Elke's new work


Must we squeeze our shut eyes so tight

they fly open, popping from sockets,

searing our hair and pulling out in strings

the resolution made long years ago

that the world is a world of objects

and never must it vary?


Solidity is a misdirection. The fixed, the shut,

the hammered tight, the trapdoors to everything

are illusions. Only dreams are solid as stone.


What surrounds us is what we sense-

forces, fire, the flames and the wings of desire,

the hopes and urges, the result of our prayers

and the wide explosions of our lust,

these surround us, like bedlam, like breezes and bedrock.


The mountains of Tibet are a metaphor,

the heaps of granite and deep seas

are goals too cautious for lovers. It is flame

that burns within us, it is flame

that explodes around us, we are seduced,

inevitably and thoroughly,

by flame.


There is hardly a pause, hardly a peace

that is not, in part, a lie.


We will glow only by expecting passion.

we will gain our peace by devouring flames.

this is the way of the wild woman, the one with laughter,

this is the road of the human seeker, the poor one,

it is the lovers' pyre and their leap,

the song that sings us all. This muttering

across each year that we age

is the sound of flames.



May 19, 2000

For Elke's spring vernissage

Fred Ryan