Orion

Orion will rise tonight after three
Hours after a frontal passage
Brings the clearest possible October air.

All of my life I have stopped or awakened to watch The Hunter
A collection of stars, visible just so from this vantage,
My culture has grouped and named.
Here I invoke him personified in words only
To tell yet another story of awakening.

There is no difference between my seeking Orion
In the wee morning hours of October
And my halting in my tracks at his earlier prospect
As in deep winter he rises in evening
Vast, wheeling, tilted east, vaulting high across the south,
Westering.
So for my first seeing of the aurora in 1972,
So for the total solar eclipse in the Yakima River basin in 1979,
      and the astounding horizon-to-horizon aurora of March 1989—
So as I have done and will always do
      on encountering the heart-heating scent of blossomed milkweed
            and its endemic beetles, moths, and butterflies
                  across my life
                        of pathless, numberless days,
I rise or stop for Beauty
For there is no difference
Between Beauty and me.

There is no difference between my seeking Orion
And my rising after midnight on summer Long Beach Island mornings
To view Perseid and Delta Aquariid meteors
      such that one year, our landlord, learning
            that I had indeed awakened
                  with aid of neither timepiece nor alarm
                        solely for the purpose of Seeing
                              as the evening before I had said that I would do,
                                    said with the hearty conversational cheer of a familiar stranger,
                                          "Dave, you're an idiot"—
And I nodded and laughed
Because his constituents and mine were nucleosynthesized by stars
And there is no difference between the Perseids and Delta Aquariids
      and him
            and me,
And the wordless sacredness of Beauty
Is, in the ultimate, indestructible.

There is no difference
      between Orion's rising
And mine. Both—we—are flowerings
Of one flowering,
And I, a collection no less of grouped events my culture has named,
      visible just so from particular vantages,
            rise to Beauty no less
Than I rise to air,
      water,
            food,
                  shelter,
                        offspring,
                              companionship,
                                    and World finally calling to me
Of my ending.

As all is one flowering,
Beauty and its Beholding
      are one event;
Beauty and its Beholder,
      one event.
Yet if all creaturehood Action occurs in satisfaction of Deficiency,
If there is no difference between Beholder and Beheld,
      whence arises the gradient, the differential,
            across which Drive develops
                  to compel creaturehood Action to Behold,
                        to seek Beholding?
Creature-brain hosts its mechanism
      in the process called Mind;
The dawning in Mind of awareness
      of perceiving the perceiving of Perception,
            of gladness for having been brought to the giftedness of Life,
Engenders a need for ever beholding World and its beholding,
And Love is the hunger
      to ever seek Beholding
In Gladness,
The precise conditions necessary for the ignition
      or non-ignition
            of its Star
Yet Mystery.

Thus there is no difference between my rising to deficiency of water,
      food, or shelter
And my needing to behold Orion.
I stop at or rise to his prospect
      because my thirst for my perception of him,
            for renewing my perception of my perceiving my perception
                  of World,
                        is Love
And its satisfaction
Is Gladness.

The difference between Orion and me
      is an artifact of vantage;
We are mappings
      to spacetimematterenergy Particularities
            of Starhood and Creaturehood
Of the single eternal impulse
      that is What Is.

So is the wordless sacredness of Beauty
Indestructible.


Copyright © 2006 by David Newkirk (david.newkirk@gmail.com). All rights reserved.
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