Treasure Island

Jonathan ROBIN

(22 September / London)

Brahma Version 2


Before starred worlds revolved,
Before Mankind evolved,
Ere dust to dust dissolved
Sin punished, sin absolved,
Creation’s Eve had solved
The Day of Judgement’s Doom.

Before first Eden grew,
Before its seed sin knew,
Before vice or virtue
Distinguished false from true,
Before Cain Abel slew,
I was born from your tomb.

Before both desert, flood,
Before both blossom, bud,
Before cow chewed the cud,
Ere creatures cold of blood
Crawled careless from the mud,
Mine was the hand, the loom

That spun the thread fed through
Past, Present, Old and New.
Before the first cock crew,
Before the skies were blue,
Before the first bird flew,
I am that [s]he to whom

Shadow and light the same
Are, as is flood and flame,
Forgetfulness and fame,
As is both praise and blame
As pride is, as is shame!
Yet what is in a name
When player, rules and game
Within one cloud mushroom?

Before the first breeze blew,
Before the first sneeze too,
Before love took its cue
From life free from taboo,
Until the last adieu
I WAS who Self subsume.

Before prehistory,
And after ‘what will be’
In karmic mystery
I lose myself in we!
Tomorrow who shall see
Death’s all consuming womb

Give birth to fresh débuts?
Acts which themselves renew
As years lost years pursue
In search of rendezvous,
Self-circling. What else, who
Could thrust light through the gloom?

Ere they were brought to be
I thought earth, stars and sea.
The empty spaces free
Between each galaxy
Existence owe to me,
Yet even I’m costume!

Ere Gentile, after Jew,
Ere ‘forests walked, fish flew’,
Ere Echo did construe
Alternate I and You,
Ere Noah’s ‘two by two’,
I did thy Fate assume.

Before the first screw turned,
Before the first spark burned,
Before Mankind discerned
That Time was Heaven earned,
Dust into dust returned,
And worlds went up in fume.

Naught is there I eschew
From Mars to Timbuktu,
From thence to Xanadu,
Naught foreign is, naught new.
In ALL I am, all through
Sweep, chimney, smoke and broom.

Ere Fiat Lux! my weal,
And wheel in spinning wheel
Which some would show, some seal,
All open, all conceal,
Did blood and stone congeal:
Yet all remains écume.

Before web spider knew,
Before the skeins with dew
Were hung, I AM the glue
Which binds all things into
A senseless sense! I drew,
Will undraw, then resume.

The fossils from the sea
In Himalayas see,
All layered in my See.
Now IS Eternity!
Yet what is Time to me?
Plates in Fate’s dark dark-room!

Links in a chain whose skein retains still scope
Eternal are the atoms which comprise
The unique image of itself which prize
Trapped mortal peering through his periscope.
Heaven and Earth spin and kaleidoscope,
Ever commingle, yet naught verifies.
Right and wrong, truth, false, sloth, enterprise.
Each deifies himself to help him cope
Before those questions which, like bubbled soap,
Explode between his finger-thoughts. Replies
Held once self-evident, denied as lies,
Open Pandora’s box, - but where is Hope?
Perhaps Mankind will make sense of the maze,
End Why? Where? Wherefore? Whence? , himself amaze.

Before first Jack and Jill
Went up and down the hill,
Before drops first did spill
From the first eve until
Last dawn I work my Will,
Yet still for all there’s room.

I captain am and crew,
I'm horse and rider too,
I am both we and you,
Past, Future, and thereto
add Time itself which to
itself will e’er accrue:
Life’s bride I’m, yet Death’s groom

I Am emotions uncontrolled,
the oceans’ motions rocked and rolled,
the sirens’ po[r]tions, shipwrecked, shoaled,
the waves’ commotions thousandfold
recorded on a Dead Sea, scrolled.
the brine, the fresh, the deck, the hold,
the line, the flesh, its every fold.
through storm’s eye I fly unconsoled.

I Am the henpecked and the scold,
the tease, the teaser, the cajoled,
the jail, the jailer, the paroled,
physician, cure and camisoled.
I am dreams granted, those fools’ gold,
Freedom fair, fast stranglehold,
Chrysanthemum and marigold:
We is Eye most manifold.

I Am the stitch, the hem and fold,
the rich - the sable-stoled,
the poor, in stable, cold,
unstable, pocket holed,
I ‘m larders empty, fires coaled.
'the bowler, bails, the ball that’s bowled’,
'the potter, the pot, the clay and mould’
We is I most manifold.

I Am the secret Past unrolled,
Present and Future still untold.
Before I AM, yet was foretold.
I am unseen, and yet, behold,
Unbeholden, naught with-hold.
Nor part nor whole, last, shoe and soled.
I am sole soul though manifold.

I Am Before: both babe and old,
Before: both hot and cold,
Before: both coward, bold,
Before: both dross and gold,
Before: both bought and sold,
I am before: both secret, told.
I am We, most manifold.

I am the many and the 0ne,
The Father, Holy Ghost, the Son,
I harlot am as well as nun.
I am the race before its run,
Before the chase has yet begun
And after all the laurels won:
I am all and yet am none.

Epitome of all that's done,
Remains to do, will be undone
I am, both black hole, stars and sun.
The target, bullet and the gun,
The interplay of mental pun,
The memory - sense intense well spun,
In all I am and yet am none.

Sophisticated and homespun,
Both everything and anyone,
I love the most where most I shun.
I’m tears, I’m years, and weary fun.
No contradiction is there, none,
As everything is everyone.

What will be IS ere ‘tis begun!
I’m fiercest foe and closest chum,
The seed, bud, blossom, weed and plum,
The string, the stringer and the strum,
The sting, the stinger and the stung,
The sing-song, singer, the unsung,
The sin, the sinner’s hand well wrung.

The lowest mean, the highest rung
To me the same are, bells once rung
Wait not on time, yet on time tongue.
I know not age, who ne’er was young,
I know not rage, through love ne’er clung
I’m stage, set, cast and critic, run.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum
Am I, of everything the sum;
The Past, the Future yet to come,
[Or is it HAS BEEN’s martyrdom? ]
I am the beat of distant drum
Which, omnipresent, all shall numb.

Styletes and the common scrum
Am I, the bread loaf, missing crumb,
The hermit’s hut, the meddlesome,
Heresy, sacerdotium.
I Lethe am, Life’s opium,
Still for serenity all come!

Imbalance, equilibrium,
Am I, scaled heights, and depths to plumb.
Blind imitation, rule of thumb,
Creation, all the same are, hum
As static on Time’s waves, become
Soon silence, as if ever dumb!

Submitted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 04, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

(22 May 1982 and 31 October 1991)

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