No Religion, No Scripture, No Prophet

1.
How is it that so many of us
can stare into the same abyss
and see different things?  

There’s nothing there
when I look into it. One sees
the authority of star charts

while someone else sees
a bloodstained cross of gold
and another, a rune hanging

in the sky above a gigantic tree.
It seems the abyss is a master
of sleight of hand. Magic

runs deep in there, as deep
as the pit itself perhaps. That’s 
why we have mystics, I suppose:

there are always people
who will try to explain
how the trick was done.  

2.
If I am to be honest
I don’t really see nothing
when I stand before it.

There’s something there,
certainly.  I just can’t tell
what it is and I’m too old

to waste any more time
on being certain before
leaping in.  If it’s a raven,

I’ll find out when I strike it
as I fall.  If it’s a coyote
let it take me in its jaws.

If it’s something I can’t name
I’ll fall into it or fly by it
and that will be that.

3.
When I peer into the abyss
the one thing I can say for sure
is that it’s not me in there.

Whatever is there
is not staring back
at all. Not so far.

It seems unconcerned
that I’m even here.
It seems to go about being

the abyss regardless
of anyone’s gaze. No use
wringing your hands about this,

it seems to be saying.
It’s not yours. Maybe 
you’ll understand someday,

but don’t give up your sense
one day sooner than you need to
thinking it will help:

no one 
has ever
gotten it right.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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