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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Reclimbing Fern Hill (I See Floodwaters Rising)

Then for now
Or now for then
To be green and golden
Or gray and olden
Time knows no mercy
But restores the world
To the same old pleasures
Via the same old
Circular means

All that’s to come
Has been foreshadowed
In the light of all
That has ever been
So we dance on and on
Holding hands unbroken
Change is an illusion
And so too are the chains
That won't keep the seas
From rising again

* * * * *

The immediate prompt for this poem was the image (reproduced below) that my friend Christy Rupp  posted to Facebook.   Simple but harrowing.  It shows that Photoshop is not only capable of distorting an image but (in the right hands) is also capable of restoring us to a fuller sense of its original meaning. 

Christy's reworking of the Orwell cover in turn inspired me to revisit Fern Hill - in greener days, one of my favorite poems.    The more things change, the more they stay the same, but also the more our understanding has a chance to ripen and deepen; with any luck, eventually we become attuned to the rhythm and patterns of of time's circularity.  Perhaps if we re-climb Fern Hill enough times the chains of our purely linear perspective will fall away altogether!   Free at last, free at last - too bad all we see are the floodwaters rising ...


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