Of Being and Becoming
Daniel Corrie

                I am divided up in time, whose
                order I do not know.


Its insect mouth half formed, never to feed,
one mayfly will be born in spring
from the cool creek

to find the feel
of its veined transparency of wings
beating to climb,

needing what was never taught,
joining the sexual cloud
of its swarming kind.

Each will roughly clasp or be clasped,

their flurry hurrying
to clasp their winged lifetime’s
single day.

Sometimes from fathoms of sleep,
I rise swimming
from my forgetting

ancestral fins, scales, gills,
feeling water turn to wind, pulling me
from the swarming plankton’s
wide, bluegreen womb of water. 

Now water narrows, birth canal
through forest into clearing.

From the field’s gleaming
seam of creek, I walk
in my scuffed boots and mud-spattered jeans,

feeling sweat soak the back
of my neck’s binocular strap.
Sweat gives me salt’s taste

of something almost as lost

as dimmest memory of tasting
breath in sun-dimming depths.

Fifty years have been
too sudden for knowing
where I’ve emerged walking,
looking, listening − then to hear

the scream, again and again,
to look up to the high hawk’s
broad wings cocked,

riding the rise of morning’s
warming air, higher with each circle.

It screams its hunter’s ownership
of the territory beneath
its called claims. 

This March’s hunter
will die to a future’s twin hunter
climbing other mornings’ circles,

screaming the same scream.

In one of the dreams,

a god stood, totem unchanging,
shape risen to a pillar,
perfection’s looming monolith

beyond years’ rains melting
temples’ ruined, toppled columns.

I’ve seen a column rise into sky,

column of a forest’s smoke.
Each tree was fire’s pillar. 

Smoke’s columns soon drift, form hazing
as if forgetting itself,

as a dark sky will clear

to stars, like leaves’ cooling embers
drifting through a night’s air.
A creek’s course will dry to earth-scar,
left like a memory of water running.

Each of my creeds fell like sunlight
in a creek’s water braiding

sometime through time’s
long season of making,
unmaking, making.

Again blind rain will need
the arid creek bed to flood

re-carving its shape,
ancient shape
of skin-changing snake −

shape writhing in its shedding.

Time: transfiguring

triptych of past, present, and future −
Great swarm of triunes

of beginnings, middles, and endings −
I stand in the memory of water rushing
one morning through sunlight,

lost creek unlost
where I crossed, stopping ankle deep,

kept in its going – keeping its going,

where I was – where I am.

Great form
of transformation –

Enduring shape
of metamorphosis – 

Sometimes I hear the parable
of my past reciting me
like a future.

Sun-filled in my seeing,
creek’s current was a clarity
like the good. Its vein of feeling
might course as clearly

through a life’s blood-blush –

through blood’s reddening horizons

of duskdawn into duskdawn
of now into now.

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