Into something rich and strange
—William Shakespeare

Triumph of Life

Speak, life, whence do you surge?
What powerful urge
can wake your brief core
in the most imperceptible
hard residue of stone?
From the mineral dust that
stirs, rises and spreads
to the resolute metal,
pure in perfect bodies,
in pyrite macles,
or suspended in clay,
in fleshy pink orthose?
From absolute crystal,
the spark of olivine
to the dry magmatic heart
of volcanic rock?

You glide over quartz,
light in the light of the name,
rapt in your eternal limits,
but bearing the seed
of a much higher destiny
that must endure the harsh
deficiency of form. 
Gases, vapors, quakes
in absolute fogs
over feverish ponds!
Falling, the minimal structure
takes root.
The imperceptible tenderness
of the slightest code,
the imperishable law
the eternal longing, longing
to return to the sentient
crystal of the mind.
Stubborn longing of lichens,
fleshy longing of fungi,
cool fountain of ferns,
music of spores!

What miracle do you forge,
tender shoot, as you grow,
passion of the sap,
fleeting flash, plan,
living crystal, image
of the past and future,
flowery diamond,
mystery of the rose?
You are the recompense
of the obscurest ivy,
the grass and the virgin vine,
the bluest gentian,
the alder, the geranium,
the static palm tree,
the olive tree, the bay,
the entire alpine flora
accustomed to the snows,
to the icy wind that exhorts
the lowly rhizome
to accept its humble fate,
always awaiting
ever-fleeting springs;
the tropical flora,
feverishly exuding,
losing itself large
in generous, grandiloquent
leaves, always
tenebrously green,
slowing advancing
on the paths of excess.
Voracious for itself,
it rots and is reborn.

Oh, carnivorous flowers
nourished by the mobile flower
you do not comprehend,
the graceful insect, the free
flower of languid buds,
winged corollas, elytra;
fly, jewel and machine,
absurd beetle,
cantharid, creeping
emerald, and you, cricket,
summer rhythmer,
persistent drone,
industrious bee,
mother of honey and wax.
And you, woody mantis,
locust of the mown field,
longing to sprout leaves,
fixed on the mirror
of a greener past,
little bamboo twig.

You, slithering ophid,
forked tongue listening
to the olden rhythm of trunks,
seeking out warm
poisonous, bloods, you,
sweet squeezing knot.

You, sister eel,
who close the cycle
from rock to mud,
from brook to sea:
nocturnal flash of moonlight!

You, elusive fish,
dim in your realm
of sweet or salt waters.
Fish that eat fish,
fish that reap algae.
You, forgotten tortoise,
iguana, crocodile,
implacable mandible,
teeth of all terrors.
You, humble salamander
of the sere, sad skin,
old before your time, and
you, graceful lizard,
queen of the crevice,
green-gold artifice wrought
by what goldsmith’s hands?

Oh, eagle, empress
of celestial lands,
what destiny of mind,
what flame of fierce desire
warmed your blood,
what unknown threads
tensed your wings
to lift you potent
from the hostile rock?

What store of tenderness
nestles in the down
of the red-breast, of the sparrow,
of the weightless goldfinch,
of the hidden nightingale
singing in the hollows?

In your tragic circles, falcon,
glory of birds,
what cravings do you enclose?
And you, awkward egret
fishing amid the reeds?

Beaver building in the mud,
sweet muzzle, flat tail,
where are you headed?
Fishing nutria,
velvety ermine?
You, kind horse,
you, mortified ass,
you, cat, you, bear, you, boar,
you, dog, you, leopard,
you, mooing cow
of immense eyes, lion
who devours the doe,
stag who flees the tiger,
wolf who flees from hunger,
man who flees from man?

Man, wellspring of terror,
do you not at least feel
in your blood thick with change
the longing for the dust,
the return to the naught?

To such a distant end,
wearied by metals,
by wings, by freezing blood,
by claws and whinnies,
by horns, fangs, and beaks,
by feathers and scales,
by tenderness and oblivion,
by cunning and pursuit,
by imprisoned instincts,
make this journey yours!

Go back to your pure name,
become a higher life:
cycle of another cycle:
matter, spirit,
will and desire,
mineral and vapor:
life and nothingness
in one sole sense of sense,
one sole senseless sense.
(Freedom, freedom
to spread and wander
through unclosed space
in the Name that binds us
to make us a freer seed!)

I in the All and in the Name
that enfolds every impulse,
and generously reclaims me.
Finding me in you and in the others,
in the All and in the Name
that comprehends, and comprehends us,
that affirms us in denying us.
Name lost in the Name,
in the ecstasy of the Name,
Name, pure love of the Name,
Name, crystal of the Name.