The following is a poem from Sunny Wednesday (Wave Books, 2009) by Noelle Kocot.
Everyone who came to see the corpse
Of the holy man was struck by his or her own decay.
Even the most skeptical of the throng,
The ones who would no doubt be deemed insane
Among the blue world of souls,
Had to admit there was no odor
Souring the crowded room
Beyond the whiffs of muddled breath
That escaped their every gasp.
And yet they yearned for something else,
Especially the kind and simple ones:
This whirling dance of awe would never be
Enough to discern those signs
With fiery arrows pointing this way, no that way.
These longed to know the difference
Between the unredeemable torque of the lost ones'
Vagaries spiralling past the very edge
Of all their days, and the straight
Path's satellite roving between here and There.
They longed for a meaning more distinct
As they tried and tried in vain
To master the arc of their spiritual trapeze.
And it was these the holy man would have loved,
Would have strummed his fingers across
Their souls as if they were silver-stringed tanburs,
Would have drawn them to him like a strong magnet
Across a wire-like bridge.
And when the fire was finally stoked
With the hallowed body,
Still completely fresh after over a week
Of respects, envy and tears,
The ones who looked into it first
Saw that man's face smiling beyond
Its melting eye-sockets, leaking the secret
They ardently wanted to hear
Even as they could feel each of their own cells
Collapsing daily now, a secret that this man,
Henceforth the professor of all their days and ways,
Who would blow the scales from their eyes
Like a strong wind, the secret he would whisper
To them in the sorrowful music of fallen leaves
Sheeting the sidewalks like mirrors
Under their weary feet,
And it had to do with asking,
The secret had to with simply asking.
"Beyond Recognition" from Sunny Wednesday by Noelle Kocot. Copyright © 2009 by Noelle Kocot. Published by Wave Books.