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Life and Light

Two Prose Poems from This Tree

By C. Rommial ButlerPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
Time waits for no one


I want to tell the world the truth about itself, but I don't know how. I want to unfold the flower of reminiscence from within the soul of timeless space, bearing it to the sun of eternal knowledge. I want to shamelessly attribute meaning to nothing in particular, and fashion spectacular rainbows of thought from triviality. I want to transform horror into wonder and wonder into sustenance for the emboldened heart. I want passion to mate precision in a wild constructive cosmic dance, a flame burning steadily in the lamp instead of through the flesh and stake. I want to wake you up with a kiss, and fall asleep in your embrace. O divine soul longing for an unconscious personal and collective: I want to be in you the self that forever becomes and never dies.

I want life.

I want to feel that we earn our place instead of being placed in it. I want to determine an order from chaos with a whimsical smile, to rearrange it and feel yet its essence coalesce with my own as if all forms were one realizing themselves through the variety of their movements.

First I concentrated on the tip of my nose. What a strange feeling to be only the tip of a nose, but there I was, and in wonderment of ecstasy I experienced a great shuddering orgasm of light shatter my perception and realign me with an awareness of atonement, wherein the Universe and I were one being sharing the function of mutual love.

It was a sneeze.

Even the breath that left me was the breath I took in, and what once irritated me was through a medium vaster than my comprehension transformed into a life-giving vapor, a spirit of madness and exaltation, mountain air or the salty scent of ocean waves or the putrid stench of the grave all rolled into one great opus of giving; 'twas earth, and every living thing rejoiced, for every thing was living, united and unperturbed.

Even that state of mind that perturbs itself is but a coarse aggravation of a smooth system, and like water wears through the rock it becomes shaped by the voluptuous softness of the giving void. It is true: the soft always overcomes the hard, and neither controls the other but through the dispensation of illusion.

What sense organ senses itself sensing?

When mirror regards mirror, which is the reflection?

There are no fragments, only the (w)hole.


Are our cherished memories

Resonating our deepest


As the serpent eats its tail,


It is a logical fallacy to presuppose that darkness is merely the absence of light. It would be better to say that darkness is a quality that we perceive of space in which no light seems to be present. Perhaps it seems a quibble, but I think it an important distinction. Light is produced by different types of fusion; which is to say that there are chemical/elemental chain reactions that involve such explosive bursts of energy that it emits particles which we perceive as light (such as photons).

But here we get into a sort of chicken or the egg, ontological head trip, don't we? We as a culture generally value light over darkness for all sorts of understandable reasons, so I think we like to believe that all the Universe is only the result of the obscuring of this precious resource. It comforts us. Yet it does not follow from what we comprehend of the creation of light in a scientific sense that all the darkness in the Universe is merely a shadow created from light's obstruction. After all, where from came these elements which are clashing and consuming each other that such light would be created in the first place?

That question has not been answered, and so long as this is the case, it is indeed a logical fallacy to presuppose that darkness is merely the absence of light, let alone its opposite. Darkness, or our perception of it, may indicate something altogether other than what our preconceptions have led us to believe. The whole matter is akin to the question of “Who created God?”

It is true that some space we perceive as dark contains light beyond the spectrum that lies in our perception. However, it also does not follow from this that there is either a such thing as absolute light or absolute darkness. What are “dark” and “light” but words we fix onto phenomena the spectrum of which we have only proven to ourselves that we barely perceive at all?

We go to such great lengths to extend our perception, only to discover greater mysteries. We split atoms down and down, and yet find still that they can be further divided. We look farther and farther into space only to find our concepts of a finite Universe continually defeated. Even as we assume we can define its borders, we are at a loss to define its center.

Our calculations are always based on our subjective experience, our perception, and the point from which we begin determines the numbers with which we end; and those numbers define a new starting point, a new platform from which to leap into vast abysses and undiscovered worlds of experience.

Traditionally we have sought to confine our definition of the world, to comfort ourselves with the notion that we can and do know its limits, to believe that a directing intelligence drives all these chaotic forces toward a destiny that is for us alone. Yet there have always been brave souls who have not accepted these limitations, scouts pushing the boundaries of our inner and outer world. They are often ostracized in their own time only to have people look back upon their discoveries from another place, to recognize that their efforts were not vain, their contributions essential to anything we might consider progress.

Often their names are lost and their contributions remain. It takes a truly discerning eye toward history to see so many influences at work, to understand the manner in which reality, myth and madness all combine to shape what we think of as culture, society, civilization—life.

Nothing really dies, and in the darkness lies the sum of every solitary effort, waiting for someone to come along and shed a little light in its direction.

But to get to Heaven we must go through Hell...

These are excerpts from:

This Tree: Poetry As Defended By Shelley by C. Rommial Butler


About the Creator

C. Rommial Butler

C. Rommial Butler is a writer, musician and philosopher from Indianapolis, IN. His works can be found online through multiple streaming services and booksellers.

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