The Ancient Modern

Pain in Childbearing /  Joshua Alan Sturgill

I am stranded in a City without its center, in a Language without a grammar, on a River without a course. All around me is the chaos which emerges when many orders are in motion at once—each in conflict, striking, subsuming one anothera manifestation without adequate root in its Form; a society lawless, because its laws have no metaphysics beneath them.

The various DNA of life compete for the same, limited use of matterstealing from one another, eating one another, becoming the source of each other’s suffering, illness, distress. Too many things in too small a room; too many delicacies for such a small table; too soft a stone for such a grand and heavy Cathedral. It all crumbles under its own weight and instability.

Babel is lived out, not only in the past or in the culture, but right to the depths of each malformed, half-finished soul struggling to breathe the thin, inadequate air. More appears than appearance can sustain. Life pushes its ponderous bulk into a world already limited by Good and Evil.

Everything planned to have appeared in Eden, in unconfined Perfection, now must pass through the Valley of Death. Everything that must be will be: stillborn, but born: dying, but gesturing toward life; crucified before its full transfiguration.

All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2019 by Joshua Alan Sturgill