I see you hiding, princeling, behind lavender
shade in the green forest, tenderly listening for a
manly voice of timely wisdom.
        Prince of water, Prince of fire, son of the tender
mother who bore you, you wish only to turn and leave
the court of knaves, wrest from destiny your allowance,
your daily bread, and retreat to the hermitage and the
river, with all the things you could not know before,
because time rides its horses with blinders on.
        How badly you desire to jump that gorge between
fantasies! What sympathy the silent stones would have
for you, if they could feel! You dance like fire in the
wind. You defy the flatting forces. You lose, in the
distance, your hegemony over time. What tears the dust would
cry for you, if it could hear your solitary windsong!
        But you must return, and know the truth of how
little can be taught or told; for shade comes not forth
from the shadows, and the moon leaves no stain on black
velvet. But only the cumulative affect of the immortal,
found in little moments; the prancings of today's parades,
tomorrow's pearls and prowls in wooded groves, assimilates
        TO BE: To suck the marrow from the moving moment
and swallow it unchewed; to learn the brute utility of strong
words frankly spoken; to use the earth as it uses you -
fully, completely; to incorporate the daily, the slippery
experience into changing flesh, into mobile memory, into
durable character. Gradually, the mind of God takes over
from within.
        As you cut - your very last set of teeth on cold
steel. You sit on your small understandings, beneath
the movable star of your small light, re-learning fear;
and the beginning, in the tried patiences of the exigent,
the beginning. All tenuous life upon, within the silent
air, atop used bones, beside omnipresent stones.
        Prince of earth, son of the tender mother who bore
you, you will be just. My woolly fellow, you will be just.
You will be filled with tired inspirations, and visions
whose time will never come. You will go largely
and take foolish risks. You will know, legend in dark wood,
power in rare creeks, and magic in the voices of children.
Your main enemy, the instinctual beast, will wrestle for
your bones.
        Victorious, you will walk into the clearing of
clear pardon or surrender to the impeccable, with
attached or unattached. And you will know, the condition
at the end and beginning of all men, so very just that
quake to defy. You will witness the wind remembered
        in the
gold annals of forgotten epochs, the God-awful winds of
wrath, so mighty the rocks themselves blanch in the facing.
And between the winds, the wolves, in forests of petrified
trees where alone – you discover the fragile beauty and
strength of your real lineage; a carcass frail and naked
carried alive with a will spun of cycles into rope, uninherited,
unbroken. A well lit being, you stalk the light, where none
can follow but you, Prince, alone in the constant striving after
light, will create the formidable artifact of a secret legend.
        All the shimmering mountains, tenuous as stars,
glisten in the silent air. You listen to the silent air.
Tree mottled sunlight flickers a cruel temptation in the
mountain pool. Shadows of the world that was reach their dark
fingers up to pull you down. Do you let the bat drown?
You listen to the silent air. You may forever return to
your demise, to embrace whatever small regards and rose petals
fall upon you. You suspect that only sinners make good prophets?
When time tails its whispers back, of what was done, the
present faces the meticulous mirror, the compelling argument
of thorns and rose hips, the sure colors of conscientious fallen.
My, how your memory bleeds! You must enter again into the
associated with other lads and lassies; knowing that all can be
trusted to try you or defy you, count upon you an occasional
coup of surprising magnanimity, and leave you for a scoundrel
should your greatest plans expose their prudence.
        Thus you learn another honor, Prince, of silence
and forbearance and merchantly devotions: To practice your
fetchings of erratic gain, cautious of giving needed offense,
dependable but not too predictable, covering entrances with
wary appraisal, exits with the ancient clams and lambchops,
to evolve into constant effort, to work the reality of your
anachronistic habits into an ephemeral succession.
        You reconcile the fact that you will never drink
your fill of the sweet Grail nectar, as you carry your
baggage of little crosses forward to the ever-renewing
departure. You walk alone beside the dun horse of your
time-born self in the secret parade of immanences,
enchanting with silences, and sowing the wind so that the
wind will hear. In this ontological fashion, may you hope
to slip through this century's style un-nailed? You should
attempt to exact your comforts and mundane authority through
wily grit, knowing how great things, also, cast shadows
to fluff the vain nape of fame.
        Yes, there is always the matter of your secret empire,
and who if not you could maintain it? No, Prince, you shall
not forsake your rock. You shall sit on it after all, and
your rule will be somberly tempered, before all.
        Now, you are filled with light, so repose with the
mother of roses. Son of the tender mother, go forward.
Do not again seek my solace, Cloudreader. Pray your peaces,
offer up your silences.

© Carlton Godbold 1987

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