The Givenness of Longing

[1 July 2019]

Midsummer midnight air is a sacredness all its own –
The last relics of era when bygones were still being forged,
Cradled in the halls of the forebears of the now,
Suspended in the intransitory,
Illuminating the hale tongue and the meek spirit: not fire,
Not frost, but a light unique to itself and to you.
It moves, and you move: a living being, a bloom
Without awareness of its own self; free. The unimpeachable
Longing borne of love and liberty and ordinary time.

If I saw you again, would I recognise you?
Knowing what you know and seeing what you’ve seen
And knowing what I know and seeing what I’ve seen,
Can we ever say that we are the same people we were?
Moments are built, one on top of the other, like sandstone
Or cake or brick. The roots search for water but come up dry.
The end of the journey is the same as the start: not knowing
What you have or what you came for, but knowing that you must,
Inevitably, start – moved past all semblance of mortality and temporality
(Each of its own will being stripped of transcendence, turning to moth and moss and must –
A crown, battered and worn and drowned but still retaining its jewels: sight and desire –
The dual orbs, the satellites, that lie just outside the realm of comprehension
And serve no purpose other than pushing into something beyond themselves),
In the claws of the tundra or the jaws of democracy.

Even so, there are places that remain unchanged,
Untouched by the passage of time and chance
(Even when the hallowed halls of memory warp with wear
And develop unsightly treads we can’t seem to avoid).
There is their purpose – an ikigai demarcated out since before time
Made a name for itself: something more than vapid
Curiosity or a mishmash of verbiage designed to delude. Selfhood is
Something to be attained, never grasped, nor altered with the alterer.
I find you still in the dusking shallows, the holy mnemonics of the lake at night,
The valse to things that can never be undone, (nor would we ever choose to).
We lay down our swords and our palm branches and our trench coats
And take up the inevitable pastime of being circuitous,
Harvesting the crop we planted long before we knew how to remember,
While the river flows wide under the shadow of the steeple,
Running grain and melting wine and smelting stars of bloody flesh.

17 responses to “The Givenness of Longing”

  1. kristianw84 avatar

    Wow!! Just wow!! This is phenomenally written!! 😍😍

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you thank you!!!! <3 <3

  2. NZain avatar

    Ikigai—what a lovely word. There is so much loveliness here, Nathan. 😊💞

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you, Nina!! ❤️❤️ I do love that word so much 🙂

      1. NZain avatar

        I had to look it up—and I ❤️that!

        1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

          I feel the same way!!

  3. tara caribou avatar

    This is WONDERFUL!! I loved the line: “The roots search for water but come up dry.”

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thanks, Tara!! I am so glad you liked that part!!!! 😀

  4. orkidedatter avatar

    Wow… just wow…
    I completely immersed in your words❤️
    It is so much going on in this poem, so my emotions are spinning around and I don’t know if I’m going to land tonight because I’m floating away with your words somewhere I do not know… but I know it is a special place.
    You did it again.. I am speechless❤️
    Thank you for sharing your lovely talent Nathan.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Awwww thank you, Lillian. Your words always have such a special place in my heart and I hope that you land in a peaceful and restful place!! I cannot wait to collaborate with you soon!!

      1. orkidedatter avatar

        Wow, that was quite a compliment to wake up to. Thank you Nathan. I deeply appreciate it.
        I sent you an email..
        I wish you a wonderful day.

        1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

          I’ll check it now! <3 <3

  5. authsdwilliams avatar

    This poem moved me. Seriously, lovely work.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you so much. I am so glad you like it! And thank you for stopping by and commenting! Such an encouragement!

  6. Shantanu Baruah avatar

    Oh man this is such a gorgeous piece of work – deep, exotic and thoughtful –

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Those are all words I like to hear for my work!! 🙂

      1. Shantanu Baruah avatar

        My absolute favorite

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