Waking to Vertigo / Bob Ambrose


From the darkness
that ushers first light
before consciousness coalesces
I feel tenuous
faith fighting for birth
    to a new day –
a new day that spins about an unstable axis.

To a new day, cold
with calculating anger
honed by hardened voices
sharpened on diamond-edged ideals
clawing aggressively at the heart of power.

To a new day, hot
with outspoken ignorance
and tinny pride, thinly trumpeted
    by vuvuzela
pretending to the sweetness
of Marsalis, or of angels
with all the redemptive depth
    of ground bees
swarming in distress before their phantom fears.

This is the day
it is always the day
the anointed redeeming spirit
is transformed by arrogance
into avenging demon
strapped to the white warhorse
    locked and loaded,
goaded by bright trumpets of fury
playing in the proud key of certainty.

And redemption? Earmarked
    for the mighty
while wrapped in weakness,
the tender teacher
healing rabbi
kind-eyed spirit who would save the world
fades into ether
    excarnated again
from the empire of strength
spinning in the midst of the whirlwind.

This is also the day
it is always the day
that whispers serenely from beyond
the breaking news, beyond
the tight smile and firm jaw
beyond the clenched heart:
    unseen, implausible
love lurks in robust fragility.

Confronting ignorance
it is extinguished in darkness
    only to rise
as the midsummer sun
to illumine shrouded hollows with searching light.

Confronting anger
it is crushed underfoot
    only to rise
through the soles of the jackboot
to dissolve the calluses that encrust the heart.

Ideas fight for incarnation
    as they must
through the living media
of our mind and muscle
that birth the virtual soul into existence.

We are redeemed not by knowledge
of biochemical mechanism
or theological formulation
    elegant though they be.
Our lives bear meaning
by what we incarnate
in the fertile heartland of the emerging soul.

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