PRIMO MANE by Michael Burns
I was there at the first hour on the first morning.
The air clear and about all, and never breathed before,
never seen and cool and soothing about my face.
And I looked up
And the sun and the moon fell in love as I watched.
She sat, as a blushing pearl against Cerulean blue.
And I turned, and my father’s light shone into my eyes.
I walked along and watched it all wake, from a long and cold dark sleep.
Further on I saw eleven great birds in flight….
and wondered about their defiance of the ground and the air.
How had they separated themselves from all the rest?
That air first breathed deep returned warm from my lungs,
and caused a mist to drift about my mouth
I saw water on a pond.
And reeds along its shore, in new green,
with a skim of ice as thin and clear as looking through my tears.
And I looked into it,
as if it were a lover eye.
A fat trout flick his tail and disappeared into the black depths.
On I went in that first walk, and felt the warm sun on the back of my hands
….gentle, as a companion.
A touch, the first touch.
And sounds came to new ears, and I heard….
things above and beyond and beneath the ground,
in games and in their play, splashing round and chasing in the trees.
And it was all good.
And in those trees fruit hung, ripe and smelling sweet.
And of color and a wanting….
I plucked a thing from a branch and tasted it,
and taste was mine forever.
And bees drunk from the first nectar, fell on the ground, and righted themselves and drank again and again.
Great herds of beasts, sway danced together on a plain,
and crashed of the edge of it, into a river.
I watched them swim against the rushing waters…
Then reach the other side.
I felt myself alone, only as one.
Wondering….and I thought.
Am I alone?
Am I the only one?
Is this all my invention?
An ache began in the middle of me.
At the very center of what I am
….from all of this,
both a longing, of not belonging.
And I knew not what it was.
Be of this place, and yet not part of it.
I was separated and split.
All were paired and with their companion.
And I stood alone and wondered; again.
Then further on I found another place —
a new discovery on ever turn.
More special, if one could say such a thing.
Than the rest of it all.
As all was of equal weight of gold and shining.
And I felt at home.
The trees and flowers sang in some harmony there,
enjoying each other’s company.
And the wild things were much different there,
separate but yet the same.
In some silent reverence of an unseen
The place it seemed, had been chosen out from all the rest.
I walked into to it….
a glade, and felt cool moss on my naked feet.
And I called it paradise.
And insects and birds and different kinds, filled this beatitude.
A new sensation on every step.
I was amazed, and felt new and thrilling feelings….
and then I saw her.
Singing, and walking, and dancing and touching.
And I was taken, and understood I had a heart.
The aching stopped within me,
and I wished her to be near.
I yearned to hold her, and touch her skin.
and feel her new breath on my lips.
She danced a dance of a woman dance not aware of my looking.
She went down into a brook, and bathed herself in tepid water.
I was happy for her….and felt a blush that I was looking on in such a way.
She sang a song of a lover, whose name was not known to her, but known oh so well to her beating heart.
And I wished to be that one,
her and me to live in this place.
And I was afraid that I might….
drown in all this.
I would be consumed and burnt up,
never be the same.
Never be this free again.
I moved to make a gesture to her;
my courage rose in me to make her, aware of my presence….
and then he entered….
and she saw him.
They raced and fell into each other’s arms,
wrapped around bodies, like cloth.
They were made of each other,
and they kissed and touched the other’s face.
And I felt shame to be looking at it all,
My passion turned in ….
darkness took me and made me its friend, and I turned myself into a snake.
And crawled away.
I went away from that place and became the shadow of the world.
Furry things, and wicked claws.
I become what I see.
And now I spend my time telling all about the details of my knowledge…
Imagination and new worlds and places as perfect, more perfect as this one.
I am over her now…I will never be over her now.
I see her face in every woman’s face.
But on nights amid my wanderings, the right moon and the air is set. Sharp stars poke holes in the velvet. I lay down and drift away and I do dream sometimes of that first glance…
the instance, of beauty defined,
and the flint struck hard and the fire that started.