“A Fly in Amber”

I wrote this poem today and I publish it here without comment. I hope you find something in it that resonates with you.

I had sought to fix my life,
A fly in amber
Kept safe from time and from death,

Hard resin encased all round
Me, an inch of air,
A drop of hard dried blood

Is all I took in with me,
All the oxygen
And life I sought to protect.

Of course I was a fool, for
What is but an inch
Of air and a clot of blood

Against even the slightest
Pressure of boundless
Gravid eternity? So

The air and life’s blood of course
Gone, vaporized in
Eternity’s batted eyelash.

Alone, then. In an instant.
As life dwindled to
A dim phosphorescent point,

I hated my sheer
Folly, but what is much worse,
I hated the air, I

Hated the blood, those very things
That were most precious
And fine, those very things to which

I owed any life and good
At all. This last was,
Poor me, my one true folly.

For there, in the dark and the
Pain, the air and blood
Showed their actual nature:

The air I trapped was, down to
Its last molecule,
The breath of Edenic life,

And in the drop of blood lay
Hidden all good, complete,
Entire, whole in itself,

And with it the hearts of all,
Loved and feared, I sought
To wall out with my amber.

As in the darkness I sat
Self-condemnation
Flooded me. I realized:

My folly, my sin, was not to
Seek protection, but
Was instead the base contempt

I harbored, deep within, for
These very things I most
Sought to love and to protect.

But it was not done. In grief
And tears I found a
Grace not expected or earned:

I was, I saw, not apart
From the air and blood,
Those things I sought to capture,

But I was entirely in
And of them, and through
Them, in and of all in all,

Down to the last inch of me.
No wall or power
Could separate me from them.

And in that moment at last
I was free.

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