Monday, April 29, 2019

dance of the cells


My friend, this body is made of bone and excited protozoa 
and it is with my body that I love the fields. 
How do I know what I feel but what the body tells me?
 Erasmus thinking in the snow, translators of Virgil 
who burn up the whole room, the man in furs reading the Arabic
 astrologer falls off his three-legged stool in astonishment, 
this is the body, so beautifully carved inside, 
with the curves of the inner ear, 
and the husk so rough,

As we walk, we enter the fields of other bodies, 
and every smell we take in the communities of protozoa see,
 and a being inside leaps up toward it, as a horse rears at the starting gate. 
When we come near each other, we are drawn down into 
the sweetest pools of slowly circling smells . . . slowly circling energies . . . 
The protozoa know there are odors the shape of oranges,
 of tornadoes, of octopuses . . .

The sunlight lay itself down before every protozoa, 
the night opens itself out behind it, 
and inside its own energy it lives!

So the space between two people diminishes,
 it grows less and less, no one to weep, they merge at last. 
The sound that pours from the fingertips awakens 
clouds of cells far inside the body, and beings unknown to us
 start out in a pilgrimage to their Saviour, to their holy place.
 Their holy place is a small black stone, that they remember
 from Protozoic times, when it was rolled away from a door . . . 
and it was after that they found their friends, who helped them
 to digest the hard grains of this world . . . 

The cloud of cells awakens, intensifies, swarms . . .
 the beings dance inside beams of sunlight so thin we cannot see them . . . 
to them each ray is a vast palace, with thousands of rooms. 
From the dance of the cells praise sentences rise to the voice
 of the man praying and singing alone in his room. 
He lets his arms climb above his head, and says,
 “Now do you still say cannot choose the road?”

~ Robert Bly
(for Lewis Thomas, and his The Lives of the Cell)
taken here from The News of the Universe:
 Poems of Twofold Consciousness 
photo: red amoeba