An allusion to an illusion - a poem by Uttik
There are lessons to be learned from the sentient and non-sentient beings of our world and of our cosmos.
An allusion to an illusion
At sunset, the sun appeared larger than when overhead.
At moonrise, the moon appeared larger than when overhead.
Seated on the golden sand, watching the waves lap the shore,
I gazed at the setting sun,
The sea stretched far into the distance,
And it seemed to me,
Where the sea ended, there the sun was dropping.
Surely, that could not be?
If this dazzling life-giver were to kiss the sea,
Would she not be scorched?
Or, would his thirst not be quenched?
Yet, I shall never know,
For, his passing caress is yet an illusion.
O life-giver, o night-charmer, why do ye fool my mind?
I climbed atop a hill, and let my eyes wander far,
When my eyes could wander no further, there was the horizon,
Surely, that could not be the end?
Why this argument between my eyes and my mind?
A voice says there is yet more land beyond the horizon,
That there is yet vaster space beyond,
And another voice says my thought cannot be incomplete,
For, how long, how far, must my eyes wander to sight the end?
Oh, what sorcerer is playing with my mind?
My gaze was directed to the answer,
An earthworm, with its most curious locomotion,
Caught my attention, and soon earned my admiration.
It fixed its middle segment to the earth,
Performed the most elegant stretch of its head ahead,
Fixed its head segment to the earth,
Released its middle segment,
Then, with an exquisite contraction,
It pulled its hind segment,
Accomplished a move forward,
And continued this supremely graceful cycle.
That was not all.
As it moved, it ate,
As it ate, it left something behind for the earth,
And with each passing, lo! The soil was richer!
How enchanting and mysterious,
This alternate contraction and expansion,
That when I am aware of myself as the body, I contract,
When I am aware of myself as light, I expand,
And with these two, my life marches forward,
But, when the contraction and expansion serve the same master,
Then, my every footprint casts nourishing light.
My mind can’t deny the possibility of infinity,
And at the same time, it can’t bring closure to a thought,
Unless there is containment, and boundary and finiteness,
And so, the eyes reached their limit at the horizon,
Though the mind knew of the vastness beyond.
Now I see the difference,
The sun and the moon on the horizon,
The sun and the moon against the heavens,
That the background allusion determines the foreground illusion.