Ten Thoughts on the Necessity of Escape – a poem by Bryan Helton

Ten Thoughts on the Necessity of Escape


Caught in this room, this cage,
cool and bright.
Here a long age.
This is not the sun's light.


Outside, an unseen 
	blue being
climbs a may-ladder
swings the lamp-sun
	of spring.


Did I dream or did I see
(they are the same 
you will say to me)
the moon last night
	rise howling
with antlers growing 
above her face of light?


	Trapped here
	in this chair,
the body reverberates
with two distinct words:
Movement is life
(whatever that is, it is 
	what it must be)
and then you said:
Life is rebellion against time
(this is why you must dream
	bright dreams
		for the dead)


Now the magus hand,
numb, with a wild motion,
	signs an invocation,
	a sharp slap 
	to crack
	time's head.


The command, the counterspell:
	You, look up!
The walls are rippling.
Your eyestones are echoing,
having fallen down the well.


The great jonquil world,
the blind flower, unfolds.

Warm and fecund hills,
the earth's flat palm-plains,
forests where the laughing fox
mountains made of aeons,
all rush upwards
	towards the mind's eye,
hang there,
encompassed by the first 
		and only ocean.

One moment's vision:
continents of tangled green.


The sphere of time floats
in the drinking-cup of my skull.


I look past these strangers’ faces
	all flamed with hell-fire.
Give me back my happy solitude.


It is a new doctrine I will teach.
The white bread of the clouds
fills me
and the belly-warming wine of the sun
inebriates my life.

Bryan Edward Helton is a poet and fiction writer from Georgia, USA. He spent his early years writing songs and studying Theology and Philosophy. His work has been published in various literary journals including South Florida Poetry Journal, The Squawk Back, Heartwood Literary, and the Orchards Poetry Journal. He is the author of The Manic Joy of the Dead from New Voyage Books. 

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