Ode to Pan
ODE TO PAN (Or, "The Terror and Ecstasy of Being Alive")
What if Terror isn’t something we ever “get over”?
What if Nightmare
isn’t a bridge we cross
after paying the Trolls’ toll
but is the cross?
The one we have to bare
as we crucify ourselves on the trees of good and evil
and swallow our own serpentine tales?
The Ring of the Lords
is the Ouroboros.
It is cast of golden shadow.
Eve and Adam’s wedding rings
slithered on their middle fingers.
Did you know they honey-mooned
at the forked tongue of the River Styx
which is always to be found at the mouth
of our own estuaries?
Nature never “gets over” her waterfalls and volcanoes
anymore than we overcome our hearts beating or adrenaline crashing
on the cliffs of our brains or the wetness
between our legs.
Earthquakes are Gaia’s shudderings and shivering;
typhoons her ecstasies and exhilarations,
geysers her ejaculations.
The Earth doesn’t get over herself:
She whirls dervishly.
She sinks into cavernous holes of herself
and spews lava and fireballs
as she waits out eternity in sandstone and alligators and blue whales
and calculates the sacred geometry of snails
and weighs the scales of red dragons
in their scientific lairs.
What if fear, if horror,
is something we cannot surpass
But at best, undress?
Pan lives in caves on cool hilltops
and beds down on damp forest floors.
He cannot resist a bonfire
or pulling down a zipper
and feeling for something warm and pulsing
He does this with lightening
speed and sharp fingernails
or very, very slowly, with his teeth.
The nymphs tell me
he is also pretty good with buttons,
Pan grows impatient
if the strip tease goes on too long:
he is always naked
and demands the same in us.
He plays at sado-masochism of the Soul
but this isn’t a game, it’s a rite.
There are no safe-words.
Pan is sure-footed on the ledges of our craggy fears.
He takes what he wants. He wants to give.
He speaks in thrusts and tongues
even as he licks our ears and when
we offer our jugular to him;
when we surrender on our backs and stretch our necks
and offer blood as if to fangs of vampire;
when we feel the truth raging in our veins
that we share his pulse and chloroform,
he feels green and hard and heard.
Then, and only then,
will he hold his reed flute erect,
—All beast, all man—
and exhale raindrops and butterflies,
blades of grass and bucking stags,
daffodils, ancient oaks and thorns of rose
so that we can inhale his
fresh mountain air.
When we breath together this way—
the Horned God’s tongue filling up our mouths,
the human moans echoing in the canyon of his throat—
the heavens and the earth harmonize in
pitchfork perfect union.
Only then does enemy become ally;
war story transcends into epic poem;
a fallen angel re-pairs his mossy wings.
And the cross?
The cross spreads her loving arms
and lets Ecstasy and Terror
hug her close.