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Thursday, December 20, 2007

altar of agnostic heresy

Jesus in Penukonda
Originally uploaded by alxindia

at seven years old the world
was still its own mystery;
fresh & shiny like a new penny
yet to be in circulation
& largely undiscovered
in its mad grimy detail.

living in the woods, then,
just like living in the woods now
except: closer to the ground
& trees waving taller
in the breezes.

mundane to you
was magic to me –
sunlight exploding from the tops of trees,
the rustling possibility of a rabbit in dry leaves,
infinite shades & qualities of dirt.

silent in Nature
there & only there
could I hear myself.

summer days, I sneaked away into the woods
earnest as a lover rushing, blushing, to a tryst
& found sublime nothing, after hours
& hours of not looking.

humming some fragmented
off-key tune, sprawling in the cool duff
at the base of an old & trusted comrade, oak by name,

playing at private ritual
as though by rote, invoking a dangerous freedom:

miniature golden Mary on the left,
surrounded by glitter & sequins,
or were they sunbeams? & noble Jesus,
no bigger than my fingertip,
robes flowing in brass tones, to the right.

hour after hour, until the sunlight ceased to play
through the sparse leafy roof

& twilight rendered
all things grey regardless
of their proper daytime tints,

the messiah & his mother came to life in my hands,
speaking volumes half-inaudible,

celebrated, initiated, praised, vowed, blessed,
blended into the roots of the complicit oak,

housed in fallen leaves arching cathedral-style
over their little metallic bodies flashing light…

& together with the sky
Jesus & Mary & I built
a tiny temple
in the dirt.


  • At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Prabuddh said…

    This is really lovely Alx. it reminds me of my own childhood growing up on fourty acres of our own and all the woods and barea surrounding it and the magic of finding my own secret place somewhere that I could retreat to. Things being so quiet i could feel my own heartbeat and hear my own breath and of course the smell of dirt and weeds and flowers. ah.. If only I could return to that.


  • At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    God that's beautiful- I'm in the heaven of childhood remembrance. Love from Portland, Marie


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