Poem by John Tarrant Roshi. 1985.
Memory is a shed
with a palace inside it,
a grimoire full of spells.
A word summons wide fields
full of the light of hay;
catches me off guard,
the moon and the eggs of childhood
are nestled there.
There are other spells in the book:
The swift exhilarations of the body.
Each of these spells is a fragment
of a mirror
that remembers a world.
You have only to look into it
deeply and, There! you see!
the woman turning, the mist and how
the quick lights of the body rule you
without being truly known.
Some things come back the other way,
luminous, incoherent things:
Obscure indigestions, insomnias,
strange, self-defeating loves,
the way that sorrow is heavy
and linked to a great light;
these are worlds seeking spells
and a true description,
and we must give them a place in the grimoire,
under Great Spells, Poorly Understood,
so that they may begin
to find themselves in us,
and we, to navigate among them.
These, the great spells, are beings
willing to suffer;
they become many for the joy of it,
We are already in another country.
Here, the most terrible pain
is not to have lived.
the inward maze,
what we do not know,
Memoria is a grimoire
full of spells that summon worlds,
and of worlds, longing to be recalled.