VI. The Storm
And after massing silence:
sea-calm, the men idle by the quays,
chapped fingers grope for fissures
in rotting nets. Too still to sail:
fish swim deep in heat. Too still.
They wait the storm, nigredo in
bell-jar gape of ocean’s mouth, waiting
changes, and from water-black moment
is movement. The birds have turned
to the branches and do not sing.
He is black and disremembered,
thinking of unforgetting. She is black,
tearing ceaselessly at our indolence,
hard as ebony. Swart our tongues in dryness.
The silence and the slaughter is,
and its falling quieter than snow
in eyeless forest. When the gust begins
out there from beneath the waves
and yonder shore beyond the buckling
curve is break. Horses caparisoned
in jet paw the face of separation
fierce hoofs pierce the crust of sand.
The eyes of men lift, garner the gale
and fear the wind. The buzzing gadfly
sting our flanks – the cry. The hawk
shot from crags welcomes the wind
and lifts with drift over air-blown,
from deep-lunged distances. Blind owl from trunk beats unheard with slicing talon.
All is turning now through streets, forest;
all is changing, falling towards the centre,
the pivot: boats against shingle, leaves
against bough; patterns turning towards
towered omphalos of rock, the mandala
centre is empty, black, whole consuming,
holding nothing, hunger of maw, of pyx,
seat and throne of sudden transformations
mixed out of darkness, burning towards
the core of, vacant in, end
wide of the calling O of Omega.