Tessa, Of Mildew And Serpentine Things

You remained impassive.
At your timelessness I balked.
You in your green polo
and massive beard, looking
majesterial.

Me, I’ve been dealing with
mildew, the white spawn,
and slimy snakes, eel-like
in nature, waves of sullen activity
punctuated by nothingness.

This time, there’s a scorpion,
as if a foil to all that.
The cat watching it too.
I’ve been stung many times
without knowing. Now I’ve turned
into a green eel.

Prompt: Truth is, I’ve dreamt of snakes and a scorpion. I still remember the sliminess. But you look on as a captive audience. Stilled in continuous movement. I don’t know what to make of the scorpion though. Perhaps it’s my unconscious telling me I’ve been stung, back bitten. Whatever. So you are to write about things of the unconscious. Your dreams maybe. Or, as a foil, you are to write about light, or lightness. Like stained glass windows. Like this. It always works to expel all that ooziness.

How right the poet was who called
man a brittle, crazie glasse,
unable to convey God’s word,
but also, that with grace at last,
cracks may delineate fine forms;
though stained, he can reflect his God.

Poetry alone cannot reveal
the aptness of the analogue,
but coming here to see and feel
the Master’s spirit in their work,
these jewelled windows of the air
make the poet’s meaning clear.

Our words and pictures need the light
to capture what’s beyond mere sight.

Rome
–Lee Tzu Pheng, “Cathedral Windows”

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