Saturday, December 4, 2010

Readings: Jane Hirshfield Strikes Again

Lion and Angel Dividing the Maple Between Them

Easy to see
that the lion and angel
are one visitation,
but how do you come
to offer your throat to either?
In autumn, the trees
learn to drop off
both their disguises,
what finally fills them is simple.
The heart's deepest
affections will equally be devoured.
And still we go ankle deep
into that carnage, lifting first one,
then another part up to the light.
As if we were looking for something simple.
As if what we wanted
were not the thing that falls. ~ Jane Hirshfield, The Lives of the Heart

And so we learn over and over again, in pain, that human relationships can be domesticated only by a steady diet of benign lies. One nourishes the beast on truth only to give it strength enough to leap up and tear out one's throat. I ain't lyin'.