Image for the poem Pupils Equal And Reactive to Light

Pupils Equal And Reactive to Light

Hi, folks. I wrote this in reaction to the events of this day, which will live in infamy, January 6th of 2021, the day that insurrectionists, fueled and emboldened by the lies and misdirection of a megalomaniacal autocrat, desperate to hold the reins of power, stormed the Capitol building in a lunatic attempt to overthrow the democratic process. During the violence, a woman as yet unnamed was shot and killed, who fired the fatal bullet is also as yet unknown. In a democracy, we decide upon our leadership by the process of voting and accept the results of that electoral race. Protest is an American right, but that protest is to be conducted peaceably, without violence. May we move forward from this day, this painful lesson, with new and deeper awareness.

The following poem is an allegory of Norse Mythology, when Odin spent 9 days and nights hanging from the world tree Yggdrasil, in pursuit of wisdom. My metaphor here is the suffering of our deeply divided nation on its own path to deeper wisdom.


Odin dangling from a Yggdrasil slipknot,
neck screaming premonitions,
of Surtr's pyroclastic fingers,
wrapped about the pillars of the earth,
feeling every whim of air current,
as he swings,
on this,
the first day,
he listened to roots,
burrowing through bedrock,
toward a fundamental paradigm shift.

Freemasons perched around a cupola,
with soot smeared diagram,
falling apart between stone fingers,
embers climbing the steps and walls,
of high office,
on the second day,
the eaves were trembling,
with a premonitory anticipation,
atmosphere raked with stirred brambles,
forming a shuddering umbra,
of brown patina,
against the sky,
vomiting rhetorical misinformation,
in a guttural patois.

The blinded lady shuffles to the sidelines,
gray gown sheered into rags,
at her breakneck pace,
where she shudders and quakes,
in contiguous orbit,
around an earth whose use of her,
is oft conditional,
and rendered hollow,
skins of leprous midden,
over waxen bones,
bent by force of privilege,
provoked to assert its diamond wedge head,
from squat strongholds.

On the second night,
Odin counted abacus beads,
and trading carpets,
with the world serpent,
images of lions at the central radius,
offering lowered maw,
eagles on the foreground,
with stern angular brow,
lynx and ferrets,
merry go round the filigree,
clever fingered paws grip and release,
eye of omnia at the apex,
upholding vincit,
eschewing veritas.

Satyrs step nimbly about the circumference,
on the third day,
reed pipes plucked from thickets,
round about,
pan flutes rise and sway,
in a rapturous premonition,
of indigenous resurrections,
electric motors buzzing the avenues,
with broad noses,
putting on airs,
in some reverse antiverse parody,
dragon and angel constellations in amorous languor,
shadows more solid than embracing form.

Today on my journey,
a bicyclist veered over the curb,
and tumbled to ground,
dragging ragged knee to slow rising,
wincing like the morning sunlight,
gone from listing grey,
to sudden full mast,
cutting the surf,
in robust weather gauge,
and I,
some passing wizard,
gathered the fallen accoutrements,
righted the vehicle,
and soothed,
with a few gestures of balm,
another small magic kiss,
imparted with warm gaze,
and sparing utterance,
learned from the All Father,
on his first night’s gaol sway.

Fourth night,
single eye,
rolled to heavens,
stump of sacrificed fingers,
severed below knuckle,
round knobs capped,
with wrought irons,
lost ring discarded,
at the summit of Everest,
to those who'd bare the artic gale,
and indifferent gaze,
half mad,
into the quiet pate of God,
sitting cross legged,
upon the summit,
index finger and thumb pursed,
emerging from a tatter,
of gossamer swathing.

Beside the All Father,
hooped in fine gaseous coils,
an impish nebula,
visible only in high sun apogee,
albedo reflection,
visiting throughout the fifth day,
and into night,
balancing upon his upturned palm,
in askance glances,
making occasional address,
of the deep well,
from whence tree emerged,
in some primordial id,
of linear fulfilment,
branches reaching arthritic fingers,
arced premonitory,
of some culminative Ragnarok,
somewhere amidst the shoals,
poured over by oscillating gaze,
of a weary lighthouse sentinel.

Like the mucus trail,
of some sluggish gastropod,
his tears slid,
the high boned slope,
of cheek,
crest the squatly struck nose,
and wend with force of channels,
to neck,
all the seventh day,
he wept,
for all he'd wrought,
in the furtherance of knowings,
asphalt and chewed bones,
clinging to his boots,
falls with the sparking lament,
of lambent comets,
trailing tears of ice,
all that evening,
his back burdened,
by weight of knotted staff.

On the eighth day,
he made question,
of the djinn of airs,
who'd gathered in grim spectacle,
to add layers to his nomenclature,
inquired of the dryads,
that bathed his head,
in sun soft amber,
asked by what path of land,
of water,
he might traverse,
to find the wonder,
he had lost,
in the hale bellows,
of youthful folly,
horn cleaved and left,
upon a stony promontory,
sons abandoned to the hunt,
for sage auspice,
to grasp the tails and flanks,
of horizon and curiosities,
premonitions of pyres,
quilled with arc of arrows,
haunting the triumphs of his saga,
that night held the breath of every night,
the extinguished promise of every day,
the unvoice of oblivion.

And on he wept and pissed,
and held muscles taught,
grappling with the arbor noose,
uncertain of the past,
which twists in the halls of memory,
lengthening single portal,
into an endless corridor,
chewing stones that held against waters,
for an aeon,
only to be carried off,
in particulates of silt,
and clay,
and dust,
when all breath has fled recollection,
and the universe begins to contract,
and breathe again,
the ninth day,
the sufis and sutras,
woven in their intricately sweeping characters,
the ninth night,
feet flailing for ragged earth,
miles below his quavering heels,
til his solitary eye squeezed,
to a pinpoint of light,
hair filthy and wild in the raging wind,
throat closing around his mad breaths,
and opening again,
with the bastard voice of Cagliostro,
scrivening the premonition of dreams,
rolled infinitely,
in his rough palm,
into a single drop,
of wisdom,
into a smooth,
spherical mass.


Pupils Equal And Reactive to Light,
Daniel Christensen
Written by DanielChristensen (The Fire Elemental)
Published | Edited 8th Jan 2021
Author's Note
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Copyright © 2021 by Daniel Christensen. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
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