“Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only Love.”
She came, this woman, out of nowhere;
Or rather, she returned from a long-distant past
Of restful easy days, and frantic bright nights.
The ember, which had back-burned in the glowing chambers
Of his well-fuelled mind,
Flared to instant fire,
Intense as a conflagration
Wherein martyrs were once consumed.
When first contact was made,
His chest muscles contracted in a trice.
In the vastness of indifferent space,
An uncoiled tongue of flame erupted
From the nuclear heart of an almost dying star;
Two moons tango’d, in a cosmic Argentinian,
Around a weirdly contoured planet;
And the long extinguished Pillars of Creation
Stood proudly erect once more, strangely phallic,
Highlighted against an alien darkness,
Pin-pricked by faerie lights…
According to experts, there are three stages
To falling in love.
Lust comes first, driven by the sex hormones,
Oestrogen and testosterone.
Next follows Attraction, whereby a group
Of neuro-transmitters called monoamines are vital,
Since they comprise dopamine, norepineprine and serotonin –
A heady cocktail of adrenalin and consciousness-altering craziness.
Finally, Attachment, ably assisted by
Oxytocin – released by both sexes during orgasm,
And vasopressin – an important controller of the kidney.
So much for the Science.
All he knew – and he knew it at once –
Was that life would never go its hum-drum way again,
That something monumental had occurred,
And things which were never said, so long before,
Things which, perhaps, should have been said,
Could now be declared with trumpet voice.
And so they were, in candid, precise detail.
But what he read beneath her words –
Mere ciphers of encoded meaning –
Were hopes and dreams of an unconstrained future,
A future shared with him, perhaps,
Of astonishing visions, revelations, ecstatic beauty,
Profounds of mind, absolute tomfoolery,
And a thrilling, delicious eroticism.
This is what she desires, he told himself;
This is what she reaches for – her delicate fingers
Stretched into cyberspace.
At first, it seemed as if her recollections
Of what had gone before were veiled
By a tightly woven cloth of precise forgetfulness;
Almost as if the hippocampus –
That transit point for long-term memories –
Was shrouded in a kind of neuronal smog.
And so he did his best to stir up the synapses,
Thereby gently pushing the neurotransmitters in the process,
To make the connections whole once again.
He spoke of shared experiences, of the long nights,
Nights filled with exotic ideas, cheap wine, cool music,
And the seemingly never ending curl of cigarette smoke.
Magnificent occasions, too easily taken for granted,
But now, with hindsight, joyfully creative and all-embracing.
He also spoke of the missing years, of frustrations and heartache,
Of precipitous decline and empty spaces.
She, in her turn, responded with tales of wounds and scars –
Within and without –
Stitch lines in the fabric of passing time.
The Scandinavian goddess of Death, Pesta herself,
In trademark black hood, with rake and broom,
Had made herself a house-guest for two years or more,
Intent on scraping the ruins, and gathering the ashes,
But she’d reckoned without the woman’s dark spirit,
And withdrew, empty-handed.
A kind of triumph, despite the incalculable damage
Inflicted on the mind-body psyche.
The man, on the other hand,
Had danced with Dionysus,
In a wild, fluid, angry burlesque.
A dance that dragged on for years,
And entirely of his own making.
When the music finally ceased,
He woke, as if from a black nightmare
Of dogs and blood.
What they both now craved,
The man and the woman,
Was a kind of validation,
Whereby each blessed the other,
In a mutual realignment of disparate orbits.
The experts, with their dry as dust,
Tripartite scientific analysis –
Speculative chemical jargon, masquerading as wisdom –
Knew nothing of the sacred, breathtaking madness
Of actual Love.
Love is not a thing, a mechanized entity, to be divided up,
Each component carefully scrutinized,
And then reassembled, as if it was an automaton.
It is not fallen in to, or out of;
Love is not a passing fancy, a casual affectation;
It is not a trembling creature, fawning before prestige,
Or fame, or a religious icon, or transient authority.
Love just is: indivisible, explosive and all-embracing.
An entire universe, overseen by a litany
Of goddesses and gods,
From Freyja, ‘Lady’ of the Norse,
To Xochiquetzal, Aztec ‘precious feather flower’;
From Hathor, Egypt’s Eye of Ra,
To Eros, Aphrodite’s son;
From Rati, wife of Kama, the Hindu god of love and lust,
To Oshun, Yoruba goddess of erotic beauty.
An endless list, embodying, protecting and nourishing
The life-spirit of the Earth Herself.
As vital to our existence as the theoretical Big Bang singularity,
And the cosmological inflation which followed soon after.
Pick a word – any word…
Commitment, acceptance, understanding, consideration;
Trust, honesty, respect;
Unconditional, free, open, tentative, sure;
The creative essence of the All:
The man and the woman,
Their lives changed beyond recognition,
Continue to sing, one to the other.
Heretic songs from heretic hearts for heretic souls.
Together, in their midnight moments,
They envisage the mutual awakening
Of the Kundalini Shakti,
Whereby coiled, primal energy ascends via the central channel,
From the coccyx, through the vertebral column,
To the top of the head,
Like a powerful electric current,
And illuminates in an orgasmic, mind-body detonation
Of instinctive, libidinous force.
A melding of goddess and god, of Lord Shiva and Sati –
Birds of fire, winging across the heavens –
So utterly intertwined that neither can be distinguished.
A jubilant fandango, tripping the light fantastic,
Slipping through iridescent portals of pure vibration.
In the words of the Christian mystic, Thomas a Kempis,
“Love flies, runs and rejoices. It is free,
And nothing can hold it back”.
Dafydd ap Pedr