UMBILICUS: AFTER A PAINTING BY BRITT POSMER

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A net cannot catch water –
the mind cannot hold who you are.
When blackness murmurs with light
do you need to inhale?
The moon only appears to hang
on a plum branch.
Let your next breath be an effervescence
of emptiness.
The Self floats in cells of flesh,
the body in the Self.
Don’t try to understand this,
just let the glow between your nerves
be a crop of stars hanging above you
in the orchard of prayer.
To wake up is a ceremonial drowning,
every threshold dissolved in one sensation:
the grape into nectar, the nectar into
a fine mist, the distillate
into bewilderment.
True inebriation is clarity –
crush the moon in this dance,
your feet oozing a ferment
of sweetness.
Leave it to the raven
to scatter your seeds –
only a dark wisdom sniffs
the difference between wine and death.
Most people fear the end
with every exhalation.
That is why their breathing is incomplete.
But you have the privilege of dying right now,
your lungs filled with burgundy and stars.
Don’t struggle upward like a swimmer for the sun –
that is not how babies are born.
Be the infant who knows
from a single exultation of air
that this is the last day.
Everything has its cost.
Not even the grace of the Mother is free.
What is her price? Surrender.
All night, be a constellation turning
with the majesty of a pearl-encrusted corpse
in the ebb and flow of the void.
All day, keep this secret
hidden in your smile.

* Painting: ‘Umbilicus’ by poet, artist and friend Britt Posmer

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