I hear the braying of a rough beast far away,
Across the wadi, beyond the ridge.
Another road to another village, whose name I cannot say.
Beyond the olive groves, vineyards, and tents,
The limestone cities with their central squares and bazaars,
The crush of humanity that never relents.
There. Just there. Beneath that star. Can you see it?
Oh, wait. I cannot see.
The cold gears of earth and sky turn and never quit,
But hide as much as they reveal, for they turn also you and me,
And drag us, none the wiser,
Away from that we seek to see.
The widening gyre goes where it goes,
For a while widening, unrestrained.
Tis good I do not see beyond the edge’s threshold.
For a while. Some waiting time was bought.
I lived outside its widening, but the gyre widened relentlessly.
I saw it coming into view and saw my view coming into naught.
Fleeing away from it. For now,
The gyre keeps me out of reach.
But not of thought, the where or why or how,
The gyre cannot widen forever, no?
The wonder, what is on the other side?
It must relent, or slack, or slow.
The widening gyre has overcome me,
And in its wake I see legions. I see empires,
The Fertile Crescent and the brain pan of philosophy.
The mystics in their fervor dancing,
From the Middle East through Persia, India, and China,
I see vast fields of time and beyond… Nothing.
The center cannot hold because there is no center,
Only occasional pools of meaning,
That form from mind and matter,
And swirl around some imaginary point for a time.
Real and unreal. It’s nothing,
Until it is taken away. And then the anarchy unwinds.
Toward what Bethlehem is this rough beast slouching? And to do what?