Monday, March 6, 2017

Fear's chasm

A subtle shift -- no reason why --
and suddenly I'm at the edge: Fear's cliff.
The yawning chasm looms,
the foot begins to slip, a pebble drops,
and in the space before I hear
the echo of its landing,
my knees grow weak, my head begins
to spin, and then I drop to clutch
the ground before I fall, while my whole body
pulses with it: Fear.
What have I done? What will I do? Why now?
... and so the work begins, painstaking shifting
through my thoughts, like rocks or grains of sand;
slip through these mental fingers to fall heedless
to the boulders far below.

Caught in the throes, I cannot tell:
Which is it that came first -- the feeling or the fear?
Is this my body, rallying, responding to some  chemical imbalance or disease?
And if so, what pill or potion might bring cure?
Or was this pulsing, shaky fragility triggered by some thought?
And what elusive memory must I track back to its source
to reassure the trembling child within?

... and then, sweet miracle, having written down this poem, the pulsing ceases.
It's gone -- whatever demon had me shaken by the roots -- my soul pervaded now
with light, ease, and well-being.
Breathe deeper; let the gratitude begin. 

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