In coming to terms with the depth and width
of the grave, with the sound of tumblers
in a lock chance picks, raven-like, it's beak
needled for precision
in the complex chemical
and emotional equations
of what's possible or inoperable, you wing it
into remedies and therapies, into cathodes
like time lines in the growth-rings
of a skull plate or femur.
You blend the essential oils of bergamot and lime
with copper oxide, a home-grown trick
of the healing trade, passed down from the years
your parents spent in Divine Light
and then some rural ashram
where, among the organic rules of Ananda Marga
a three-point tantric yoga position
and a rainforest view, when surfacing
from under the heft and weave
of a Bengali prayer shawl, were all they needed.
And while you've considered your options
where fasting and meditation are concerned
you've not the discipline to maintain them
so you tough it out
through a list of expert opinions
and trials of drugs
with names that sound like the heavy industry
that spawned them.
You don't talk about the stained balaclava
your medication wears, in public
or how you know The Light is pin-holed
and binocular at the end of The Tunnel.
You'd rather discuss
the lit-up binary codes
at work in the tail of a dugite
or blue tongue of a lizard, how the seed-trails
of hakea pines are hot-wired
into the heads of black cockatoos at birth.
You never thought you'd have to try so hard
to keep things on the rocky side
of what's functional and real.
Ask anyone who has limited time
and they'll most likely say
through the barricades of their teeth
or the open portholes in their skin, that time
or what's left of it, should be attended to
with all the wild resolve
that being human can manage.
Well, yes, but what about the utterly
ridiculous and sublime, like driving naked
into the country at night, the windows down
the Razorback Ranges
throwing wet green sky all over you.
There is much to see and do
but you don't renew your passport
or imagine postcard scenes
from deep in the wicker deckchair
of your retirement
on a liner docked at Pago Pago
or recline in the high sweet air
of a day-dream of youth
when health was simple as breathing.
You're in trouble
and no matter how often you throw
the wide cast-net of your philosophy
or opt for silence
after you've talked yourself to your knees
in the waiting rooms of prayer
you can't shake this sense
that it's all about to be explained
if not for forever, then for good.