Hypnos and Eos

Unwind your veils of mist,
O manifold chaos!
For what is sown in sunlight
Shall take root in this soil of rare fecundity,
In darkness biding,
Gathering shape and sustenance.
As mushrooms in their damp, secluded realm,
Unhindered by harsh light, spring at last to the surface,
So do fancies gather in the mind
Bereft of sensation,
By degrees building in complexity,
Acquiring new features,
Clothing themselves in sounds and colors,
Conjuring emotion and arcane association,
And in the wake of Hypnos,

But oh, such subtlety!
Such deranged grandeur!
I believe, for a time, in the absurd,
And I fly.

And yet the surface often intrudes:
Reason, like an errant angel,
Descends into these lower reaches—
An Apollonian Orpheus whose song
Disperses illusion—
And draws the spirit, unwilling,
From out the depths of Nibelheim
Where furtive thoughts are molded on secret anvils,
Into the glare of Eos,
And what falls beneath the shadow
Is lost In wistful remembrances,
Vain attempts to recall the sphinx who lent the spirit wings
And spoke its wisdom in riddle.

But what is not reaped
Must surely become more abundant.
The loss is an illusion,
For night's wisdom, like a subterranean spring,
Ascends in stealth into the world of day,
And the day's sensations fertilize the night;
Thus, light and shade together act
To tend the valley of the mind.

George Chadderdon © 1994