Thursday, August 17, 2006


The philosopher is fuller more of facelessness;
No shame or hubris, no hope or fear
Merely, sheerly always awed by eyes to see,
Ears to hear, nose to smell, tongue to taste,
Body to touch and travel in the world
Mind would make of such perceptions
If not plagued by a myriad of exceptions.
Always meeting more makes
The name game wane before
The waxing of accumulated experience
Floats his boat on a different seeing
Of the rest of the being
On whose theme he is a variation,
On whose face he is but a pixel
In a universe of infinite resolution.
Observed always from the center.

He cannot be increased or diminished
By gaining or losing face
Before other faces.
Face smudges the purity
Of what one longs to witness
By looking.
Being looked at
Is not the same as being seen.
He sees what would be here now
As if he were not
Contaminating the evidence
With his intentions.

Through such eyes can be seen
The parts that are not him.
In shape, size and shade
As complete and unique as he.

Through such ears can be heard
Birdsong and the groan of growing mountains.
The cricket-pitch circuitry of his brain
Deciphers the music of the spheres.

Through such a nose can be breathed
The aromas of nature: magnolias and manure
The odours of man: cologne and petroleum products.
The aromas in their season, the odours more insistent.

Through such taste buds can be sampled
The chemistry of the world
In a salivary solution that evokes
Sublime memories of evolutionary infancy.

Through such skin can be felt
The tension, texture, tempo and temperature of
An inner thigh, an oak bark trunk and sunrise dewdrops;
Unique metabolisms equally alive, each in their scale.

In such a body’s lifetime can be visited various locations
Within a tiny neighborhood vastly greater than he
To continually triangulate, extrapolate and refine his idea
Of lives lived before he was born
in places he mightn’t reach before he dies.

A mind informed by such facile faculties sees
The destructive bane that entropy is
To the all too flimsy facts of science
To be a chaos of constant rebirth
Inherent in the nature of the universe,
And the very strength that makes it more eternal
Than mathematicians could ever count.

Cells regenerate in cycles of their own season,
Not in some catastrophic lunar salmon spawn.
Marks on the door jamb and the bathroom scale
Trace the life long evolution,
Just as sand is weighed instead of counting grains.
Wherever stars accumulate black holes regenerate.
The universe is either made of everything without limit
Or is just another unique part of something
That much larger,
But neither way more complete
Or capable of comprehending
Than his facelessness in the center of it all.

With no face
He sees the activities of his fellow man
Claiming dominion over the being whose mercy sustains him.
Raping mother nature for the love she would gladly give
Technology excuses itself with forest’s worth of books on the environment.

With no face
He watches insecure pride, ambition and greed
Blind men to the reality that this world they’re out to conquer
Is merely an arbitrary play in which they seek to act,
To make their mark in the culture of man,
All the while tearing gaping wounds in the stage.
Karma always writes the last act;
The nature of the stage is more patient than the play.

With no face
He observes that “primitive peoples”
Are supremely aware of their connection to their environment:
Husbanding, but not farming foods they value in the wilderness,
Building only the most temporary of shelters in recognition of earth’s changes
Maintaining familial communities to minimize intrusion of cultural prejudice
And maximize individual member’s self reliance throughout the environment.

With no face
He sees that the unique variation of individual parts
Is the health, energy and strength of the body they form.
He watches our myth, our cultural facts lead us to believe
Mankind is separate from and superior to all we survey
As a united, homogenized force of evangelic reformation
Morally obligated to align the universe with our design.
Man’s symbiotic co-evolution with our planet,
This body of which man is a variety of flesh,
Has been on hold ever since such a notion became belief.
Civilization cannot use contributions from individuals
More viable than the least imaginative common denominator.
Individuals are more valuable to their community and world
When free to contribute creativity when so inspired
Than when aligning themselves with any group
To demand allegiance from the rest.

With no face
He gazes at his belly button,
Credentials of an official member of a group
That appears to be a cancer attacking a helpless body.
The remains of countless civilizations dug out of desert sands
Hacked out of jungle vines and dredged out of ocean fathoms
Show him the way of nature to sweep anomalies under the rug
And act like nothing happened.

The philosopher is fuller more of facelessness
Less cheek to need to turn.

1 comment:

Hound Dog said...

Hi Todd,

I mostly know your friends Asenath and Mark through their dog, Hounddog, whose blog account he has graciously allowed me to use to communicate my response to you, which I hope conveys the fullness of my appreciation, as I have followed their thoughts along with those of their friends, and come to more fully appreciate them and their community, through this strange forum of blogginess.

Your poem, as it were, reminded me of one of mine, and I thought it a good means of introduction beyond the passive acquaintance that the blog world otherwise seems to foster.

Sixth Sense (via an occasional mathematician named Lisa)

Listen to the hearts of men,
Listen, hearts, to Reason, then,
Reason's held the throne too long,
Passion's prison, Passion's song.

Gaze upon the minds of men,
Gaze then unto Passion's den,
Reason wears the tyrant's glove,
As Passion pays the price for love.

Breathe in all the scents of man,
Breathe, creature, deeply if you can,
You walk the earth upright, 'tis true,
But nothing can, your scent, undo.

Touch man in a place so deep,
Make him tremble, make him weep,
Falter not, for Freedom's birth's
But brief in oneness with the earth.

Taste the power, taste the pain,
Take comfort in wisdom all over again,
Passion implore in your fight to be free,
Is it folly to feel, not to think, just to be?