The Shaping Hand
In our collective nescience
we desperately grope,
constellating desultory tesserae
into a mosaic of understanding,
or minimally a simulacrum
fraught with plausible assumptions.
Impeding this lifelong work-in-progress
are myriad extrinsic forms,
addling and beguiling,
apparently part of a cosmic camarilla
frustrating innocent yearnings
and responsible for the uncertainty
uncharitably acerbating mortal lives.
Guided by logic, we rashly forgo
fanciful conjectures of imagination,
spurning conceits uncushioned
by empirical warrants,
apprehensive of renegade
instincts running contrary to reason.
All the same, each starry night
invites speculation, stirring wonder
as we skim the welkin overhead
for the faintest signs of a polestar
or architectonic seams exposed,
longing to glimpse the hidden dint,
undying and transcendent,
the suspected presence behind the absence.
As sand drifts into dunes,
we wend along the tortuous
course in lockstep with the daystar,
our gullets torrid, our grume curdling,
hinting at careless scrapes,
announcing our bone-weariness
to the wheeling birds of prey
we pretend not to notice
while we push-push-push onward,
ovened by the overhead orb,
remorseless and deaf to appeal.
Ghoul-like, we lurch bedraggled
into a spavined maidan,
greeted by pitiless glares,
surrounded by the self-absorbed
bustle of canopied hawkers and mongers
garbed in turban, tarboosh, and burnoose,
wheedling and wangling in fulfillment
of their richly deserved reputations.
In the umbra ahead a pensive caid
pores over a fatwa from Al-Azhar;
beside us mules moisten in slough
and creeping crocodiles vie for gristle
to satisfy the capacity of obscene maws.
From a distance a stocky innkeeper
beckons us into his midst,
cogently gesturing toward
ablutions and libations,
to the inviting environs of a spouting pool,
for sore eyes and sapped limbs
the finest sight this side of heaven.
© Brandon Marlon
Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. (Hon.) in Drama and English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry has been published variously in Canada, the U.S., England, Greece, Romania, Israel, and India.
For more, check out: www.brandonmarlon.com