W.F. Lantry

Kiste

Towards the sea or mountains, almost blest
we carried everything we could
but did not dare to name
and with our hands, conveyed the mysteries
the stark reflections of a place we could not comprehend

we thought objects could push us to transcend
our images, an ear of corn
if contemplated well
could be a lamp to guide us on this trace
or just a blossom, held in sight
a moment could reverse

our years of wandering, let us converse
in tongues we know, voices of flame
in darkness understood
as light illuminating what the mind
conceived without the expertise
of interwoven forms

as if the mountain winds or wave dressed storms
surpassed our words, as if the thorn
gave meaning as it fell
along this unmarked path where intertwined
roses and broken canes relight
this road towards the west.

SOME REMARKS FROM THE POET: A kiste was a small box, a kind of chest, really, which was at the center of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The secret of its contents was so well guarded that even today, no-one knows exactly was inside. And so in the poem, we go wandering, searching for a place of peace, bearing the secret with us, but hardly understanding it. We just have the intuition that if only we could fully grasp it, or understand the voices in the darkness, we could find that place of peace, that promised land the unmarked path may lead to, but even our own words, our cherished objects, our interwoven forms, confuse us. The pentameter, tetrameter, trimeter repeating stanza is my own invention, as is the rhyme scheme.