Over The Green Hedge

Rage, rage against the summer fires
that sunder heaven from the earth
where black clouds rise above the den,

when darkness not the light
gives way to darker thoughts

of her who leaps
beyond the smoke and haze,
where stars ignite a solitary flame
on that far horizon of this green maze.

Her deer strike eyes
frighten as the headlight’s flare;
stunned and weaving – stone hoofs
fall above the ruddy tundra,
collapsing 
around that curve
that brings us here:
three small
white wooden crosses
set against a treeless knoll.

Gone, gone the days
she framed that smile
against the blue,

brought sweet nothings
from the clueless wind and laughed;

now only the wind remains –
a howling down this canyon wall

that even I, the last remaining member
of that tribe cannot recall.

I stand here overlooking
this great emptiness
before I, too – if only
in my mind, leap beyond
the black eye’s piteous fire –
a salient darkness casting its cruel gaze
over the green hedge of our bleak world.

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Note: do not take the persona here as mine, I’m objectifying from thousands of miles of traveling across these great United States the unknown tribes of dead whose only sign that they existed are small white crosses that exist on the side of roads in memory from one end to the other of our country. Reading obits and other things across the years one remembers so many stories of loss… obviously in this one I’m echoing that great poem by Dylan Thomas whose “Do not go gentle into that good night…” haunts its rhythms… so many of the dead wander in me I sometimes overhear things. I think behind most of my poetry is this secular vision of Dante, but instead of visiting hell I’ve learned to visit our strange histories like some dark progenitor of the madness we’ve become… for me even if transcendence is a illusion its one deep seated in our cultural inheritance and one that will not go away willingly even for such a secularist as I. When one writes poetry these ancient ghosts of time play havoc on our secular presumptions, and they will not lie still in that darkness like silent victims; no, they return on those unlucky days – what the Athenians used to celebrate as Apophrades, or the return of the dead; I take the word from the Athenian dismal or unlucky days upon which the dead returned to reinhabit the houses in which they had lived (Bloom).

12 thoughts on “Over The Green Hedge

    • I’ll be honest… this temporary manifestation writing at the moment is just as perplexed. I learned long ago that I’m not the one writing these poems, as Lorca once remonstrated – it’s the duende, the deep song within us that sings as it will sing. In ancient Andalusian Spain the duende was once a sort of house goblin, a little imp that was both guardian and home wreaker; a trickster at the level of the personal and impersonal worlds that surround us all. Since the Enlightenment we’ve built up the artificial worlds of Reason against the darker myths that haunt us as if they no longer exit… but everyday we discover that, yes, their still there right in front of your nose if you dared to awaken those ancient faculties of the mind that the Enlightenment project closed down. I think we’re in a transitional time between acknowledging that truth… a rude awakening to those ancient worlds we tried so desperately hard to forget. Sad too, because now they will reinhabit our lives in ways that most will have no defense against and little knowledge since myths have been all but buried by the myth of Reason….

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      • I agree (and thank you for explaining “the duende.” However, during the transitional time that we are most definitely in, other ancient worlds, as well as beings, those not of darkness, will too reinhabit our lives. Every wall of illusion will crumble, exposing every realm, dimension and being. During this transition some will awaken to the darker realms first – while others to the lighter – but once each stone has been brought down – leaving nothing of its existence left behind, each of us will see both dark and light — existence as it truly is. If in fact you are “channeling” for lack of a better term – neither dark or light matter with regard to the strength of your antenna. Being one who can already peek through the cracks of the wall that’s coming down is quite exciting. We’ve been living under a conditional blindness for far too long.

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  1. BTW – I DID do my soul searching last night … and I came up with Camouflage (posted today). I do know the answers to my questions, including the answers behind my “onion” … , though kept hidden behind a camouflaged self while observing all that’s around me, and has been, through eternity. Unlike you *sigh* – I’m not yet able to write with such vivid imagination and depth, but I am able to express my thoughts, feelings or experiences, which is a start. The start of what? I don’t know. 😉

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    • That’s all that matters: we start with what we are as we are… need nothing more, the rest is embellishment, learning, data on the wall of time… the flutters of history sparking ever wider circles as the mind widens toward that strangeness around us.

      And I’ll have to admit that I’m not a literalist of this at all… to me the gods and goddesses all these masks are enactments of forces that we’ve appended human meanings too… we really have no clue what is in the land of noumenon (Kant)… we just know that the Enlightenment project (Kant) onward began a campaign to close it all down, deny it, expunge it, castrate it, sink it beyond human knowledge; but, having failed it has been of late exposed for what it is: another myth – the Myth of Reason that put at its center science and power, the darker magic of gaining human power over these unknown forces to its own ends. Unlike earlier more creative cultures it has succeeded only in trapping itself in its own mythologies of hate and collapse and will founder not through lack of knowledge, but from its glut…

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      • There are times when I find myself having to re-read your posts and/or comments, at points quite a few rounds, to unveil the puzzle your poetic music sings. You force me to not only think and question, but to imagine and push through the veils.

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      • True… peeling that onion is a difficult task, layer by layer of illusion we’ve clouded our lives in against just that – the truth of who and what we are.

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  2. I’ve known who and what we are, to a large degree, but I won’t declare it full certainty, for as far back as I can remember, with an ever growing innate knowledge as each day passes. When the day comes, where those who truly know me are ready, the world is ready, our kind is ready, I will finally be able to remove my camouflage and show my true self, without fear of being held captive in a mass illusion. For now, the amount of layers involved in such a large onion tends to bring far too many tears if not covered.

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    • I’ll repeat what I said on your blog:

      For me it’s a little different, as you know: I do not believe that under the camouflage anything is hiding; in fact, there is no authentic self, no self at all… in fact the beauty of the dark gnosis is that behind the mask there is a void, a self-reflecting nothingness that is and is not, and in its nothingness arise all things that are free of our wants and needs: an acknowledgement that at the core of that sweet onion of our being is an empty spark dancing in the void where light and dark are neither one nor the other bound, but have become something else, aware of that strangeness that is even as it is aware of us… that in one nutshell is the dark gnosis of my poetry.

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      • I responded to your comment on my blog (in a friendly, fun manner) — but I’m going to re-read your last comment a few times and then marinade on it for a bit, before I respond here. It’s a thought provoking comment which requires my attention.

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      • I’ll continue provoking… think on it: for thousands of years now religions of the monotheistic type have severed the darkness from the light – a harsh dualism that has led them into our moment when religion in its bid to make a comeback seeks in its messianic mission in Jewish, Muslim, and Christian worlds the symbolic apocalypse and return of a Messiah who will put to an end the a severing of the ties between light and darkness, good and evil as it demands within its creeds, books, literature, prophets, etc. Even in Western history we’ve seen the tortuous ends to which both Catholic and Protestant religions over ultimate battles for good and evil put their populations to the stake, inquisitions, war over the century internally against itself and externally against the Muslim faith. These dualisms have spawned so much hate in the world over light and darkness that we’ve forgotten the stubborn truths as poets like William Blake once knew: that all the gods and myths reside within the human breast – their not objective realities, we created them to guide our normative or moral and social interactions, as well as to explain what in essence cannot be explained (Paul: I look through a mirror darkly, etc.).

        I firmly believe that its time to bring the light and dark back together, to accept the dark into our lives rather than battling it like some mad crazed and paranoid believer whatever creed… that means accepting a darker turn into our own history, a walk into its horrors with our eyes wide open, seeing what its done to all of us in our denials… for that’s the key: we’re in denial, have been for thousands of years… as to who and what we are… we need to heal those wounds, bring the dark angels home (not literally – I don’t believe in them), but figuratively as those aspects of ourselves that we keep denying are ours… until we can do this we are on a doomed course toward oblivion.

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