Friday, December 2, 2011

the fall

There is no where in you a paradise that is no place 
and there
You do not enter except without a story.

To enter there is to become unnameable.

Whoever is there is homeless for he has no door and 
no identity with which to go out and to come in.

Whoever is nowhere is nobody, and therefore cannot
exist except as unborn:
No disguise will avail him anything

Such a one is neither lost nor found.

But he who has an address is lost.

They fall, they fall into apartments and are securely 

They find themselves in streets.  They are licensed
To proceed from place to place
They now know their own names
They can name several friends and know
Their own telephones must some time ring.

If all telephones ring at once, if all names are shouted
at once and all cars crash at one crossing:
If all cities explode and fly away in dust

Yet identities refuse to be lost.  There is a name and 
number for everyone.

There is a definite place for bodies, there are pigeon
holes for ashes:
Such security can business buy!

Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe?
Yet, to tell the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.

They bear with them in the center of nowhere the 
unborn flower of nothing:
This is the paradise tree.  It must remain unseen until
words end and arguments are silent.

~ Thomas Merton
from The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton