Lest the spirit lose itself
O’er to the dogs of reason.

Many choose to dedicate
Themselves to swordsmanship,
The sport itself a validation;
So do they equip
And train themselves for constant battle:
The means become the end,
And swords upon their shields they rattle;
It is a pit that they defend.

Another way is offered one
Who simply seeks escape:
To lead oneself into distraction
Of one or other shape.
Essentially to let it lie
And leave it for a time;
Or even give up altogether
On reason and on rhyme.
In fact this last is actually
More useful than it sounds,
Leaving as it thereby does
Unused the fallow ground;
The which in due season may be
More fertile than before,
Akin to letting ‘lone the kiln,
Not opening the door
Before the hour appointed when
The inner work is done,
The process given time before
The next phase is begun.

Yet living in a stagnant world
Bereft of fantasy,
Devoid of magic and of life
Weighed down by gravity,
Is still a quite distinctly chosen
Means of engagement,
And not the object, but the subject,
Suffers banishment
From all of Life’s potential fruit
Awaiting any hand
That dares to trust in childish ways
And leave behind the sands
And barren, scorched sterility,
‘Neath the boughs to be shaded.
This desert’s just as much illusion
As the mirage for which it’s traded.

Of course it’s never simple as
The lip service we pay it,
And working with a heavy hand
Our efforts are frustrated.
Instead be it remembered that
We have a field fallow
And all that’s needed to be seeded,
That from it we may grow
A tree to bear whatever fruit
We deeply most desire.
And so a seed-thought germinates,
Fed by the inner Fire;
Pour upon it from the Cup
The flowing, shapely Water;
Breathe upon it living Air,
A kiss sent to the Daughter;
Blest is the soil now of the Earth,
But keep it ever churning
That ever deep within its core
A furnace should be burning.

And so it’s true, most useful and
Most valued be the Sword,
An ever-trusty servant but
A tyrant of a lord.
And as it’s right and proper to
Be honed and mastered full,
So too the other Weapons, Wand,
Cup and the Pentacle.
For if the Truth encompass all,
Nothing can be omitted
If we would make our understanding
Coterminously fitted.
And all these Weapons must be mastered
By the proper hand
Whose subtle touch and fleeting nature
Lends it to command.
There is a season proper to
Destruction or bereaving;
There is a time to come again
That’s proper for reseeding;
There is a time for splitting up,
Dividing by the Sword;
There is a season come again
To bring into accord.

Darren White, Anno Vii