poetry = nonsense
nonsense = meaninglessness
meaninglessness = void
void = nothingness
nothingness = spirit

He was born colour blind -- predestined to live in sepia Poor boy, always a little behind suffering too, a little myopia Perhaps it was to his mother the photographer, that he owed focus for she narrowed hers, in one way or another to capture the mountain or the crocus But unlike his father - a disciple of Mao the Chairman, who painted grey the Tao to whom he owed his achromatic vision the child could only see division In class he was a little slow his mind doing with brightness and saturation what everyone does with hue and things aglow -- a hindrance to his education In character, distinctly non-glossy with muted elation and pastel smiles though at times thought a little saucy for the Victorian spirit of these isles Like all boys, he longed to play but his games consisted of christening the many colours he imagined every day. "suffia" he uttered, with no one listening and "argyn", his name for jade or the hue of his mother's lips which seemed a subtle shade the shadow of a lunar eclipse and "fethren", the iridescence of a cat's eye and "yesters", the tincture of blue hornets and "vespiya", his name for the colour of sky and "weltise", the glitter of bayonets But his favourite was "cromwyn", the tint on his mother's cheeks when she wept which was often graced by a slight glint and sometimes visible when she slept Because of his near-sightedness sports were not to his great liking but owing to youthful activeness he did take oft to a little hiking In his walks the tones of sepia came alive a tinge of this hue, a smidgen of that the burnt sienna of Autumn, the ochre of the beehive a little amphibian green, the blackness of bat He spent little time in the darkroom nor did he take to his father's library preferring in stead the garden and its perfumes its freshness and quiet sanctuary One day he encountered a wondrous creature which he knew to be the mighty Gryphon but owing to some psychological feature he thought the beast no stranger than the Jinn The Gryphon offered something special a bargain he thought mutually beneficial to let the boy see through his eyes, his utopia whilst he, the fabled colour sepia To see the scarlet of roses, the boy thought sapphire blue, and the green of emeralds such an adventure he would have never sought and wondered greatly what such a thing heralds "A glimpse changes everything" the Gryphon said, being most forthright "and to my sight you cannot cling" thus the boy would return to his plight After much contemplation the boy replied with a counter-offer of his own that the Gryphon should let him ride on his back, in exchange for something unknown The winged beast thought to himself how strange the answer, almost that of elf but he agreed, being accustomed to flying with messages and packages on his back to take the boy in flight, specifying he should hold loose like a sack thus they ascended to heights known only to children of feathers, high above the clouds where even in mighty flocks a creature is lonely in that ether our world the Heaven shrouds and in the boy's sepia tints the welkin blue all around never seemed so majestic, divine and no longing in his heart was found for hue for corinth, lavender or the forest green of pine for he knew that colour had not been given him but there is richness in every form of perception and slow as he was, he could recognise a whim exactly for what it was: a form of deception when the Gryphon finally decided to alight he swooped down with intentional gallantry figuring to make the most of the boy's delight but also as a customary form of pageantry the winged lion wondered what the boy would offer to make good on his part of their curious bargain the answer to which seemed to be a small coffer containing an ancient scroll, with mysterious jargon the boy looked into the puzzled eagle's face and smiled, knowing that what he had to deliver was something any winged soul could embrace -- something ancient, that makes his kind shiver he unrolled the scroll carefully and began to read the words come out at first with difficulty but as his memory awoke he picked up speed the griffin was at once touched, by their subtlety the scroll spoke of a riddle of the problem of being in the middle it spoke of shells, and the sounds of pecking of the bird's love of branches, and of necking it solved in a single, delightful metaphor the mysteries of what came before of the enlightened « interdependent origination » and the problems of duality and location and how it is that no matter how we are we stand from the other shore so very far when the boy was finally finished the griffin was speechless, astonished the two grinned from ear to ear of heart light, in amity sincere [31 VIII 2009]
Copyright © 2011 Erick Calder
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