THE DARK ONES

July [3] 2008

(Poem)

Dedicated to souls afflicted with schizophrenia

art-northeaster-winslow-homer1

I.

The “split personality” is a misnomer.

An ocean cannot split.

It’s simply too large, deep,

and undifferentiated.

An apple ‘splits’–

as it has core

and distinct presence,

or should we say–

“boundaries.”

So very different

are the sad shapeless seas

and the dark ones,

with no apparent center to divide,

no personality to split.

Contrary to the myths.


II.

Yet each can be entered

close to its shore,

provided of course,

one is a respectful swimmer.


On calm days

they are like a lake

where one enjoys a friendly hour,

a quiet picnic on the grass.


But closer to the water line

one hears the unending dirge

of crashing waves always echoing

the deep voices below,

the voices that never rest.


III.

Loose angles of thought

like warped sunlight underwater

distort conventional limits

of chaos and order.


At profounder levels

most of what thrives there

is benign, though feared and bizarre

like mating green octopi.


Sometimes a female’s voice is heard

murmuring beneath the dirge:

“Into the fire,” it demands,

“go now or this brain reduplicates!”


Sometimes a loud man’s voice is heard,

“you do NOT  qualify if babies are eaten”

it repeats like a brute shark

devouring a linear path

of normal fish.


IV.

Six miles down the crushing deep

the sun no longer is the benthic source

for the eyeless tubefish scuttling

in the dark heat of the earth’s own molten fires.

Eventually,  scientists now agree,

an ocean will end.

This is where the two have

parted ways

(until the triumph of medicines),


But even if you know how to swim

and can calculate the deepest chasm

be advised–an ocean requests no visitor,

particularly beyond its shores–

even less so

do the dark ones,

the more turbulent of the two.

1993

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One Response to “THE DARK ONES”

  1. Anna Says:

    I appreciate you sharing this profound poem. It’s provided me with a deeper understanding of my son. I’ve often observed that it seems he receives “everything all at once”. This explains the “something more”, the dark depth of his being.

    I often marveled, “How can he suddenly sit down and play concert quality music on the piano with no prior lessons claiming he just hears it in his head”. Conversely, I’ve often lamented, “Who are you and what have you done with my son?”
    The swimmer really can’t see, really can’t know fully…I mean is it possible that the dark ones
    tap into multi-dimensions or other realities that we can’t see/understand? It would explain the sudden creative ability to play the piano.
    Or not…
    Regardless, thank you for sharing this insightful poem.

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