No ceremony for the initiation into facts—
Only patience that is not time. The fist
Of the mind grows roots and greens into a fern.
The fern of the mind suffers a solar age
And becomes what it suffers—the sun is not
A star, but a flower. A voice in the eternal
Honey says, What is needed is to think with the flower
Of the mind. Suffer is a word meaning many words—
Endure, experience. The flower endures the sun
By eating it. I only say I when no other word
Will do. What is the world is the world, what is
Not is not. That is the nectar thought. A hive
Or is it a cloud, knowledge gathering darkly above,
Hiding lightning, hiding stings. When the air
Clenches its fist and strikes a blow the sky is clear
Again. More clear than it’s ever been. The day-shy
Stars peek out behind the blinding veil, so very faint,
The snail’s glistening path draws her singular line
West behind the mountains, and already, it’s true,
The eye on its delicate horn trembles up in the east,
That snail, the moon. The humble mind hums.
Gnosis knows. There are no words. Just a tune.
Copyright © 2022 by Dan Beachy-Quick. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 13, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
“The title of the poem gives away its source—that Ancient Greek word for being, the things which actually exist, the present, reality, truth. I’ve been translating the earliest Greek philosophers, and this poem works through their thinking, little notes made for memory in case I should forget these fundamental beauties of the world, a small work against oblivion.”