The Questioner

In that first troubling of the heart
So long ago and unforgotten
Toddling slow and small
Beside that kingly tall
And sunwreathed being hand in hand
Yet halfway round a world apart
I gave my question words, such words
As then I knew, unfledged
Misgiving nothing, still
Trusting mind and will,
It was of Eden’s morning
Blest and bright with silver birds
He spoke, and did not answer me.
This then I made my world, serene
With sunmotes, hyacinth, with
Lizard’s armor and
Whatever came to hand
Spelled by lily bell and leaf
Bedded on the spring’s first green.
Subsumed in the hollow of God’s hand
I gave my question voice once more
When sudden plain I saw
Death agony of tooth and claw
Murder stalking night and day
Within the shadow of a grain of sand
And no voice answered me.
Still loath to stay my hurrying feet
Down the steep road of my blind
Downgoing hurried on
To where the sea with gong
And cymbal and white billowing
Danced savage to an ancient beat
I flung my riddle. like a stone
She drew me, drunk and down I went
Singing like a sunken bell,
And though I loved her well
Wintered in her icy hair
And made the cavern of her arm my home
Still she did not answer me.
And came to where the laureled dead
Stand perpetually and hold
Their endless dialogue with God
And in their hands the old
Lost books lay open. There I would
Perchance have read the answer but a dread
And nameless fear surprised me so
I only know that I surmised a snare,
Drew back — my foot
Faltered on the stair
And in that frantic dreaming flight
I knew at last I did not want to know.